Saturday, March 5, 2011
(An imaginary dialogue between an Indian and an Egyptian, who meet at a London metro station and discuss the plus and minus points of having a democracy. Excerpts from the same...)
Egyptian: Hello, I guess you are a student at the Oxford, I have seen you quite a few times. You are an Indian, right?
Indian: You guessed it right, Mr. Egyptian. I am studying History at the Oxford. By the way, congratulations on paving the way for a democracy back at home.
Egyptian: Well, thanks! How come you know I am from Egypt?
Indian: A man with a Middle East face, with a slight tint of beard, flashing a tee of "I Love Democracy" and with a gleeful face nowadays, ought to be an Egyptian!
Egyptian: Whoa! Now I know, why you Indians top every field. We always look upon India, especially for your democracy.
Indian: Which 'democracy' are you talking about? You call it one? You still haven't discovered the dark truth behind the colorful curtains of democracy. People say, in a democracy, you pave way for your 'own' leaders but back home in India, we pave the way for a bunch of 'idiots' to rule our nation. Sadly, few idiots are in strength for the past 125 years.
Egyptian: Why you have such an opinion? Maybe you look like a Brit-born Indian, but I am shocked to hear this from a citizen of the largest democracy! Don't you know the famous definition of democracy given by Lincoln?
Indian: 'Largest democracy!' huh! And a correction, I was born in India and these words can be spoken by any Indian, even back in India. Lincoln had said "Government of people, by the people and for the people". But we Indians have changed it to "Oppression of the people, for the people and by the people!" And I can't believe you all mixed your blood and sweat for the sake of it!
Egyptian: We wanted to get rid of the monarchy. The flame of freedom had ignited the young minds not only in Egypt but also in other Middle East nations. We were desperate for it. We wanted to feel how democracy is like, and democracy does pave the way for unity.
Indian: Huh, unity? I will tell you our unity. Back home you just mention anything which can loosen the threads of unity-you say religion, region, language, caste, societies and they are ready to kill each other. When they don't even refrain from demolishing a shrine, hurting millions of sentiments, do you think their hands are going to tremble before shooting each other? And you were under democracy for so many years, still you young and old, got united at Tahrir Square, not only for a day but for weeks. You got beaten up severely, still you stood up. Don't you think you had a bigger and greater unity? Unity lies among the people and not in the system.
Egyptian: I am getting you merely. But you Indians, I see at the varsity, smile at each other, laugh with each other, spend quality time. Then how come...?
Indian: That's the great paradox of India. Indians get along better abroad than in India. Mainly because we are away from that dirty politics environment. I was born in Punjab, my family has more than 20 members including all my cousins. I feel 24 hours less for talking and playing with my little cousins, but I don't wish to go back. Some or the other day, I expect them to be here with me.
Egyptian: Okay, so what do you actually expect from Egypt and its countrymen?
Indian: Just settle all the ruckus immediately and don't let the oil prices soar. My Dad can't afford spending much on the patriarch tractor and its petrol, do you get it? See you at the varsity, my northward bound train has arrived. Bye!
(And the Egyptian waves him. still wondering....!)