KROOKSHETRA

THIS ONE IS OLDER THAN THE STORY OF THAT MIGHTY BATTLE (OR was it BATTLEGROUND?).

So where is Krookshetra? Is it nowhere, like Utopia; or everywhere, also like Utopia? Somewhere, where we are constantly arriving as Oscar Wilde would have us believe.

If it is out there, somewhere; then perhaps we could vanquish it – Good over Evil story – and live happily ever after?

If it lies within then the story gets a little complicated and painful. Perhaps it is neither there nor here? Maybe it’s Elsewhere.

But no matter where it is, our daily bread and wine (or whisky?) is made on this ancient battlefield.

Kurukshetra - Fair is foul, foul is fair

The victory of Evil over greater or lesser evils. “Fair is foul and foul is Fair” kind of realism. Or as some would prefer, the victory of the more equal over the less equal; of the wealthy over the poor.

The warriors in Krookshetra do not fight for a cause but for effect; being visionary mercenaries, well schooled in the political economy of Get Rich Quick.

Their weaponry is political and their credo profit. Their forte is to lead from behind. Reminds me of the World Bank, eh?

In Krookshetra, the aam aadmi, armed to the teeth with constitutional dignity and freedom guarantees (not for whistleblowers yet!) and equality before the Jan Lokpal or state Lokayukts (?), nonetheless needs unaffordable professional legal services (in India) or negotiable rates of affordable vakils (in Bharat), to either get favourable judgements or keep the cases in court forever.

In Krookshetra the fight for justice is measured in neo-geological time scales (the planet is crumbling faster than you think); three generations or more, like in the Forest Rights Act.

Once in an aeon, a messiah comes along and the aam aadmi cling to him (not been a her so far) in the fervent hope of deliverance from Krookshetra.

The last time, however, it got mixed up and metaphysical; dharma, detachment, karmayoga over sundry things like roti, kapada aur makan.

But from those uncomplicated days of divine rulers and the under-ruled; commerce, colonialism, greed, markets and now globalisation have spawned a great, universal middle class that true to its credo of profit, keeps shifting the goal posts in the various multi-layered, concurrent battles extant in Krookshetra.

While we still want to Believe (in our weaker moments), it’s actually too much to aspire for fair play, given our feudal upbringing and the American dream.

So while we continue to hypocritically believe in our Beliefs, we greedily adopt the latter. Win-Win adaptation; yet deliverance remains elusive.

This time around, however, the messiah is plural and more abstract, but its message is negotiable, thanks to our messy democracy.

Those with Internet access and a smouldering compulsion to “do something” can actually have a say in the making of a law (or so they Believe) that might make Krookshetra a more level playing field?

Maybe we can now have a fighting chance in Krookshetra? The one problem is that the Enemy is now on your side, again thanks to democracy, err, elections?

So when the enemy is on your side there is this danger / opportunity of their getting elected to again lead you from behind. The Krookshetra conundrum?

There is of course this other semi-serious question of who do Parliament or state Legislatures represent anyway?

If they represented the Enemy before the Second Coming, how come they made such fine speeches on behalf of those they never represented? Corporates must be seething! So we do have a problem with representative democracy?

Not only that, in Krookshetra the warriors have this uncanny ability (god given?) to see change coming much before the aam aadmi can, and quickly evolve / adapt accordingly, like tenurial mutations in a committed bureaucracy.

Amid the high decibel victory din of imminent salvation via the Jan Lokpal, the long in waiting agenda for Reforms seems to be been given a silent burial for the good to be “interred with the bones”, much to the relief of present and future warriors of Krookshetra.

Sooner than later it would be doubled business as usual as the recent middle class convulsions of righteousness get drowned in another deluge of the retreating monsoon or the smog of Delhi.

Meanwhile, as the devious wars of Krookshetra rage on, unknown to her, the aam aurat is being quietly enrolled on the next voters list.

Elections like floods and droughts are quick buck making business. How we the aam janata and the Media covering Krookshetra (24×7) look forward to them.

Meanwhile, the sons, daughters, nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters-in-law or even trusted musclemen of our chosen leaders have already joined some Dance of Democracy school to get into shape to succeed their geriatric sponsors.

And Elsewhere to shape the things that come to be in Krookshetra.

Nodnat - is a pen name that the writer with deep knowledge of Himalayan flora and fauna and a keen environmentalist has adopted. He hails from Kotgarh, in Shimla Hills and retired as Principal Chief Conservator of Forests from Himachal Pradesh forest department.

1 Comment

  • Hi,

    Interesting write. I must comment on the basic comparison of Kurukshetra and todays politics, or should I say todays world. It has always been this, I think, just the characters kept changing. However the war will would still go on for another few years. Yes, I believe so and have a very strong reason for my believe.
    If you look at todays world it has gone smaller and smaller, internet has played its trick and we way ahead of ourself without even knowing it. Today world is changing even faster. Economy is more fragile and rapid. Politics seem more interesting then ever. Societies are becoming aware. Facebook is growing even faster. Well all seem so planned at the same time chaos! Its the beginning of a new era. According to Hindu calendar 2012 is the year of Ananda (joy) so I am optimistic for some more revelation in this year and a better today.

    Keep up the good work.

    Cheers

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