Side Show

The travelling show known as the subcontinent’s Independence Days, with its exclusive annual performances 24 hours apart, needs some minor technological upgrading to holograph graphic moments from gladiator sport developed to perfection levels with decades of practice on the sidelines. The chicken-and-egg conundrum about bread-and-circuses societies and their leaderships notwithstanding, the possibilities latent in bringing a bullet-by-bullet account from borders centre-stage, even if for brief minutes, could far outstrip the bowl-by-bowl transmission of an insipid, jaded and fixed game, once of honourable men. Voyeuristic glimpses of real action have a proven record of whetting mass appetites, creating demand (therefore production), and spurring consumption – in other words, panacea for a slow economy.  In the short-term, the project is unlikely to face queries on the raw material front, as assessments would necessarily be based on figures, certified and otherwise, of the past quarter-of-a-century.

Officials in the capital of one of the independent entities have been holding a series of curtain-raisers, with bland details of engagements and exchanges, pertaining to sectors, durations and tolls, and disavowed any role in making the first move, quite in accord with the traditions of most transducers, and those in the other have matched them stroke-for-stroke, though understandably with more conservativism on the neem bismil kayi hongey, kayi bejaan honge theme. Wouldn’t do to make too much of deeda-e-janaan and their impact with multitudes of keepers of conscience keeping a strict vigil on the frontiers of rectitude. But for all that suppression, news has not been prevented from leaking out of the inevitable, telltale sulk, as the sourhearts have refused to trade their usual endearments, like sweets and laddoos, on this auspicious occasion. rootthey ho tou tum ko kaisey manaaoon, piyaa, bolo na, bolo na…provided the singer is still on official roles.
What had begun with mangoes and gracious salutations seems to be whimpering down to twitter handles, and grand and gregarious gestures have taken little to degenerate into pulverising flimsy huts with high-velocity and heavy calibre ammunition, deliverance from which has been slated for August 23 and 24, from representatives of diametrically opposite views on scripting forthcoming episodes. Prayers must indeed have been sent up for them to find some common minimum ground, lest the series, hooking billions, grinds to halt for want of sponsors.  If the fate of the state’s homonymic common minimum programme, rechristened agenda of alliance, is taken as an omen, the results can only be a logical conclusion.