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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Gained in Translation: One big scandal

To murder the ones who raise questions or speak up their ideas and thoughts has become commonplace.

Written by Malika Amar Sheikh | Updated: October 29, 2017 8:08:51 am
india, democracy, free speech, Malika Amar Sheikh, india politics, india society, indian express To murder the ones who raise questions or speak up their ideas and thoughts has become commonplace. And these murderers roam free.

By Malika Amar Sheikh

One big scandal is unfolding around us. The psychological, emotional, ideological, social, and political landscapes have turned atrocious, callous, brutal, and inhumane. On the face of it, everything looks normal, as if driven by an artificial mechanical system. People are en route to work, hanging on precariously in an overcrowded 9.25 am local train, dangling inside the belly of a bus like a foetus in a womb. People are engrossed in chitchatting on mobile phones, computers, laptops, Facebook, and Twitter. Small slaves called ‘children’ are being torn apart mercilessly in the rat race, following the instructions of parents.

Mother kills her children; children kill their parents. Like fruits on a tree, farmers are seen hanging to trees. Political leaders are immersed in engineering devious gameplans to checkmate their opponents. People are drowning in waterlogged cities as if ants and insects. People are getting crushed in crowds. Pedestrians do not have empty, spacious roads and bridges that are safe enough to walk on; even then, bullet trains are being built.

Long skywalks are rendered useless as the location is not favourable for commuters. Metro trains run in semi-rich cities with two vehicles per household; however, from among the hundreds of cars, nobody will sell a car and use the train service. Communication between parents and children is plummeting. The octopus of globalisation is swallowing cities. Mountains are being hollowed out. Sand is being sold; even children are being sold. Mother’s wombs are being hired on rent.

To murder the ones who raise questions or speak up their ideas and thoughts has become commonplace. And these murderers roam free. Democracy now has an invisible whip and we, the people, have become like monkeys riding bicycles in a stadium, or like lions, tigers, and bears jumping through rings of fire, or like ‘Well of Death’ bike riders. Every day we circle the well of death as we embark on a watch’s wheel of time. We are struggling to balance our lives on the high rope of inflation, performing trapeze acts for work and money. Every day we sit in the cannon of terror and shoot to work —with blinded eyes, we just try to make a mark with the knife of words.

Even so, we are calm — an awful, inhumane calmness, heartless nights, unpitying people. To what have we brought this beautiful Earth and how have we made it poorer, helpless, and ugly! There’s no second Earth in this universe. Plus it will take billions of years to make a man. How fast have we learnt to destroy each other! According to Darwin, man evolved from a monkey. But now, man has got reduced to a monkey. I fear, bit by bit, we are turning into primitive hunter-gatherer groups who can cross all limits of violence when it comes to hunting. What is the solution? Words. In a way, if you have headphones plugged into your ears, you cannot listen. And if we also decide to shut our eyes and close our ears, then that too is suicide.

 

Malika Amar Sheikh is a Marathi writer. The article was translated from Marathi by Rushikesh Aravkar

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