Saturday, December 05, 2020


For decades, millions of faceless, voiceless, powerless citizens of this country have done their part for the greater common good - the forest dwellers when the nation needed minerals under their homes, the tribes and villages falling in the floodplains of ‘temples of modern India’ – dams, the farmers whose agricultural lands and homes fell in the path of ‘highways’ and ‘towns’ to development – the list is long. And as these millions left their homes to walk towards uncertain futures, the intelligentsia, perched up in their ivory towers, consoled their rapidly dying consciences with their belief in greater common good.

And now, as the farmers surround Delhi, some of the same intelligentsia are rushing to point out their problems with the farmers’ demands, their disagreement with the farmers’ methods, their apprehensions on national security, etc. etc. To the same intelligentsia I say this – if you don’t agree with farmers, so be it. But look around, try to see if that conscience still exists inside and see the bigger problems – the threat to the social fabric of this country, the threat to the scientific temper of its citizenry, the threat to the constitutional values of this republic - and then try to comprehend the real reasons of why this fight matters – of how it is bringing its citizenry together to fight a well-oiled, well-sponsored machine that divides, of how it is fighting and pushing back the state that only believes in bulldozing anyone that challenges its actions, of how the young and old, men and women, of all castes and creeds stand shoulder to shoulder serenading awake the conscience of this nation. And once you have taken a good look – shut up. Shut up for the greater common good.



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Sukhdev Singh is milking a buffalo when I call him. We are speaking after a long gap. His voice carries the same cheerful energy I remember....