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Let them eat cake


In times when farmers in Maharashtra suffer from the aftermath of a severe drought, ostentatious displays of wealth by politicians in the state remind me of a certain Madame Marie Antoinette, Queen of France. She was of course beheaded, but what about her vain Indian counterparts?

Many political representatives, especially from Maharashtra are demonstrating unabashed displays of wealth, inherited or otherwise, while the state’s farmers battle against all the odds, natural and man-made to merely survive. This has also shown s time and again, the widening gap between the haves of the state and the have nots, and if we believe the texts on economics, we will be silent witnesses to increased crime, a direct consequence of this gap…what’s more, if the situation gets out of hand, we might even witness a revolution akin to those taken place in other parts of the world.

Crores spent on vanity and luxury; on being in the news, on and by those who don’t need to; when on the other hand there are projects and people in dire need of these funds for living a better life…better, but still modest. What is more had those funds really made a difference; this political populace would have secured a loyal vote bank. What a shame! Strategy lost for vanity!

Going back in times of the French Revolution, which took place when the French monarchy was abound in excesses, surrounded by a land in despair, when Marie Antoinette’s extravagance, gambling and excessive spending on fashion and make up became an eye sore to the point of being dubbed as ‘Madame Deficit’; when amongst other charges, she was put on trial for treason and theft, and beheaded at the guillotine; and she had not even said her infamous line on eating cakes. It took place because the people wanted monarchy to be abolished, because the farmers were displeased with the way the government and the king worked. The king at that time controlled the farmers, had charged unfair taxes and it is also said, forced them to fight in low ranks of the army. They were also forced to pay or give money or food and other valuables to often more than one Lord, who owned the land they worked on or lived on, or even just lived near.

The truest characters of ignorance are vanity and pride and arrogance, said Samuel Butler. I will add here, those ignorant, and intoxicated with power, shall one day fall and how, if they do not reign in their narcissism.

Coming back to Maharashtra and our political representatives, their jarring demonstrations of richness, their need for attention to get covered in media and otherwise (which can be seen from really distasteful photographs on birthday posters) and their hunger for legal and illegal power make me wonder if these people think that they are above the law of the land and the needs and conditions that the general public live in. If so it is time for them, especially those in key states plagued with serious social issues to open their school history text and read it well to avoid similar follies as in past.

**Please Note
Images are taken from the public domain. Some images are edited to prevent shutting down of my blog, even  though we believe in freedom of speech and thought.

*** References 
Some material referenced from this page:

An overactive social network


The heinous crimes that took place in Delhi have impacted the nation, our consciousness and have overflowed on to various social media platforms and communities. Reactions to fool hardy messages are understandable; however it’s time we think before we tweet or post them in this glocial [globally social] world, so that we do not lose sight of the main issue and give unasked for PR mileage to upstarts in our effort to slam them.

Ever since that unfortunate incident shocked the country, media and social media is back in form and action. Everyday I see tons of posts and messages directly or indirectly related to the event. But with days passing by, the social focus is shifting away from the dreadful event to either curbing such acts for good, or sharing of photos of a girl as the victim or even to who said whats. Are we using the social media rightly or are we just aiding the cheap publicity?

I will start with few recent examples to explain this in detail.
Several politicians and their likes including Babas, Sadhus, yogis, etc., are making their unasked-for opinions about the event, their thoughts on victims and perpetrators, known to the public.

These are being published in news, on websites, FB posts and messages as well as on twitter.

The question now is, what do we remember? In most cases, we remember only the name of the person who said it, than what he or she said. This is a great PR brownie for that individual. Maybe, not everyone is doing this cheap stunt intentionally, but is that not the outcome?

Can you tell me 5 things that were said last week? Or can you name 5 people who said something worthwhile? Our ire is understandable but what message are we delivering… and who is getting the benefit here?

Reaction is another of our classical traits. We want to react and express ourselves and social media gives us that platform. But then what are we discussing on such forums? We learnt in school as young kids to ignore those saying wrong things so not encourage them and their ideas; but forums like these and non-stop social platforms are spreading the comments and their authors to a great extent, especially when we post our reaction to many such unpleasant statements.

I am intentionally not quoting any examples. Look at your social media page, and judge the messages yourself.

In this very well connected globally social world, it is high time we thought for a moment before we shared a particular post or posted something ourselves, because what will be remembered is not, “Such a stupid statement”, but the Name that appears on the page that opens after you click to read it.

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