go forth and…

Srk-2A television channel proclaimed an Indian of the Year last week, an actor who recently crossed forty. This week another channel will announce another Indian of the Year, and the names of the final contenders are constantly flashing at the bottom of the TV screen. Over the weekend a third channel reached the final stages of selecting a man to lead India from among three finalists on the basis of SMS votes: the men each speak for a minute before a panel of judges and anxiously wait to hear their scores; after the show has ended they vigorously campaign for SMS votes. I haven’t learnt in what role the winner will lead India. A kid, barely ten, who is competing for a singing championship on television (again through SMS) spoke his wish with his whole frail body yesterday: “Bharat ko aage badana hai*!” Again yesterday, a team of superb orators, men and women, spoke of the Indian woman and how far she has come, how empowered and achieving she is. “The man is threatened by her emergence,” they averred. One of them, a good looking man with a nice beard and a fine tongue, said the Indian male has withdrawn to allow the wife to bring in the bread while he savors the good life. That opinion met with acceptance on stage but mild confusion fleeted on the faces of young women in the audience.

The clamor for achievement has reached a level of decibels that has left me breathless somewhat.

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*I should take India forward!