Nothing Personal: Mr. Tirupathi and Any Mr. Milekani
Am I a Hindu American or a Christian Kolkatan???......
In search of better answers, I visited the Durga Temple (in Bangalore) after a gap of about 20 years, around the time when Secretary Hilary Clinton was visting India! I was not uncomfortable.
Long time ago, while I was working as a petty employee in Bangalore, I got into a masive tension with Tirupathi once. Being a Bengali, I had known people born near Bakreshwar, Tarakeshwar and the Golden Temple. All of a sudden, I met someone whose family owns landed property near Tirupathy (I did not believe him). I realized that I did not know about Tirupathi since He was not popular in West Bengal. Later I made a trip to The Tirupathi Temple once, and felt as if I had come to the "Bay Area" in California. I could not make to the shrine for a darshan, but subsequently I followed up my intentions in Bangalore by visiting a Tirupathi Temple several times. I was not uncomfortable either.
What if Mr. Tirupathi were to raise a family? All the slums I had visited in India or abroad had very poor people raising families. Often I wondered why I could not raise a normal family when poor people around me could do? Is my 'baro-loki thant' or 'gariber ghora roge' to blame? Partly yes; and partly "what kind of family to raise?". The answer to this question is described as the class character of development by (pseudo)-Marxists.
Now imagine if Mr. Tirupathi were to get the unique identification card as required by Delhi Government! I was worried the first time I came to know of the proposal! My students and me could not have gotten any permanent jobs at the ITPL (Whitefield). So photo-Id (salaried) is out of question. Ration card is not possible --- and the associated tension regarding availability of bank accounts, school admissions, voter Id, cooking gas, kerosene oil, drivers' licence etc. etc. could embarrass you to death. The Gandhi Family and the Singh Parivar found the unique identification card as the panacea for Indians. What happened is that I lost my PAN card, and I do not know who and how one would give me the unique Id, despite the good intentions of the Gandhi Family and the Singh Parivar.
As I read about the problems of the Naxals in West Bengal, I was feeling sad --- they could be my brother, and even myself. Would the intentions of the Delhi Management solve the problem of the Naxals, or would it just ignore the starving poor for the sake of centralized industrial development, be it Fascist or Stalinist? I am worried about my own food only, and I guess Mr. Tirupathi nurtures the same mistrust about intentions of Delhi...
Note: Mr. Tirupathi ---- a Hindu conservative stereotype that may appear in my writing for the Law Degree (equivalent of the US J.D.). The Hindu God is described by the Hindu theologians as the "Lord of Seven Hills" and the "Protector of Hindu Philosophy", as represented by "Keshava dhrita meena sharira (Sans.)"
Mr. Milekani: refers to Mr. N. Milekani, the infotech bigwig, formerly of Infosys;
Singh Parivar: Refers to the political organisation and the economy developed by Mr. Manmohan Singh, the PM of India
Gandhi Family: Refers to the political organization and the economy develoed by the famous Gandhi-Nehru Family.
Sep 6, 2009