Monday, 2 June 2014

Patriot Games

     The recent elections brought out the patriotic fervour amongst the nation’s populace. They fought over the country, for the country and within the country! The social and other media threw up quite a few of the ardent patriots who were all extremely concerned about the future of the country.  A closer inspection of the various opinions expressed and their modus, by the patriots of this great nation, revealed quite a few categories into which these patriots can be classified according to their proclivities.

The Cubicle Patriot:  These are the IT wizards who can in a blink of an eye conjure up an app with a wave of their left hand and simultaneously code a few bugs with their right. They sit in their 2 x 2 cubicles in gargantuan, space age, glass façade buildings,  that shuts out the sun, but lets in the light. They set out to fight the disbelievers on facebook, chat rooms and similar battlefields in the virtual world,  using jingoistic aphorisms and extreme obscenities as their primary weapons. This patriot does not know fear. Age, race, size, and six pack abs of the opponent don’t scare them. Their obscurity is their shield.

The Cocktail Circuit Patriot:  These are the wine glass clinking, high heeled or leather soled (depending on the gender), elitist, party hopping patriots, who are hard pressed to serve the society by doing “social work” during their free time. They move about in the higher echelons of power, are often visible on visual and print media and their opinions are bandied about with absolute authority as the defining prognosis for the future.

The Activist Patriot: These are the foreign /corporate funded, cause-driven or deemed to be driven, activists whose views are accepted as unbiased, as long as the source of their funds are unknown. These activists would travel abroad to different countries and speak about the ills of particular parties/ individuals and their detrimental effects to world peace if not stopped in time. They would implore upon the world nations to help the country, scoff at any perceived slight to the national pride and consider themselves as citizens of the world than being restricted by boundaries.

The Google Patriot:  These are variants of the cubicle patriots, but harder working and better informed. They will google and research, facts and figures, and argue with gusto, about the merits and demerits of the case that they venture to espouse. Every argument would be well researched with the help of google and thus helps them to counter even the field specialist in a particular profession, who would hardly have the time to google past history in his professional pursuit. These patriots usually win their arguments without much competition unless faced with the Cubicle patriot who may, at the prospect of defeat, use his vilest weapon to counter google.

The Communist Patriot:  These are the surviving few of the erstwhile communist way of life, for whom China forms the shining example of progress and development and Mao the living God! (Err dead god….. no… non living god … …. whatever) They would find problems with the national policy of the government in case of any  issues with China and if questioned about their patriotism and loyalty, have the answer ready for any doubting johnnies, “We don’t have to prove our patriotism to you !”

The Intellectual Patriot:  These are the deemed “intellectuals” of the country. They could be sleazy film directors who engage in social service by launching porn stars into mainstream cinema, former bureaucrats currently engaged in full time sycophancy, litterateurs, theatre artists, song writers, kitsch novelists, environmentalists, or in some cases even film stars. They are considered intellectual enough to speak on any subject varying from foreign policy to internal security and from poverty alleviation to minority affairs.  They express their pain at the marginalized sections of the society, speak about freedom of expression and art, and even deride promises of development lest it affects the sentiments of a particular community.

 The Fauji Patriot: These are the dumb patriots. They have strong opinions on the condition of the country but since as they are governed by an Act which forbids them to discuss politics they go and drink rum with soda and under conditions of extreme disapproval at the sorry state of affairs, they drink it neat.  Then they go about their duty, wondering what the other patriots have in store for them, keep vigil at the border, get shot, some coming back in body bags and are immediately replaced by the next lot, who would have, by then, downed their couple on the rocks, wondering when sense would prevail on the rest.

The Idiot Box Patriot:  They form the majority of the population and may also be termed as the saas-bahu patriots. They are the ubiquitous middle class, mango men, who work hard for a better life for themselves and their children. They are not aware of divisions based on caste, religion or communities and often wonder what the hullabaloo is all about. Their life after work revolves around the idiot box, their opinions swaying with the intensity of the high pitched anchor on prime time. They go about choosing their party with absolute innocence, maintaining eternal hope as the only factor that decides their future.
The Political Patriot :  These are the public warriors of the country, generally found wearing white and a collapsible cap on their head, that enables them to  wear different hats for different situations. They carry their patriotism on their sleeve. For them the country is their ‘MAA”. So they profess undying love for their “MAA”,  professing their salutations, “ Maa, Tujhe Salaam” and then when elected to power, don’t mind pocketing a few crores belong to ‘Maa”. After all which mother would deny her child some pocket money from her purse.
 “ Tujhe sab hai pata……meri Maa”!

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