Spirits are known to provoke consumers to enter the arena of spiritual, philosophical and political discussions, often plummeting into arguments. And it is best that is avoided, else the soothing qualities of even the finest of Single Malt will be desecrated.
Three of us, I, A (my b-in-law) and a friend of mine T, got together at the club yesterday evening. Sitting in the air-conditioned bar away from the big screen outside on the lawn which displayed live the IPL match, I and T were as usual engaged in the oft discussed topic that is generally the subject when some of us meet. Because, it is so stupid and funny, that it is a better substitute to any exhaustive subject which would not assist any relaxation. After all it gives a good feel when we think like teenagers and when we know that we are half a century old.
But yesterday the discussion bordered around the elections, the probabilities and possibilities of the candidates in the polls.T, though he has comparable outlook and opinion about things in general, is certainly directed by a conservative mindset .The discussion about the candidate from our assembly constituency was brought up by one of us. And when I and A, preferred the LDF supported independent candidate to win, more because not only is he a better person, but the other resembles a lineage of graft, sleaze, innuendos, corruption, nepotism and money power. Also he has a sickening history of defections. He is the progeny of the notorious chief minister Kerala had. T was quite upset and disagreeing. He kept repeating that his man was better and he can do things. And if his father was corrupt, he had also brought about developmental changes to the State. He also opined that we must look towards the states like Bihar, Orissa and Gujarat, that have done exceptionally well in areas of change and development. He picked the change that has come about in Modi’s Gujarat as an illustration. I contended that it is foolhardy and criminal to applaud the so called development that Modi is credited with and which he uses deftly to camouflage the parochial agenda he professes and ethnic/religious cleansing that is his plank. We asked him in what way Modi was different from Adolf Hitler, when it came to the head count and systematic decimation of the minorities? And now with the UPA bludgeoned by its own filth there is an ominous possibility that Narendra Modi, as candidate for PM should the BJP win the next general elections. T, insisted that the news purveyed about Modi’s cleansing act and the slaughter in the riots a decade ago was highly exaggerated. Now let me put across that T, is no fanatic Hindu or an activist of the rightwing VHP etc. He was born into a Roman Catholic family and is a regular church goer. A guy you will not dislike, a witty character and he does not gossip or spread canard about the other. In fact he avoids such situation where someone approaches him with malice or gossip.
Coming back to the support for the candidate from our constituency in Trivandrum, T was rather peeved about our points, but would not let go or admit. He understood that his statements did not carry much and he found our points rather difficult to refute. However it was timidly revealed by him that his parish church had organized a felicitation for this candidate. And the church had issued a diktat, a pastoral letter to the flock that this man must be voted to the Assembly.
I went home wondering why an educated man like T, could not break the shackles imposed from outside and use his faculties to decide on matters such as this. Why get led by a group of Prelates with various agendas and motives. After all it is the very same philosophy that decried the “liberation theology” practised in Latin America, against the US led insular regimes in the last century and it is also the very same imperious outlook that refuse to whole heartedly condemn the atrocities subsequent to the great voyages of Christopher Columbus and Vasco- da- Gama, the Inquisition and the Crusades. And as recent as a year ago this philosophy and thinking ensured that no solace, comfort or benefaction was provided to Professor T.J.Joseph of Newman College, whose limbs were chopped off by a group of well organized thugs driven by Islamic religious fanaticism.
Conceptual acceptance, as it is seen here, is something I find quite difficult to understand as it belittle or ignores reason, thought and decision. On the brighter side, perhaps, it is because opinions are as diverse as it is that there seems to be an enjoyable zest to life! And I guess one cannot shut out oneself to another person, only because he has a different opinion. May be some day the twain shall meet!