I thought that I will not write the yearly round-up this year. Nobody can force me to do so. I also suffer from the psychological problem in hesitating to narrate a story of grief, more so when a considerable section of the Indian society has got tuned to believing the false propaganda of success today and a false vision of a great future tomorrow. I still decided to write because I should not shy away from difficulties, clarify my own perspective and share it with those who care to read.
Taliban Wins Afghanistan
Taliban, a religious terrorist organization won Afghanistan soon after the US withdrew from the region. It was bad for the Afghan people and shameful for the world.
China Flexes Muscles; US Declines
China’s emergence as a rising super power continued and the US continued its decline. The throwing away of Trump by the US society last year was good but Biden failed to live up to the expectations of the free liberal world.
The Stupid Lockdown and Tragic Migrant Crisis
In January our beloved PM, emboldened by the support he had received for the stupidity of demonetization, took, without consulting anyone (as usual) the decision to impose a lockdown. The migrant labour crisis that ensued showed the sad truth of the indifference of the administration towards the poor and those who cannot form a ‘vote-bank’. Hope only came through the actions of common citizens and one name that comes to my mind-Sonu Sood. The great government that we have elected did not ignore his good work (which the government should have done) by rewarding it with a tax raid on him (please pardon my love for black humour!).
Covid Second Wave
Covid was the biggest story of the world. India suffered the second wave because of the pandemic and more so because of leaders whose focus were elections and “Kumbh-Mela” and thereafter the usual cover-up of false propaganda. Practically all of us suffered tragedies among the near and dear; I also lost my maternal aunt and uncle. There was hope in this tragedy when people took initiative to help each other when the administration had failed. I was a beneficiary of such help. Rakesh bhai, helped me with an oxygen concentrator, Pankaj the Chief Justice of J&K helped my aunt get a bed and Anil, a doctor class-mate, helped save my nephew. Officially, of course, there was no paucity of beds, oxygen or floating dead bodies in Ganga. We still had humour left in us because we said, “Dhanyawad Modiji” (for not inflicting even greater misery on us)!
Economy and Employment
Incompetent governance showed up in the economy suffering and the state of rising unemployment.
Education and Health
Education and health suffered due to the pandemic as much as due to government’s incompetence.
India’s democratic institutions kept losing ground to the executive and parliament became a joke. The judiciary, some high courts and The Supreme Court under the present CJI, at times, showed some spine in words and a very few deeds like preventing MoS (Home) from getting away with murder.
Religious Hatred and Violence
The spread of religious hatred and violence generated by the BJP because of the UP elections is tragic. This will only increase because attacking a half-dead Pakistan appears difficult with China deeply entrenched there in CPEC. Hence creation of an internal enemy is vital for the consolidation of Hindu votes for the political survival of the BJP. This will only increase till the crucial elections get over.
The Kashi show by our beloved great actor PM in Dec converted India into a laughable theatre. There are a lot of people loving it, which is even more laughable.
Slight Hope: Bengal Elections
Despite the immense black money and the misuse of all agencies, the BJP was defeated in the Bengal elections. Mamata is an autocrat and a highly flawed leader. However, she along with Prashant Kishor showed how the BJP can be defeated.
I am sure students of history will laugh at the joke that a comedian called Faruqui was locked up not because he cracked an unpleasant joke but because he was expected to crack one! This is called humour for posterity.
The united farmers fought against an arrogant government flush with corporate funds (and in support of their agenda), a bought media and a few bought economists promoting the three laws which were passed unconstitutionally and won. They showed to others that unity, perseverance and non-violence can win over falsehood and provocation even in the new India.
A Gold medal in athletics in the Olympics by a young Army man, the first ever medal in athletics was a reason to celebrate.
Hockey Bronze Medal
The mens’ Hockey team winning a bronze medal in the Olympics was great and so was the near miss of a medal by our women’s team.
No Frills Academy
The students of No Frills Academy continued their steady upward graph. It was heartening to note that our students strived to become a better version of themselves and sought the truth for themselves, despite the environment in the country, work place or college or home adversely influenced by the government’s false propaganda and similarly the misinformation spread by the SSB coaching academies and websites. Despite girls not being more than 5% of our strength, their representation among the group coordinators and thus influencers of the No Frills Academy society remained heartening. Our culture of accepting, “other’s point, in case he/she can give better logic” has kept us on the growth path. Our students continued to help and encourage each-other and made No Frills Academy a society worthy of being a part of. I feel privileged to be associated with these young boys and girls. As has been in the past, I was harsh with a lot of my students this year too; I am trying to improve by learning from them and promise to be better in 2022.
· 2022 will be slightly better than 2021 because hopefully Covid and its variants would take a back-seat and normalcy to life would return without any hope from the Indian government doing anything noteworthy, ((unless of course you consider Modi’s image on the vaccination certificate or the ration bag as great work).
· If BJP wins UP elections, then India’s political and economic future will continue the decline it has been suffering under the Modi misrule since 2014. If BJP loses the UP elections, then a weakened Modi will be forced to act more on the people’s issues rather than only religion and pseudo-nationalism.
· In short, 2021 was one of the worst years in recent world and Indian history and 2022 will hopefully be slightly better. Happy New Year all the same!