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Mainstream, VOL LIII No 23, May 30, 2015

A Year to Remember

Saturday 30 May 2015, by Badri Raina

If words were deeds,

And catch-phrases files,

If sophistry were argument,

And achievement intent,

The strong man with fifty-

Six inch starched frontispiece  

Has indeed fulfilled every 

Bharti’s needs to heart’s content.


How the prices of quotidian

Eatables have been smashed,

How bushels of wealth are stashed

In swelling jandhan ledgers,

Cunning marvels of zero treasures,

How hungry pockets have been

Stuffed with moolah from 

The Black trough of money bags

Who may now rue making

A rain of their smart earnings

To fuel a feisty-false campaign

Destined for u-turn churnings.

Not to speak of peasants and farms

Whom now the charms of smart-city

Development teach a needed lesson

Of national interest sans

Weak-kneed sentiment or pity.


More: at last, the namby pamby

Congress has been shown

How mightily a so-strong man

Can impress the uppity enemy

Across the border, and make

Fearsome sally for the anti-nationals

Who stain the valley with flags

And banners inimical to good manners.

Lesser neighbours are askance

That they should never have 

Been told what a colossus is

Bharat, hitherto so badly undersold.

Even the Dragon, always chuckling  

In poker-faced scorn, now

Knows a new slayer is born.

And, poor Obama, what noises

He still might make under press

Of our indigenous “others”

Is crestfallen to see how the new

Global numero uno couldn’t care less.

If words were deeds, and

Catch-phrases employers, India

Is now awash with jobs,

Saturated with manufacturing hubs,

Exporting alredy apocalyptic tubs

Of made-in-India marvels,

Raising growth several notches

A day—a miracle that snubs

Foreign investors who will not

Offer to fill our welcoming coffer.


If words were deeds, then allocations

To health and education have

Not been cut but, however you

May rebut with fact and figure,

Enhanced beyond imagination.


If words were deeds, our

Religious and other minorities

Never had it so good: so even

Is now vikas that their nightmares

Need no longer be understood;

So when an employer writes to say

Sorry “non-Muslims only” such

Discrimination need not be seen

As doing dirt on the Constitution.

Or, when a Dalit citizen is kindly

Murdered in the same saffron-ruled

State for sporting a ringtone with 

Ambedkar song, this is merely

An instance of sanaatan normalcy—

Stabilising traditions which the

Rationalists have sullied over

Six-long decades with anti-upper

Caste Hindu venom,—a secular plot

To neuter sanaatan dharam.


If words were deeds, such aberrations

Are mere media creations, a fleabite

Here or there which the great leader

Cannot allow to make murky his sight

Of the conquests he must make

Of Indians and celebrities abroad

For super-powerdom sake.


If words were deeds, our democracy

Is everyday so bolstered by one

Unquetionable man’s decree;

All minions now in proper place,

All channels full of one insistent face;

This land which knew only scams

And skullduggery till a year ago,

Is now, if words were deeds, leagues

Ahead in the global race—

Propelled by the approving grace

Of godmen and enemy-baiters,

No-nonsense minority haters,

Punters and smart-city waiters.

If words were deeds, India has

Won over the world in a mantra

Of megalo-mix, and there’s little

Left to be done. Except never

To let on that words are not deeds,

Slogans are not successes,

Iteration is not truth,

Intimidation is not persuasion,

And insistence is not governance.

And to hammer, hammer, hammer

The read that those alone succeed

Who in relentless sing-song feed

The word that, indeed, they 

Alone succeed who say “we

Succeed, succeed, succeed. Succeed.”

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