People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 46

November 14, 2010

The Great Indian Wedding


G Mamatha


THE shaadi is over! Uh! Many were happy that the three-day event went off well. The bridegroom has come and gone, happy, at least it seems for now. For us Indians, that is what counts, na! Athithi devo bhava and if it happens to be bridegroom, then his satisfaction is over and above our satisfaction. Oh, I did not tell you whose marriage it is, isn't it? I am talking about the marriage of US and India. Clinton had come to see the bride, Uncle Bush, had come to negotiate the terms of marriage and Obama has consummated the marriage now.


All the arrangements for the marriage and preparations were grand in scale. Lots of money was spent on cleaning, clearing and decorating the venue. The prime minister himself went to receive the baraati. Special platters were prepared, hotels sealed, roads blocked and historic heritage sites closed for the baraati's visit.


As in many marriages, this too was not an easy marriage. So many obstacles had to be crossed. The groom, US, was always eagerly wooing the bride India. At last, it had succeeded after 60 years of courtship, which India had successfully resisted for most of the time. One more word. The marriage is not consensual. In a sense, it is forced – forced by the guardians of the bride, the present government.


The previous marital history of the groom is not good. Did I not tell you, this is not the first marriage of the groom? His earlier marriages with many other countries spelt disaster and ruined their families. Look at Latin America. How many countries he had courted, married and ruined. The parents of those brides, the people of those countries, fought for a divorce, some of them have secured it and are today travelling on the paths of progress. Look at Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. Of course, that does not mean that he had foregone his interests after the divorce. He still eyes them with lust and is waiting for opportunities to subjugate them once again to satiate his banal desires for profit. For this, he is using all the techniques stated in our own panchatantra – sama, dana, beda, dand. (Incidentally, experts in all these techniques are present in the baraati.) You do not understand, think of the works done by the USAID, economic sanctions, embargoes and threats. Even military occupation like in Haiti are all examples of putting these to practice.


Unfortunately (or is it due to selective blindness) the guardians of our bride, the present Indian government is blind to all these experiences and went ahead with the function. Aware of all the earlier relationships, they wanted only one clarification from the groom – that he would not openly prioritise his relationship with our neighbour. In order to please the bridegroom they even agreed to give huge dowry and accepted all the demands gladly.


Do you know what was offered as dowry? Yes, dowry that is a proclaimed offence under our law. In one film, the groom asks the bride’s father to give the raga for which he is famous for as dowry, ie, not sing it any longer. That devastates the father and the family. Similar thing is happening here too. He had asked as dowry, our agriculture, our education and our retail trade. Why these?


It seems that their country, US is facing lot of economic problems – people are losing jobs, no money to buy food and other things like that. Even the big corporations are losing money – it seems  their profits are reducing. This is making the people there angry and it seems they have voted against the ruling party there very recently. So, to satisfy the corporations we are paying dowry. Monsanto, a very big seed company is in losses this year it seems. So, if we allow them to sell their products in our country, they will be happy as their profits will increase. What will happen to our agriculture, we are not bothered – bridegroom has to be satisfied. Even at the cost of the death of our farmers!


Similarly, somebody is telling that Maine University or something like that (sorry, I do not know the English names properly) is searching for students. They are going to China and also are interested in India. Universities there are not getting money. So, they want to collect huge fees from students. So, they want our students. Do not worry if this would ruin our education system, remember it is an honour for us to enter into this relationship!


Another of their demands is that their factories will sell goods to us. If there are defects and because of that accidents, we should not question them. We still remember what had happened in Bhopal. Thousands of people died and those responsible for this big disaster are not punished. US is protecting the owners. Now the goods they want to sell are even more dangerous. They are nuclear reactors and any small accident will be very dangerous. If it happens, they want their suppliers to be protected. When oil leaked in US, they made the company pay for it and clean it. When there were problems with some brakes in some cars, they made the company take back the cars and replace them, with damages. But for much bigger things like nuclear reactors, they do not want to take responsibility. Or is it that the people who would be facing the dangers are not their country people? Or is it that the lives of our people do not have any value? Hush! do not talk about it, it is the relationship that matters!


In our state, Andhra Pradesh, in some places the bridegroom has a 'privilege'. He can go and climb 'alaka paanpu'. It is a cot which if the bridegroom climbs, means that he is not satisfied. The press secretary of the bridegroom did the same. He threatened to cancel the function by pulling out Obama from it. Our people got worried and immediately granted his request, allowed entry to eight people who are very dear to them. This is a small example of the arm-twisting that has already started.


Do you know what he has promised in return? He promised to help us in arming ourselves to protect our honour. Are you thinking that it is a big thing? Remember, he had done the same with many other people too. And in Afghanistan, it seems, he is fighting with his weapons against his weapons! Simply put, Talibans and Al Qaeda, who he is telling us that he is fighting, are using the weapons produced by him. Remember, it is only he who had in fact trained and armed them many years ago. Again, in panchatantra, the monkey ate the roti of the two cats in the name of doing justice. Just like that, he is selling weapons to our neighbours and showing that they have more new weapons than us, offering some more advanced things to us and going on repeating this process. Ultimately, we both are buying weapons with our hard earned money instead of buying food and making him happy as that creates jobs for him and profits for his bosses. Moreover, he wants us now, as we have entered into a relationship, to accompany him in all his fights – like in Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, etc. What an opportunity Sir ji, we can show our heroism!


The baraati, it comes to light now, had some inkling of information about the Mumbai terror attack in which more than 160 people had died. But they did not share it with us at the proper time, as their man was acting as a double agent. These people do not trust us, but we should trust them. They do not care for us but we should take utmost care of them. Relations, they say are built on trust. So much so for the trust here!


In the reception, it seems the song Yeh dosti, hum nahin chodenge, from Sholay was played. In that film, Vir and Jai, the eternal friends are ready to die for each other and in fact they decide who should sacrifice or place their lives at risk by tossing a coin. True friends indeed. It is an insult to play it as a symbolic expression of the relationship between the US and India. In this relationship, if situation so develops, there would be no need for a coin. Even if there is, like the one in Sholay, it too would have heads on both sides – the only difference is unlike in the film, it will be always used to make us sacrifice. This relationship is thus not between equals and is not to our benefit. All the more, it is harmful. This is a marriage arranged to loot the bride's family ie, our country. We should take divorce, if the marriage is already consummated. If the guardian does not agree, remind them that it is the 21st century – a century for the people – and throw them out.