|Photo credit: dnaindia.com|
"It is necessary for every person who stands for progress to criticise every tenet of old beliefs (if) reason is the guiding principle of his life. "- Bhagat Singh
“The only religion that is fashionable is patriotism” – Swami Vivekananda
Not a sermon but you are best to choose your side and allow me do the wittiest best I can do.
"Look at your eyes" the eye specialist said donning a thick lens “they have swollen like table tennis balls"
"Oh really?" I asked. I was soon reminded of a neighbour‘s son who armed with his new found love of table tennis bat posed a potential threat to anything that looks similar to a TT ball. I vowed not to go near him.
"If you keep watching TV like this I assure you with two lawn tennis balls popping out below your head" he concluded.
"But there is so much going across the nation" I reasoned " My nationalism and freedom of expression both are at loggerheads, people are marching, sloganeering. It's all over the news"
"Oh, nonsense. You can have them some other day.The news channels are not going anywhere"
"It’s not only the news channel but the question of my nation. We got to protect what is right even at the cost of our own lives" I asserted.
The doctor beamed light from his made-in-china torch straight into my eyes and said "I don’t care about your life. But at the cost of your eyes, you can go ahead"
Sarcasm? Wasn't it friends? But beaming an alien light from made-in-China torch into my made-in-India flesh during a make-in-India week boiled my blood out. How unnationalistic?
"But doctor I have just subscribed an only News add-on pack that serves me a hot fodder for thought."
"Subscribing for news channels and expecting a reasonable and neutral debate is like betting on Ishant Sharma for a last ball six. The hot food it serves will melt your sense faculties. Stay away from them, I say ".
His words were harsh on my ears and set-top box. Having succumbed to anti-TV propaganda, I pursued other alternatives.
"Laptop doctor. can I fondle with it?" my hopes exalted. A laptop and a free wi-fi could be a better alternative to a TV. Before your own view suffer a mutation by biased hubub of news anchors, google out safely and cling to news that keeps your own view afloat. Together they can also be lethally used to infest social media with your enlightened political opinions. When others conspire to strangulate your idea of patriotism or freedom of speech then these modern day weapons can fire canons of vindictive posts, comments, trolls and advices on your adversaries.
"No. Not even a smartphone" rebuffed the doctor.
Then and there I heard on the backdrop a naggingly long melancholic tone- like a background score played when 60s Bollywood Maa was forcibly separated from his son.
The air became too heavy to breathe. The thought of isolation from the unreal social world and confining myself to the horizons of the real world was suffocating. If abandoning TV was setting aside materialistic needs then leaving social media was instant nirvana I didn’t aspire for. If ever I felt what it means to be separated from soul it was then.
How would I survive without poking my nose into nationalistic fervour doing rounds in the social media. How can I not see and comment "Bharat mata Ki jai" 'if I am the real sapoot of Bharat mata' as one of the post claimed yesterday? Or how much I’ll miss being edified by a self-acclaimed laureate’s post over need to preserve freedom of speech in the same way as Egyptians have preserved their mummies.
How can I abstain from spilling my thoughts on the timeline and keep my self busy in calculating like, comment and share statistics ? Overblown by a convulsion of thoughts I receded into My World which I annoyingly share all the time.
I observed the doctor was lecturing in detail about my medical complication:
"You just contacted Acute Myopic Nationalistic Disorder. A type of retinopathy prominent to eyes, which shuffle between news debates in an attempt to devour all the information at a go. Persons exposed to both hindi and english news channels are more vulnerable to it than those who stick to a one language debate because of variations in severity of discussion in both language. Because of disoriented news radiations, the nationalistic cells in retina sends disrupted signals to mind which are contrary to those perceived in a normal human being."
He further added “A long exposure to such views may result in a Ideology Cataract when every other individual possessing an alternative view on patriotism or right to criticize looks like an imminent threat to your freedom of expression. At last, it may result to complete blindness and chaos of mind. “
The doctor went on to suggest few medications depending upon the extent and nature of damage.
“Two pills twice daily of NDTVinadozole-5mg and IndiaTodaylometazoline-10mg when the vision is restricted fundamentally to nationalism and patriotism. The tablets would suppress the BP-Bhartiyata Pressure (Pressure to meaure Bhartiyata levels in blood)- to below normal level. So much so that you will nauseate even at the thought of someone labelling you Indian.”
The doctor supplemented “Two tablespoons of TIMESNOWelchol syrup and one tablet of Zee-ncovit 5 mg when BP reaches at a threateningly low level and the call of nation demands violent eruption of patriotic feelings. It will invigorate the Bhartiyata level in blood at any cost.”
I thanked doctor for his diagnosis and was happier to possess a prescription laden with strong medication to support my sick leave in office.
Before leaving the chamber I enquired “ Doctor! What if my eyes don’t fall asleep at night even after these medicines?”
“Ah, don’t bother” he drifted his hand in air to play down my concern and uttered something which for me proved to be the Baap of all anaesthesia “A shot of DDNewsallwellstatic injection………….. at primetime “.
Thankyou for reading.