Saturday, March 04, 2006
Live Commentary from the Purana Qila
So much drama, so much hype!! Yes PRESIDENT BUSH was here...But no the world didn't stop for a minute, let alone a day. He didn't have the good sense to do any sightseeing (who wants to see that old marble tomb in Agra anyway, right?) Well, we'll just wait and see if he's more "chivalrous" to the First Lady the next time round, as the PM seems to hope.
But we totally lost sight of the bush for the trees here. The protests were all well and good - I'm all for freedom of speech, of course. But the posturing, the posing, the arundhati roy syndrome (wow that woman! I mean, yes she won the Booker, yes she's pretty and articulate and writes beautifully, but how many causes and bandwagons do you jump on before someone comes along and calls you out as a...dare i say it...pseudo!!)
Or is this just a case of sour grapes as a friend and history type seems to think. That you grow so complacent in your inertia that you find fault with anyone trying to do, well anything...
So what did these protests achieve? Jack. They got the media attention for sure and the protestors who knew what they were up to (like DUTA and some of the kids) did satisfy their consciences, and maybe even their bloodlust, but what of the political angle? How many points did the Left and the SP prove? Dragging in villagers by the thousands... And an all-Muslim rally? Puh-leez, like you believe that Bush is the enemy of Islam. Let's not be naive here...gun lobby, check, oil lobby check, and the Jewish lobby, check check, but if the good ol' President and other gora leaders can find any moderate Islamic types ESPECIALLY at this point, they're more than happy to jump in (for the image of it, at the very least)
But I'm digressing. What was disappointing was that there were no Bushisms! Not one was picked up. C'mon mr president! Laura Bush did her first bleeding heart lady bit. But unfortunatley, other than that (and the N-deal, which has been hammered home to all of us, is a REALLY BIG DEAL) he didn't really leave us with much.
The image that will stay with me is the incongruous one of a sign saying 'Bush is a bastard'...the camera pans down to the girl holding the sign, barely like 7 years old or something. Give me a break.
I do think the Iraq invasion was truly appalling and let's not even get to Afghanistan or Gitmo or the human rights violations the US (not just the Bush administration mind you!) is responsible for...
But the fake plastic-ness of the whole organised protest endeavour (except maybe the passionate students calling bush a terrorist and criminal, spouting the same tired old insults) well, for the most part, it just made me feel really old, really jaded.
But that's the beauty of the freedom of speech...you're free to protest and I'm free to protest your protest. Ad nauseam. But mind you if you were genuinely protesting, with some amount of conviction, more power to you, I say. The rest of y'all get carried away way too easily.