Mainstream Weekly

Home > 2024 > Jobs, bread butter issues instead of communal talk . . . | Humra (...)

Mainstream, VOL 62 No 24, June 15, 2024

Jobs, bread butter issues instead of communal talk . . . | Humra Quraishi

Friday 14 June 2024, by Humra Quraishi


Disturbing news…hitting, as those tragic details come to the fore of over 40 Indians dead in the devastating fire in Kuwait. Just a day back came in reports of two Indians killed in Ukraine while fighting for the Russian army.

Till date no feedback on those Indians who’d left for Israel, seeking employment, even after being fully aware of what the military might of Israel is capable of unleashing. After all, the ongoing killings of the Palestinians by the Israeli forces is a chilling reminder of the unthinkable levels and magnitude of sheer havoc and severe forms of violence!

If only there were adequate employment avenues open for Indians in their own country, then perhaps, none would move out. The basic crux is that there are no jobs for hundreds and thousands of our unemployed! And none seem in sight. So where do our unemployed go! Either sit starving here in their country or rush towards foreign lands.

Another related factor, and a scary one at that, is homelessness. Even today, in the midst of this severe heat and dust, homes are getting bulldozed in Lucknow. Hundreds of homes were bulldozed yesterday in Lucknow’s Akbar Nagar Basti. And it’s said to be an ongoing demolition. So where do the homeless head towards? No destination seems in sight in the midst of this severe heat; rising temperatures coupled with poverty!

And there seems little hope of any betterment at the governance level. Yes, a new government formed at the Centre and ministers allotted their portfolios. Now what? Are any chances of our collective betterment expected? Or will the old tactics and stale distractions come into play?

The ghosts of the earlier communal frenzied moves still seem to hover around. And though there’d been condemnation of hate speeches but till date no halt. The rulers can get away with just about any of those provocative communal utterances!

And with avenues and platforms for protests made to shrink, so where does the citizen protest? It would be significant to point out that the second an average citizen raises his or her voice there could be chances of the aftermath.

Slurs and accusations are thrown in the way. It seems easy for the political lot to throw a bunch of third-class accusations at any of the protestors! And get away with that.

Perhaps, it will be handy to keep in mind the recent findings of ADR. Those absolutely vital detailed reports focusing on the criminal backgrounds of several of the members of parliament. What about any of the follow-ups? It is vital to get updates on them so that the masses are well aware of their representatives.

These election results did go on to show that the masses are awakened after a long slumber. They are beginning to realize the sheer significance of peaceful co-existence and also of the genuine issues to be focused on.

None of the useless communal dripping one or two-liners…complete halt to hatred!

As I have been writing all along, in a functioning democracy it doesn’t really matter if there are Hindus or Muslims or Sikhs or Christians at the helm of affairs but apprehensions do arise when the democracy is weakened with constant dents and the very destruction of the basic foundation.

If Only It Could Rain!

Sitting in this unbearable heat and dust, I’m reminded of this couple, Asha and Vishwanath Sahai. I had been meeting them at the home of the Dhrupad singers/ renderers – Dagars…Both were closely associated with Ustad Nasir Zahiruddin Dagar (popularly called Bamaji). And Vishwanath recounted this “unique experience” to me when I was writing my book on the Dagars.

“One summer evening, when the family had to be in Jaipur and Bamaji had to stay back, Asha and I were sitting with him after my class (taleem) when we requested him to sing as it had been a while, he suggested we wait for it until the following day. He would always smile and say “artist kay mood ki baat hai”. Patience, in any case, is a virtue for any disciple regardless of the discipline…We were always delighted to hear him, as it took us to a meditative space that I found difficult to be in on my own. It was pure bliss…Came the next day and we were in his presence on that quiet hot evening – even the birds were not stirring. Bamaji was in his room and nanhay mamu (Bamaji’s cousin) also happened to be sitting outside at that time…Possibly, as a reward for the patience and the severity of the weather, he started the alaap part of ‘Miyan-ki-Malhar’. It continued for about an hour when he suddenly stopped and said “I feel we can continue this on another day, aaj kuch aur sunaa-tay hain”.

Because of the break, I went out to the living room where nanhay mamu observed that we had a mini shower and it had become a bit bearable. I could not believe it, until I went out and saw for myself that it had indeed rained briefly!

One can only say that he stopped ‘Miyan-ki-Malhar’ as he did not want us to feel that he was responsible for the showers, in any way!”

ISSN (Mainstream Online) : 2582-7316 | Privacy Policy|
Notice: Mainstream Weekly appears online only.