“You are an ungrateful people!” I shout, as bruised, battered and beaten, a tired people stare back at me: “We can’t take being pushed, pulled and pummeled every moment of the day!” cry the people, “Either it’s a lynching mob stringing up someone, or government agencies putting people in jail! We are tired!”

“Broaden your vision!” I tell the people sternly, “Look at what is standing there above the clouds, dwarfing even the Liberty 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 morchas for more reservations, or for scrapping laws isolating communities, are breaking the fibre that hold us together!” cry tired voices.

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

“Look at the slow speed of motorbike riders and scooterists!” whisper the people back at me, “All of them falling into potholes and coming out bruised and injured or being brought out dead!”

“Just imagine our country,” I say 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!” whisper the people, “As their pangs of hunger are cleverly refocused to thoughts of misguided communal anger! As a woman’s cry for safety is exchanged for one religion for all! Where, a roof over our heads is forgotten, for mandir or masjid! Where local leaders who can’t repair the economy rush to construct religious structures elsewhere!”

I look at the people as they stare back at me helplessly, “Read how we have the second wealthiest man in the world in our midst, even richer than Bill Gates and others! See how far he has progressed in amassing his billions at lightning speed!”

The people shake their heads and stare aghast at me, “Progress for whom?” ask the people, “For youth who are employed? Journalists who are too scared to write the truth? Opposition leaders who have the ED at their door if they oppose too much or don’t cross floors?”

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

“We have been broadening to breaking point!” sigh the people, “And any more stretching, will tear apart the delicate threads that bind us together as one united country!”

“You are a silly, ungrateful people,” I say, and laugh scornfully at them, as I salute the statue, the new Parliament building, the picture of the second richest man, and the speeding bullet train..!

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