Society & Lifestyle
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|by Gaurang Bhatt, MD|
Once up on a time, there was a country whose sanctimonious facade hid a visage of moral degeneracy underneath. Most of the people were so poor, that they had mortgaged their integrity for a square meal. There were a few rich and well to do, who had made a Faustian bargain by bartering their principles for money. A few poor had used the criminality bypass to migrate from the slums to opulent and ostentatious surroundings and lifestyle.
They with the other well off, financed the political elections, entertainment, other industries and criminal enterprises and even became elected representatives themselves to obtain partial or complete immunity from prosecution. Many elected officials and administrative officers used inane and arcane laws to enrich themselves from bribes given by bootleggers, gambling dens, industrial enterprises and plain folks.
A diehard group of Marxist oblivious to the tragedies of Russia and China and ignorant of much of history, philosophy, economics and science continued their futile chant in order to alter basic human nature by mindless rubbish mantras. Political party leaders routinely indulged in arm twisting industrialists, many of whom were crooked, and black money funded elections and party hacks. Public money funded lavish lives and foreign junkets for legislators and high officials. Judges, police, customs, excise and tax officials together with government clerks to ministers abused their positions and privileges to extract bribes and get rich by illicit means.
Legislators were criminals and criminals were legislators. They appointed Supreme Court judges who fiddled the tunes of their political masters and were so intoxicated by arrogance, that they imposed prison sentences and fines on plaintiffs espousing the public good or criticizing them by dissenting from their asinine opinions based on some pseudo-secular gospel.
Over a thousand years of foreign domination had devastated the psyche of the people and instilled a deep- seated inferiority complex, which they papered over with an exaggerated sense of undeserved self-importance. This led to having three refuges. The well to do were Westoxicated and aped the West, adopting its mores, but not its values or virtues. Religious minorities who had converted to avoid discriminatory taxation or obtain other pecuniary benefits clutched their medieval fantasies of being one with the conquering marauders, when their rare and remote connection was at best an occasional illegitimate heritage due to the overactive, unrestrained and indiscriminate libido of some soldier. The unaltered practitioners of the ancient faith, who constituted the majority lived in the dream world of their glorious past, partly true and part conveniently concocted.
Almost all the population was completely out of touch with reality and lived in a mythical world of make believe. They did have something in common, in that they were all slaves to passion, greed, religion or sundry cardinal vices. They all had to live with chronic shortages of water, electricity and lack of infrastructure, hygiene, healthcare and civic sense. Temples, Churches and Mosques were as abundant as tuberculosis, mice and mosquitoes.
In my dream I found myself confined to this place and denied basic human rights and due process by a newly promulgated law which allowed incarceration and punitive punishment by the highest court using Draconian laws. They sentenced me to death by burning alive. This is when I woke up disoriented, hyperventilating and in a cold sweat. I calmed myself, came to my senses and realized I was safe and in India. I breathed a deep sigh of relief and exclaimed Phew!!!
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