The stone age of Maya
A jungle, somewhere in Uttar Pradesh. A crow and a dove in deep gastro-intestinal conversation.
Dove- Hey, heard the news. Very soon we'll be having more heads to s***on.
Crow:(with verbal anti-peristaltic movement)... ssshh... language my dear, language... Firstly, you should not be calling me by this name. Don't you know that a few rich kids are being thrashed in Australia and our human brothers have taken a high moral ground on racism? We Indians are up against this racist attack. We are posturing ourselves as an anti-racist race. So be careful before you address me as 'blackie'. And as for the second part of your query, yes, I've heard the news-More Heads to s*** on.
Dove: This govt. in Uttar Pradesh is taking good care of our defecating exercise. New statues will spring up... just imagine new faces to explore and deface... new heads to crap on.
Crow: And 'waise-bhi'... I was too bored of the same statues. That same old bald man, semi-clad in dhoti. My forefathers have been visiting his head ever since he was frozen in stone. This Gandhi fellow talked about equality, freedom, non-violence, social justice and what not. Our leaders found these ideas too cumbersome. They created his stone statues and froze his ideas then and there. They silenced his philosophy. Ever since then the ruling class has been shitting on his ideologies and we have been shitting on his stone cold head.
Dove: And that reminds me of my father. He was the child of Nehruvian era. Of lofty ideas and idealism, of development and progress, of belief in rupee and disbelief in dollars. But his generation failed him. After his death his philosophy was considered too idealistic to be digested by the next generation. So what did they do? They flushed out his socialism from their body and metamorphosed his body into stone. His statues mushroomed all over 'India of his dreams' and we got our new 'wash room'. My father told me how he always remembered at 'every stroke of midnight' to relax his posteriors on Nehruji's stoned Gandhi topi... and...
Dove: Yes! And now this lady Chief Minister is spending crores for our sanitation exercise. Unveiling new toilets(oh sorry) new statues.
Then both the dove and crow flew happily thinking about their new excreting pastures.
So here goes the story. You see, we Indians are very egalitarian in our statue making exercise. A statue of our first lady prime minister can be found in villages and towns where women are most disempowered. Children are hungry and illiterate... yet a statue of Nehru and Rajiv still manages to have a stoical smile on their impoverishment. The government of the day ensures that the poor is not left alone with their agonies and shabby existence. There is a statue for every illiterate mind and every empty belly. Statues of politicians, leaders, litterateurs, freedom fighters... You name the breed and our country has it. And so if the rich have it... why can't the marginalised.
So, here comes the messiah of all those who have peripheral existence. Here comes the Maya of all statues. And her statues are the assertion of the 'dalit' existence... their identity... their new found place in the social system. At least she has convinced dalits that she is their only saviour. So a statue of Ambedkar holding the constitution in one hand is not enough for the amelioration of the downtrodden. Ambedkar could never find the 'key' to power. It was a powerless affirmation of the dalit rights... a mere ornament in the social landscape of the country.
The Deccan Plateau saw Periyar... a formidable face for the social upliftment of dalits. But he too could not dislodge the brahaminical setup of the political system. Babu Jagjeevan Ram became the dalit face of the ruling bourgeoisie... the Congress. Their statues did come up, but dalits were still powerless. It was Kanshiram who successfully engineered the dalit baptism into the folds of power. But he side-stepped... working more for dalit mobilization and making them realize that they too can rule. He anointed Mayawati as his political heir. Maya became the political face of Dalit emancipation... a living realization of their empowerment. But hold your breath... pause and think.
Do you really see the dalits climbing up the social ladder... the power of Mayawati trickling down and energising the poorest and the most marginalised? Pardon me but I beg to differ. Ironically it is only Maya and her social engineers who are getting empowered and the marginalised are entering their stone-age. The stone age of statues. So she is saying to UP wallah's... 1-2-3-Statue. Reversing the Lucknawi tehzeeb of 'pehle-aap', she's proclaiming a new tehzeeb of Mayadom- 'pehle main aur mera statue'. So let unemployment keep humiliating the youth of UP, a robust Maya's bust will make a mockery of their dreams... In front of every raped woman there will be a Maya statue... tall, dark and silent.
Tall in its promises, dark in its reality and silent, on its inability to truly empower.
Overseeing every bribed pocket of Babu's and policewallah's will be a statue. Every empty belly will be fed by the magnanimity of the statues. There will be a new mantra for these impoverished souls. Don't be hungry and cry over it. Don't crib on corruption and criminals... don't let your dignity be dwarfed by a rape... don't think that unemployment will rob the youth of whatever ego is left in him or her. All you UP wallah's in general and dalits in particular... hold your head high... just look at her statue and proclaim... 'We have arrived'. It will be called the 'statue therapy'.
Let Uttar Pradesh be at the lower end of all socio-economic parameters, the people there, are supposed to get a high at every sight of Maya's statue. Let penniless citizens become petty thieves and outlaws... let the lack of opportunity transform every inhabitant into a migrant, let the state declare itself as the conveyor belt of corruption and crime... there is a statue 'overlooking', so be patient, things will change.
Let the state exchequer become anaemic, she will spend a cool 2000 crores or something on buying stones and carving herself out of it. And remember she doesn't forget her ancestors... So the state will see more stone-faced Ambedkars and Kanshirams, their philosophy and scheme of social justice muted by the 'rocky' zeal of Maya. That's her stoney resolve.
Getting back to the deep jungle somewhere in UP, an elephant was moving with all pomp and gaiety. He was the only animal in the jungle having his statues in the landscapes of Lucknow. He had heard the news too. He passed by the crow and dove, ignoring them altogether.
The birds consoled each other and said... 'Don't worry mate... We'll crap on him too'.