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Mainstream, VOL 60 No 50-51, December 3, December 10 2022 [Double issue]

A Rainbow Against Fear | Humra Quraishi

Saturday 24 December 2022, by Humra Quraishi

21 December 2022

The year is ending on a rather dismal note. Yes, coming to a close with the scare of the Corona virus set to strike. Once again, that is. Not sure whether it ever did go. Perhaps, it was hovering around, lingering about. It is just that the well-whipped virus related notions cum phobias and the connected lockdowns were given some level of relief.

Now, of course, an eerie level of suspense and uncertainty is once again high on the agenda list. Here, in our land comes up the political twist to it all. The Right Wing rulers of the day have already started playing politics, trying to dent the flow of the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Dragging in the Corona virus scare. Though by now the masses do seem to have realized that the Right-Wing unleashed communal virus is as lethal as any other virus, and in the present day scenario the only and only antidote to it is the Bharat Jodo Yatra, as it is bringing along thousands from the different castes and creeds…diverse sections walking-marching together to somehow bring about sense, awaken the very soul.

The Rahul Gandhi led Yatra has indeed brought about an awakening amongst the masses. Why do you think the ordinary and also the extraordinary are joining in, as the Yatra travels from one state to the next.

And as hundreds and thousands are joining in that long march, it is worrying the political mafia, along the strain: how the hell will the communal brigades manage to go about their task of unleashing communal violence and targeted killings on any given pretext. Right now we have reached such pathetic lows that even colours and textures are getting slotted into ‘theirs’ and ‘ours’.

Rainbows are seldom seen these days. Nature perhaps, worried and apprehensive that the rainbow colours could be fought over, made to fade away by the communal creatures.

Let’s wait and see what the year ahead brings along. Though uneasiness seems spreading out amongst the various sections, but uncontrolled it could get if the issues facing the farmer are not paid heed and immediately tackled.

The grievances of the farmers have been on, left unattended, for far too long. If you’d recall in 2017, for the first time in the recent history of India, farmers travelled from the far flung regions and states; reaching Lutyens’ Delhi, squatting right in the midst of the capital city, focusing on their plight.

And then right from the autumn of 2020 to the summer of 2021, thousands of our farmers sat protesting at the Delhi borders and in several states of the country. The farmers upset and angry with the very passage of the three Farm Bills, wanted the controversial Bills to be rolled back. Focusing on the vital fact that those Bills were against the interest of the farmers; also, the government of the day didn’t bother to consult them nor take their consent.

Though the government’s assurances temporarily pacified particular sections and associations of the farmers, but unease and anger seems to be once again coming up. Distraught are the farmers, with the economic crisis overtaking, hitting everyday life of the farmer and his family. He is not sure what the future holds out for him.

Minority groups and communities seem to have given up, as gloom and dismay descends. There has come about a feeling of helplessness, as the Agenda holds sway, in an atmosphere riddled with double standards and discriminations.

Also, not to be overlooked is the restlessness spreading out amidst the young of the country, especially the educated-qualified young who are sitting jobless. Though promises were made but then the reality is such that the jobless are sitting jobless! Where are the jobs? Where are the avenues and openings to earn a living?

Anger and anxiety are bound to hit many. Bringing in a sharp high on the crime scene. Correct me if I’m wrong but in these recent months, murders and killings and crimes as never before. It seems frustrations are getting fast converted to anger and whatever it drags along.

o o

Jayshree Misra Tripathi’s - Uncertain Times

Last week the New Delhi based poet-writer, Jayshree Misra Tripathi, launched her latest book. Aptly titled ‘Uncertain Times’ (Pepperscript publishers), it carries several of her verse written in these ‘uncertain times’.

Jayshree has dedicated this book to her friend, Gayatri Manchanda, who passed away last year, in 2021, because of Covid related complications.

Leaving you with this verse from this book:

# LockdownBlues
Loneliness
has been redefined.
Urban city dwellers
In confined space, hark!
Love will find a way-
If not, isolation will.
No sense of tranquillity-
At these interruptions,
Fearful of our mindfulness,
we rally forth
armed with good intentions,
hide the hollowness
in the pit of the stomach,
revere quiet solitude
to reflect, to listen, to relearn.
Solitude, an invisible shield.

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