Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Gods Own Country

Sitting far away from the State I was born, Kerala, I feel nausea watching the Malayalam Television Channels and glancing through the vernacular newspapers on line. The land of what is officially mooted as “Gods own country”, is, as Vivekananda said more than a century ago is indeed a mad house. A mad house, a mental asylum and incorrigible inmates! The genetic spawning and evolution over the past one hundred years since Vivekananda glossed has not affected any discernible change in the Malayalee mindset- “irredeemable”!

The only far reaching thought that entrenched in Kerala and that aided immeasurably in transformation of social and economic livelihood of the dwellers of the State was the philosophy of Communism and socialist ideology. These revolutionary ideals did trigger social emancipation in the mid and later part of the twentieth century. But now the same philosophies and their excess are a challenge and a liability. The communist ideology is now defunct and irrelevant socially, economically and environmentally, but spoils the Mallu mind as much as the far right views.  The Malyalee acts aggressively and negatively to any situation and he has no sense of priorities that assists in betterment and quality of life.

No election in Kerala , though a cent percent literate (sic) State has  had social , economic and environmental issues as vital subjects in the agenda and upon which a political party or a candidate was judged or chosen into the legislature. The pathetic state of affairs in a State that boasts of all-round health care and forward thinking populace is blatantly obvious if one cares to gently remove the exotic muslin veil of the cliché ,”Gods own Country”.

Mallus love sleaze, vitiated pleasure as much as they love alcohol. A State minister and a talented one at that as well as an achiever in the portfolios he handled so far, is proclaimed first by a debased political henchman of having been at the receiving end of physical assault by the husband of his alleged paramour. The eternally misdirected press and the predatory visual media laps it up in glee and sautéed with further innovations and ingenious masala takes it to the salivating masses. After much hullabaloo and opportunist acrimony orchestrated by the infertile and impotent opposition, the story takes a twist with a new plot and it turns out that the minister was indeed assaulted but by his own wife, an accredited doctor of medicine and not by any stranger. The minister is accused by his wife of incessant physical and mental torture (she nevertheless bore him two boys during their seventeen years of marital cohabitation). The bottom line is that the whole episode that was scripted and dramatised, had the tacit approval of the minister’s maverick father who wanted his son out of the government so that the foot soldiers that stood by him all many years can access trappings of power that was denied to them by the young minister, his son.

The bottom line is the print press and the visual media in the State are gaga over the la affaire and anchors are vying to show off their skills at insinuation and innuendo. The State Assembly had to be dispersed for as many days now as the opposition created melee demanding the resignation of the minister and the Chief Minister who they accuse of tacit complicity in the minister’s conduct.

The pressing problems of the State – the utter chaotic state of sanitation and garbage disposal, the abysmal state of motor ways, perennial transport bottle necks, the apathetic government health care and dispensation, the lost case of water resources and potable water, the rising cost of living, the degradation & rape of environment, the lawlessness, free for all acts of muscle men with political clout, corruption, so on and so forth, are as always in the back burner, usurped now by the marital discord in the life of a State minister.

It was buffoonery and pathetic to see on televisions Sate opposition leaders boycotting Assembly proceedings and congregating on at the Assembly gates braying for the resignation of the minister and the Chief Minister over the issue. They hardly ever thought of demanding that the total breakdown of garbage disposal in the State be attended to, or ask why the tiny State with three International Airports will want another one in Aranmulla on pristine farm lands, while motorable roads are in dire straits of disrepair. Or the precarious perch of a ubiquitous white elephant draining tax money- the KSRTC .

The state of affairs in Kerala may not be an exception, but a random sample of the country at large.
Long, long ago Winston Churchill the arrogant English man remarked why he saw Indians unfit for Independence. “Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues and freebooters; all Indian leaders will be low caliber and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles. A day would come when even air & water would be taxed in India”

The man may have harboured racist mindset, but jingoism apart we must admit he prophesied and did that fairly well. Perhaps Indians are vying to prove him right and Kerala is leading the charge of the light brigade.

The visionary English commoner!


Happy Kitten said...

This family drama should have been avoided but I blame Ganesh for the same. After the poovar fellow was silenced Kerala had almost forgotten the incident until Ganesh filed a case to put the entire blame on his wife. Maybe to escape parting with his wealth or he thinks a bit of his battered image can be brought back if people think he was beaten by his wife and not an angry husband?

The CM played a dirty game if he was his advisor.

I hope the return of the Gulfees will put issues back into perspective and we shall know identify our priorities.

anilkurup said...

Asha, the matter is why should an whole State be affected by matters in a family . That is purely a private affair and if there be instances of domestic impropriety there are relevant institutions to address those issues. Why should a Minister's battle with his spouse be the subject that is anguishing the State.

Are we well off in all other parameters of life?

Usha Menon said...

Very stunning!These are the 'games' that politicians play. They can go to extremes to remain in power.

KParthasarathi said...

The malaise that afflicts Kerala is very much prevalent in most other states possibly in more virulent form.India is done the day we opted for professional politicians instead of politcians with a profession with independent income and an inclination for service.
The priorities today are skewed and boils down to capturing power by any means.The media is not helping the cause for better governance with its propensity for sensationalising

Happy Kitten said...

Anil: that is a question the media and the current govt should answer. Why should a CM's office be used to settle a marriage problem? the only reason being Ganesh was beaten by someone and the media got the news:I think this is the first time in Kerala's history that a minister is beaten by an angry husband and now since a precedent has been set, we shall behave better :)

Kerala has forgotten it's priorities. We are building airports when we dont have decent roads. We are building magnificent Churches, mosques and temples when many dont have a house. nd we have so many TV channels who dont have enough news to keep the folks entertained. We have everything that we dont need.

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

I agree with Happy Kitten; “why should a CM's office be used to settle a marriage problem?” Why do our politicians stoop to such low levels? Can they alone be blamed? As the saying goes, a people get the government it deserves. Isn’t it a well known, yet shameful fact that, even our so called progressive parties make pacts with castiest, religious elements for political gain? As for Ganesh Kumar, he could’ve done without taking it to such ridiculous heights!

....Petty Witter said...

Interesting to read of the largely political struggles of other peoples. A fascinating post and for me quite an eye opener.

BK Chowla, said...

Family serials should be left to only Ektaa Kapoor.
As for state problems are concerned..its all the same in eevry state...No Mai Baap

Shilpa Garg said...

Shocking! Was not aware of this drama in Kerala! Hijacking the state for such personal matters... what a pity and sad state of affairs! :|

rama said...

Winston Churchill was right, Indians are fit to fight with each other, at least the political class has stooped to a very low level. We got freedom, for what reason, I cannot understand, for our opinions don't matter to them. Even though some of the ministers are educated they all end up behaving like hooligans.
It is the same sad state everywhere.
God save our country.

Insignia said...

OK! Honestly, I don't know why I didn't leave a comment. I read through the post twice. Its obnoxious to be holding the state to ransom on such silly personal matter. Don't they say things between spouses should stay within 4 walls.

And its foolish for people to buy this or maybe they are helpless.

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Anil, what you say about Kerala is not peculiar to "God's Own Country" alone. The whole of India loves drama and sleaze. What about TN and our illustrous CM and her closet relationship? We completely deserve whoever is our leader because afterall, haven't we elected them?