And in the midst of India becoming the world’s second worst country, hit by the Coronavirus, yet indulging in dirty politics in the state of Rajasthan, in my mind’s eye, I see a youthful lawyer, approaching a judge in some mighty court in our land, “Your honour is there no lockdown for politicians?” he cries.
The kindly judge looks down at the young lawyer, “Who do you represent, young man?”
“I represent the youth of our country facing unemployment, the poor staring at starvation, migrant workers braving death, and also every individual in this country pitted against the virus!”
“And what is your plea?”
“Your honour, I repeat, is there no lockdown for politicians? Today, when they should be focused on saving lives of their constituents, serving people through the availability of medication and more beds in hospitals, when their every thought should be eliminating this virus enemy, how can they even think of knocking each other down?”
The judge looked down at the young lawyer, remembering his own youth, when thoughts as zealous filled his mind, “Son,” he said sadly, “Dastardly emotions of ego and greed cause these politicians to do this now!”
“And your honour….”
“Yes,” said the judge.
“Is this the time to spend billions on a new Parliament building, when a government in Maharashtra couldn’t pay doctors they’d borrowed from Kerala, their salary? When preventive virus suits are substandard, our tests mediocre, our data fudged? When we have no funds to medicate the poor and give them a chance for one more breath on some dysfunctional ventilator? Is this the time to raze a good building just to show the world how great we are? Shouldn’t greatness be in saving lives of the least of our brethren not giving more legroom for our elected representatives to stretch themselves in comfort and then debate how to pull each other down?”
The learned judge shook his head sadly.
“Your honour,” sobbed the young lawyer, “in this lockdown, we have just discovered our gods can be worshipped in our homes, in our hearts and in our minds, something that has brought calm between communities, a peace never felt before, as we have learned to make religion personal, and not a public display. Now, is this the time for politicians to start discussing a taller steeple, a bigger dome, or a larger pillar of a religious place?”
The judge sitting in a court somewhere in the country, sighed as he watched the lawyer and all those he represented sobbing throughout the land in anguish. He wished he had the powers to enforce a complete lockdown on politicians, “they are bigger killers than the virus!” he thought sadly and wept with the rest of India..!(Published on 27th July 2020, Volume XXXII, Issue 31)