Avay Shukla: Acts Of God And Follies Of Man
NB: Faced with disaster and evil doing, we may either laugh or weep. Avay Shukla makes us giggle. PGW would have loved him - in the midst of imprisonment during WW2, he wrote: "I'm being kept in Upper Silesia - if this is Upper Silesia, I hate to think what Lower Silesia must be like". As we continue to enjoy Achche Din, Mr Shukla reminds us that (1) Mr Narendra Modi is the country’s sole post graduate in “Entire Political Science”; and (2), that Once upon a time there used to be news. Also that he used to play golf but has run out of balls. Cheers Mr Shukla - we'll drink a toast of gau-mutra to you while we wait for the Bright New Dawn. DS
... the government and the BJP are upping the blame game ante. They had begun by blaming the Mughals, then the British, graduated to the Gandhis ( the unoffending poor Mahatma included), moved on to Manmohan Singh and finally settled on Jawaharlal Nehru. But there is only so much earth you can pile on to a person who has been dead now for half a century, and with the mess piling up faster than you can say ” Holy shit!” some other scapegoat was needed. What better than a celestial scapegoat cloaked in unchallengeable divinity, to whom no Question Hour applies, a legal fiction which cannot be questioned on pain of a jail term?- yes, sir, blame it all on acts of God...
A “legal fiction” is an idea or a concept, which doesn’t actually exist in fact, but is mandated to exist by law or convention or belief for the larger good of mankind. Some important examples of legal fiction are: rule of law, justice, human rights, democracy, social equality. They don’t actually exist in the real world but we are led to believe that they do, for they are essential for an orderly, stable society: without them we would descend into chaos. In recent days in India even the Constitution appears to be a legal fiction. God too is a legal fiction. HE doesn’t exist (at least not to the satisfaction of science) but it is important to believe that HE does, for a pious and stable society.
But this is one fiction that the BJP-RSS combine has exploited to the hilt and used to come to power like no other political outfit has done before or after.The Ram Mandir movement and the construction of the temple in Ayodhya is the best example of this. (This was in fact an instance where two legal fictions coalesced to serve the BJP’s purpose- God and Justice, the latter in the form of the inexplicable Supreme Court judgment on the matter which laid low the hopes of one community but raised a certain judge to Parliamentary heights)
Once Upon A Time There Used To Be News
Delhi Belly: A Short Guide To A South Delhi Dinner - by AVAY SHUKLA
But fiction is something the ruling party is comfortable with, since practically all its vaunted achievements and promises are nothing but fiction, if not fantasy: economic growth, a five trillion dollar economy, eradicating the pandemic in 21 days, making India a vishwaguru, leading the world in Climate change reforms, providing ten million new jobs a year, eradicating black money, uniting the nation, revolutionising the tax structure with GST. There are more such creative chimeras, but these should do to illustrate my point, which is that our present dispensation has erased the distinction between fact and fiction. Including the distinction between its own actions and the actions of God. The official confirmation of this was the recent statement of our Finance Minister that our horrendous economic slump of -23.9% was ” an Act of God” and that therefore the Centre was not bound to pay the GST dues to the states. Actually, the Act of God too is a legal fiction!
Now, Ms Sitharaman is a deeply religious person: she doesn’t eat onions, her quotations from the ancient classics are far more authentic than her budget figures, and she believes that the mythical Saraswati river is as real as the “green shoots” of the economy- the only problem being that only she can see these chimeras, no one else. So what are we to make of this blasphemy from a devout lady, who otherwise has very little in common with that other great believer, Mr. Maradona of the ” hand of God” fame. But Maradona at least had won his match, whereas our Finance Minister seems to be losing hers.
Her Delphic statement has befuddled political commentators and economists, who in any case are not known for their clarity of thinking. Even rampaging TV anchors have taken their eyes off Rhea Chakravarty and Kangana Ranaut (a difficult feat, I must admit) to decipher this observation. ..