A NATION OF SPECTATORS

Ill winds over our fair & lovely land blow

Each scam as it surfaces, kicks up a storm,

The big ones to hurricane intensity grow

Small scams nipped in the bud as per norm,

Others are simply forgotten and left alone

To endure the Legal course or await judicial reform!

 

Many, bogged by the struggle to survive, have no idea

What to believe as they pore over news; TV or papers,

Puzzled, perplexed, dazed and just led by the Media;

Silence of the big fish, spokesmen verbosity or IPL capers,

Is it that duplicitous journos, as they do a Raadia,

Make a killing, efficiently, like combine harvesters?

 

Democracy it was said is best though tedious and expensive,

Our experience, however, shows a sin-sinister collusion, 

Of hypocrisy, plain cheating and corruption compulsive,

Caged institutions & freedom of expression add to the confusion,

Elected, dynastic Netas’ politicking; constitutionally subversive

Making government and Governance an existential illusion!

 

We watch and look and see and stare, till we get weary,

Then go home, switch on a Soap or watch a stray, good movie,

In Election times we keenly follow, various pre-poll forecasts,

But on that blessed holiday, feel lazy and don’t go out to vote,

In daylight we build houses, but wait for dark to dump the muck,

For in our shady deals and doing, trust darkness to bring good luck!

 

‘We the People’, neither innocent nor complicit,

Our Public Memory stuffed with betrayal & scam,

Have learned to savour much that is illicit,

In song and dance or ‘where’, we give a damn,

Notice how loudly the pious guffaw & solicit,

Bawdy jokes and tid-bits juicy: straightforward sham!

 

Law abiding as we are, we have learned to ‘manage’,

If caught; hide, abscond or outsource to Caretakers,

Obliging helping hands or lawyers to control the damage,

Banks to launder black wealth and friendly stockbrokers,

All this we just watch; our Times will etch one lasting Image,

First, Last and in-between, we are a Nation of Spectators!

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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.

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