The Bible : Jeremiah : 5 : 21 says “O you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but cannot see, ears, but cannot hear”.
In my opinion this statement, though made thousands of years ago, applies accurately to the Indian people of today.
A storm is coming in India, but Indians are totally unaware of it, like Mir Saheb and Mirza Saheb of Lucknow in Munshi Premchand’s story ‘ Shatranj ke khilaadi ‘, who were so engrossed in playing chess that they hardly noticed the British army approaching their doorstep.
In my article ‘ Why celebrate Republic Day when the Constitution has become a scarecrow ‘, I pointed out that everything has collapsed in India, our state institutions have become hollow and empty shells, our economy is tanking, and the people’s distress is mounting.
That joker who has nothing in his head (except hatred of minorities), but who is unfortunately currently presiding over our country’s destiny, and whose expertise is performing stunts and gimmicks ( like Yoga Day, cow protection, building Ram Mandir, Swatchata Abhiyan, abrogation of Article 370, etc ) declared ( in several languages ) in Houston, Texas recently ” Everything is fine in India”, when everyone with eyes can see that the contrary was the truth.
And yet not a single one of the 50,000 NRIs gathered there, those great men who have tons of money and keep lecturing us as to what is good for India, had the moral courage to stand up and say ” Prime Minister, how can you say that? The Indian economy has taken a nose dive, and unemployment has attained record heights “.
Though hardly anyone in India can see or hear, a revolution is fast approaching. Millions might perish in it, as happens in all such storms, it will sweep away the filth prevailing in India, it will wipe away the scourge of casteism and communalism which have been our curse for centuries, it will create a just social order in which no community nor section of society is discriminated against and wealth is not concentrated in the hands of just a few, it will create a political order enabling rapid industrialisation which alone can generate the wealth to wipe out the evils of poverty, unemployment , malnourishment, lack of healthcare and good education, etc.
A revolution is not something perfect, many mistakes (some of a grievous nature like the guillotining of Lavoisier, the great scientist, in the French Revolution of 1789) are made in it. It is not something elegant like a painting or a dinner party, so refined, gentle, temperate, courteous, restrained and magnanimous, as Mao said. It is an insurrection, an act of violence by the oppressed people against their oppressors, in which in their righteous anger the people commit many serious blunders.
And yet, it is like a shower of rain after hot summer months, when the parched earth gets a fresh lease of life, when the sufferings of tens of millions of people for centuries are relieved or attenuated, when many demons and monsters are swept away, and an old country becomes young again. That storm is fast approaching.
The stormy petrel is on its wings in India.
Markandey Katju is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India. He was also the Chairman of the Press Council of India.