Bruised, battered and beaten, a tired nation stares back at me. “What’s wrong?” I ask concerned.

“We can’t take being pushed, pulled and pummeled every moment of the day!” cries the nation, “Either it’s a lynching mob stringing up someone, or government agencies being manhandled by a meddlesome centre, or currency snatched out of the hands of the poor!We are tired!”

“Broaden your vision!” I tell the nation sternly, “Look at what is floating there above the clouds, dwarfing even Trumps New York statue! Look at the world record it has created, and yet you say, you are fatigued and tired? Raise your eyes and see the loftiness of our achievements!”

“Farmers are committing suicide!Riots and morchasfor more reservations break the fibre that holds us together!” cries the tired voice.

“Imagine the speed of the bullet train!” I reply, “Picture the world looking at us enviously, as this technological marvel races from city to city and back!”

“Look at the speed of those motorbike riders and scooterists!” whispers the nation, “All of them riding on pavements or on the wrong side of the road in your biggest cities, knowing no policeman will stop them, as today the mobs rule!”

“Just imagine our country,” I said proudly, “a nation which will have one single diet followed by all the people, where fruits and vegetables will be our only food. One nation, one diet! What a picture of culinary unity we will be to all the world!”

“Hear the poor!” whispers the nation, “As their pangs of hunger are replaced by forces of misguided communal anger! As drinking water pleas get exchanged for one religion for all! Where, a roof over their heads is forgotten, for mandir or masjid! Where local leaders who can’t repair potholes rush to construct religious structures elsewhere!”

I look at the nation, as it stares back at me helplessly, “Read how we are becoming the fastest progressing nation!” I cry, “That soon, we will replace half the world or more, the way we are going!”

The nation shakes its head and staresaghast at me, “Progress for whom?” asks the nation, “For a people who by then will be too petrified to speak up? With courts filled with judges, who have been handed their verdicts beforehand? With police instructedwith which community to arrest and whomto free?”

I look menacingly at the nation and say severely, “You need to broaden your vision!”

“I have been broadened to breaking point!” sighs the nation, “And any more stretching, will tear apart the delicate threads that bind me as one unitedcountry!”

I laugh mirthlessly as I salute the statue and the train, steadying myself, as I feel the seams of my nation rupturing under me..! 

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