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Mainstream, VOL 62 No 24, June 15, 2024

Democratic Indiaah! | L K Sharma

Saturday 15 June 2024


Once known as a country of snake-charmers, India became famous for snake-oil sellers, seen and heard all over during the parliamentary election campaign.

Wonderous ghost voters and intelligent machines appeared on the polling day. The elections publicised a modern contraption that can grant the boon to anyone with technical prowess to guide it. It creates a virtual reality, overwriting facts. In some constituencies the election results ignored the number of voters who voted. Even an inanimate machine exercised it choice on the voting day. All take elections seriously in India.

India’s Parliamentary elections did more than reinvigorating the democratic order. They re-established India as a land of miracles. What struck the foreign observers most was the sudden appearance of the Divine in human form. He intervened directly, not wanting to leave this massive exercise to humans alone. His gestures and words sent a massive wave of devotion across the country, barring a tiny part of the South.

The Avatar forecast the election results, convincing believers, and nonbelievers alike. The poll outcome belied His forecast but the faith of the devotees remained unshaken. He went on to acquire new devotees, telling the excited millions that all was well.

Time is a great peeler. Once the election results diminished the image of God, Doubting Thomas rose from within the ranks. He dared to advised God to mend His ways. This heresy shocked the believers. Nonbelievers complimented Thomas for speaking truth to power. A few wondered why Thomas remained quiet for 10 years during which every word of God had proved effective.

Doubting Thomas is no ordinary being. He commands considerable influence among God’s followers. He played a key role in elevating one of the sect members to Godhood. His heretic conduct led to differing interpretations. His words were played and replayed and much was read into these.

Some said Thomas was driven by pragmatism even though he cited noble principles. Did he want to usher in a new God? Some said No. He is trying to strengthen the present God and check the fall in His popularity. They said Thomas was trying to improve his own image, sullied because of his association with God.

More than a streak of hypocrisy was noticed in his conduct. Some said Doubting Thomas had a new God in mind because he has seen the influence of the present one waning. Doubting Thomas expects a revolt in God’s Kingdom and wants to save himself in a new dispensation. He expects to be rewarded in future for his odd act of dissidence.

Seeing an internal enemy, God went into action. He sent his messengers to assure Doubting Thomas that his advice has been taken seriously. They promised that till the next poll campaign; God would stick to the principles expounded by Doubting Thomas. No demonising of a section of the humans. No dog-whistling. No disrespect towards women. No references to a dark conspiracy to kill a nonbeliever. No blackmailing. A promise to visit every violence-hit area. God would not utter any word beginning with M. Instead of intimidating and confronting nonbelievers, He would gently seduce them and bring them under his fold.

Above all, God will deploy resources to enable Doubting Thomas to lead a new prosperous life. He will construct a fabulous new convention hall for Doubting Thomas to deliver his annual address. The sect members will be provided with enough so that they abandon the old life-style and an outdated principle of simple living.

Doubting Thomas gave no immediate response to God’s messengers. He awaits feedback from believers and nonbelievers and considering all options. He knows if this God is proved to be a false God, India will cease to be a land of miracles.

Doubting Thomas is thinking of his own reputation since he had played a key role in grooming this God. For God’s sake, he cannot endanger his sect’s security and popularity. The institution is above individuals! This is the prime principle of the sect. God must learn or vanish.

Indians await the next miracle.

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