Posted by Agnivo Niyogi
A decade has come to a close. Celebrations ushering in the new year, the new decade are in progress all around the globe. But in hindsight, we have ten long years, which shaped our lives, shared our sorrows, enjoyed our happiness, which together with their unmistakable anectodes, made a mark on our existence. Even a second comprises innumerable imprints of unnoticed events, ten years thus long enough to judge. However, with the caliber that i reposed upon myself, and authority unchallenged in my court of law, i wish to present an account of TEN events that defined the decade which grace pages of history henceforth.
Godhra and the riots thereafter
What a start to the decade. Barely an year old, and India witnesses the most horrific crime post Independence (save 1984 massacre of Sikhs in Delhi) of the decade. A disputed piece of land, thousands ignited in the name of religion, daggers drawn, battles lines drawn, a train added the spark. Loss of innocent lives, politics of bloodbath, and the slap on the face of Indian democracy, the episode should never be forgotten, the then Gujarat Government never spared and prayers for the departed should never stop.
We The People
The power of the “Aam Aadmy” can never be undermined. He can bring “rags to riches” story to life as well as turn the king into a pauper. While India shone, the aam aadmy reposed faith on the hand. When the evil clutches of selfish industrialists wished to rob farmers of their land, people resisted, and WON. The same people who placed great trust with a record mandate in one man’s favour, chose to turn their backs on his party four years hence. People can, and people will.
Barely can you find someone these days who does not have an Orkut account. While Twitter still remains elitist and sophisticated (although the days of sophistication are numbered) Facebook is still out of the reach of many a few. The virtual world has it all, farmers, mayors, Fraands, politicians, spiritual leaders, film stars, writers, social media enthusiasts. But somewhere the soul is missing. May be the next decade can usher in that too.
Films, entertainment etc
Finally out of the unfathomable abysses where directors like Swapan Saha, Anjan Chowdhury and Haranath Chakravarty had taken it to, Bengali cinema is on its path of resurgence. Fresh look, technically more sound, laudable music and bunch of new comer actors playing characters of their age, Bengali films are watchable. Only if the scripts were original and actors more lively! However filmmakers like Kaushik Ganguly, Srijit Mukherjee, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury along with veterans like Rituparno Ghosh, Aparna Sen, Gautam Ghoshe or Subrata Sen do paint a bright picture for the coming years.
A R Rahman
Definitely a legend (God for me and fellow Rahmaniacs around the globe), the decade belongs to him, so does the better part of the decade before it. Neither does his double whammy at Academy Awards nor does his international acclaim make him an idol for me. The man’s sheer dedication, urge to learn, LOVE for music and passion for creation make him so endearing. Gifitng us some of the best melodies of the decade (viz. O re Chhori, Desh Ki Mitti, Do kadam Aur Sahi, Ye jo Desh Hai Tera, Lukachhupi, Jaage Hain, Dreams on Fire, If i Rise) his music will never fade into oblivion, no matter how big the cynicism of Indian people is. A musician of his stature will surely tide the tides of history.
Also the decade which is scarred by bloodshed in the name of religion, the past decade is testimony to both religious terrorism, ideological terrorism, and state sponsored terrorism. While India bled time and again thanks to the “God-knows-why” enmity of our neighbouring nation, America was hunted down by her own Frankenstein. The world was pushed into war on terror which happened to outsource terror to Asian shores. Banking in on the acrimony, leftist clamourers incessantly blamed the state while right wingers got more ammunition to spit venom on whoever was averse to their fundamentalist garb. The condition is so undescribable that now even being champion of human rights invites charges of sedition and sympathising the deaths of fellow Pakistanis in floods gets you branded a terrorist. I wish Oxford comes up with a thesaurus soon committed solely to the meaning of the word.
Magic, Movies and….
“Hogworts? What’s that???” If you ever utter these words, oh lowly muggle, you will be packed off to Azkaban to perish. The frenzy seems far less than over with unconfirmed reports of J K Rowling taking up the pen again. A whole generation swears by this teenage boy who by the power of love conquers the darkest wizard of all times “He Who Must Not….AH who cares…..VOLDEMORT”. In love with the magical world from 1998 when i first read the first book of the seven book series, i like many like me spread over the world, wish Harry, Ron and Hermione to team up again for some adventure.
Voices of Freedom
No i am talking of Kashmir, i already mentioned the issue in a small note in one of the micro-article above. Freedom to live with dignity is what i am talking about. The right to love, the right to be myself, without shame, without harassment, without feeling any inferior because i do not conform to majoritarianist heteronormative paradigms. Being gay is no crime, i have the equal right to love my boyfriend and the constitution of India guarantees me that through Article 21. Justice A.P. Shah simply reminded this to “custodians of the moral fabric of society”. [And through my blog i gift Baba Ramdev a pink chaddi, you see he is doing his “Bharat Swabhiman Yatra for free, he needs clothes nah, to tide over the chilly winter?”]
Power to Women
Patriarchal mentality has never accepted the advent of dissenting voices, and hence to ensure the holistic control of the societal order, man has made the fairer sex subservient to himself, that too in the name of Nature. But women have shown their mettle and with conviction seen never before, women, from all walks of life have shown men their rightful place – the lowly dust. Sonia Gandhi, Mamata Bannerjee, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Kiran Bedi, Hillary Clinton (or for that matter Nira Radia 😉 ) have sealed their place in history as women who beat men in their own game. Now with 33% seats in the house of elected representatives in states and centre reserved for them, women miles away from running the nation. After all, she is Dashabhuja, tini je radhen abar chul o badhen.
News, news everywhere, not a line to read. I know that was a bad one. But this poor is way better than the brand of paparazzi India gave birth to in the last decade. Can you simply imagine what Kargil could have turned out to be had Arnab Goswami, Sagarika Ghoshe and zillions others (not to forget the Aaj Tak and India TV) brigade had accompanied Barkha Dutt to that bunker in Baramoolah? (Ok i do not know where that bunker was, this was just a silly try at alliteration). Ranging from the most weirdest news stories to the most audacious discussion panels, Indian media has something new to shock us all everyday. Thankfully We The people, Devil’s Advocate, Left Right and Centre or The great Indian Tamasha saves the grace of the dying medium which is supposed to present news not sell it at face value.
Technology, Sechnology Hayorabba
How many of you reading the post had a mobile phone before the beginning of this decade? Yeah i know, mobile telecom is a new hype. Yours truly got his first mobile connection in 2004. And 4 telecom service providers later is happy with India’s two leading brands (let the names be a secret). With every passing day some new technology is being invented. Started off with a phone to keep in touch with Ma while living away from home, this pocket gadget has now become my gateway to the virtual world. Once a compulsive, locacious, speaker, these days i barely talk save the sms to save my life (to my thumb’s horror). The mobile phone is surely THE thing of the decade. And if the people at apple dont stop we could soon be cultivating a garden of eden on farmville.
I hope the post was not a bore. I had nothing better to do. I love living in the past, and all through the day i thought tirelessly about how this decade changed my life. Well this post is just the social aspect of it, my other blog will give you insight into the gory private details. Happy reading and keep creating history!
[P.S. I believe i am too excited about the next decade especially ’11, so i invited an extra event into the elite 10 club. Do not mind]