Sunday, November 28, 2010

Article in the Indian Express - November 28, 2010

The following article appeared in my Sunday column 'Un Intended' in the New Indian Express.
Separate But Ideal States
Harimohan Paruvu

One glance at the news and you know that everyone in the country is miffed about something or the other. In their agitation, they demand whatever they want. Demands for food, water, clothing are common while some demand abstract things like clean governance. But these days one sees a new trend - the growing demand of unreasonable demands. Like wanting hundreds of crores of public money in their bank account just because they got elected, have a business or head a sports body. Or wanting to kill people because they don’t like them, or even, because they like them. Or wanting to burn public property. Or wanting to set up their own governments, countries, worlds. While most think that these demands appear a tad unreasonable, the ones demanding them feel that they are right. And this is where all problems begin – conflicting states of minds.

To make things worse, the government puts up stiff resistance against demands such as giving away public money and property to these individuals and groups. Unnecessarily. Because in time, these demands slowly but surely get fulfilled, and everyone is happy. And that, was when I realized, that it makes more sense to be on the demanding side rather than the other side, the silent side (which seems to be paying for the demands).

Here’s my first demand then. Since I have no problem with these demands or their fulfillment, provided they do not affect me, I demand that the government yield to these demands instantly (instead of waiting for many years) and give them what they want. Only, give them a separate place to practice whatever they want to! This way they do not get into the way of others and more importantly, others do not get in their way! Separate states for separate states of mind.

For example a separate state for all who want to practice corruption would make great sense. All the corrupt people can congregate there, develop their own complicated ways of corruption and corrupt themselves silly without affecting others. Or a separate state for criminals who wish to enter politics so such like-minded individuals can form their ideal society based on their noble ideals. I would be only too happy to cheer them from a safe distance. All terrorists, given a separate state, can terrorise one another to death freely. And all extremists can practice extreme forms of extremism on themselves in their own separate state. All separate state agitators can get into a separate state and separate themselves to bits, separately. Culture sensitive people can get into a sensitive state and become extremely sensitive, while people who want to gift away parts of the country can get into a large state and gift themselves away to their heart’s content. People who want spirituality can get into their own state, manufacture all the spirit they want and spirit away whomever they want, spiritedly. People who want sports bodies can get a state full of sports bodies that they can head to their heart’s content – god only knows why.

Get it? Everyone gets together with similar thinking people from all over and practice what they truly believe in without being bothered by a bunch of self-righteous chaps. Demand, get yourself into a state and start a happy community. I now demand a Ministry for Unreasonable Demands instantly. Any unreasonable demand, the Ministry will entertain, classify and create a new state for it if it is already not there. 

But first and foremost, I demand a state for those who have no demands. A separate state called peace of mind. Far away from the others preferably!

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