Earth Day: CHRONICLE OF A DEATH FORETOLD
The Statement of One Disillusioned this Miserable Day after Earth Day 2012
Hartman de Souza Cavorem, Quepem (South Goa)
This is just like a chronicle of a death foretold, made flesh by nothing more than a cynic who willingly accepts many failures, the very worst being that he could not make the world a better place to live in, with no wars, no violence, and brimming with such compassion that there would be more than enough so that no one, neither child not adult, would ever go to sleep hungry.
One knows the true picture now. That when push comes to shove in this country these days, it is the petty, ephemeral joy of having a new car (to mention just one among the many ‘things’ one can buy) – perhaps even just the cheap thrill of being able to upgrade to a newer and better and more expensive car, or some other thing or phone or person or whatever – that will win out in the end.
It is this singular attitude, that the licence raj is now over and done with and we can “shop eat celebrate” till there’s nothing left, that will ensure that many privileged human beings, Indian or otherwise, will not come out of their zones of sometimes ridiculous if not absurd comfort.
They will not spare even a glance for the poor state of this planet that they, and indeed, those many, many times more impoverished, inhabit, simply because they have their dreams of new air-conditioners and chilled water and dark glasses, and a supermarket just down the road where they can buy everything from Italian cheeses to French wine, to steaks from Japan or traditional Cajun spices from New Orleans.
If you really want to go to town being cynical you measure life inIndiathese days by rapid pace of ‘growth’. So consider then that it took barely twenty years for our South Delhi babus and their masters to consign the thought of idealists right across the leftist spectrum – from BT to all the Royists, Lohia to Ambedkar, to at least two of the Gandhis assassinated, and many more in between – straight into the shredder, and run, like rats, to open the new filing cabinets and pull out sheaves of contracts to be signed with the World Bank, the IMF, Monsanto, Walmart and every other fossil-fuel driven industry and greed-tank you can think of.
This, in spite of the fact, that there are enough signs, world-wide, to say that Capitalism is the new God that failed, morphed in fact, into a rogue species out of control; that there is a desperate need for this country to be the same beacon that once showed the rest of the colonized world and those who brutalized them, an ostensibly different way of living.
But then who would have thought that it would take some fifty years if not less for India’s middle class to brand the cooperative movement Luddite, and open the doors for Indian industrialists and indeed, successive governments to take over and revive the machinations of the erstwhile East India Company?