We are a country living in denial

Updated: 31 October, 2020 05:20 IST | Lindsay Pereira | Mumbai

Our refusal to acknowledge and accept that things aren't going well around us will eventually lead to our undoing

Migrants wait outside Lokmanya Tilak Terminus for a train to Bihar during the nationwide lockdown in May. pic/Sameer Markande
Migrants wait outside Lokmanya Tilak Terminus for a train to Bihar during the nationwide lockdown in May. pic/Sameer Markande

LindNo one instigated riots across India in 1992. There was no demolition of any religious structure on purpose because that is what has been proved. There were no instigators, no ministers driving across the country in vehicles masquerading as chariots, demanding that a building be torn down. Whatever happened, did so by accident. It must have been a misstep. We were all mistaken, and any audio or video footage that exists must have been doctored. This has been decided, so it must be true.

No women or girls have been gang-raped anywhere in India. Women are sacred in this country, and millions have been spent asking us all to protect the girl child and educate the girl child. This means that women have been protected and are consistently treated as equals. There isn't a single Indian man who would dare look at a woman with disrespect. Any proof of this happening has been manufactured by people trying to tear this country down with propaganda. No children have been raped here.
It has been decided, so it must be true.

No ghettoes exist in our country. We live as one people, trusting our neighbours, welcoming people of all faiths and beliefs, celebrating all festivals as if they are our own. Ghettoes exist in other countries alone, where some groups of people feel threatened by others simply because they worship other gods. This doesn't happen here. You would have to search far and wide to find townships where people band together for their own protection. Anyone who says we aren't a tolerant nation is a liar. This has been decided, so it must be true.

No virus is transmitted within these borders. If it does infect us, the numbers are low and have always been under control. There have been reports of community transmission, fake ventilators, shortages of beds, inflated bills from private hospitals, unpaid healthcare staff, and undocumented deaths among the medical fraternity, all of which are rumours. There is no official data to prove that any of these things have happened, which means they are all untrue.

No migrants have been affected by poverty or hunger this year. The lockdown that was declared gave us almost four whole hours to prepare ourselves, and we all had more than enough time to stock our shelves, withdraw thousands from our bank accounts, buy medicines as an unnecessary precaution, and relax well before everything shut down. Migrants are used to surviving on one meal or less every day and don't care about shelter as much as the rest of us, which means things were normal for millions of them. None of them died either, because these reports don't exist. They are all alive, well, healthy and happy in their villages. You can visit them any time after a vaccine has been found and see this for yourself.

No jobs have been affected. Graduates across the country have been inundated by offers, and those with established jobs have been offered promotions and higher salaries to offset the economic impact of COVID-19. There are now more jobs than people in India, and an official statement from the government confirming this is expected any day now. There are more jobs scheduled to appear in the coming year, and we may have to invite people from select neighbouring countries to fill these positions because we won't have enough Indians to do it.

No one respects students, minorities, Dalits, or the idea of democracy more than the government we have been blessed with. Full-page advertisements in all national newspapers will declare this fact soon, provided the said newspapers do everything in their power to ensure the other rumours have been squashed in favour of real journalism and things that genuinely affect us all, such as the leisure activities of film stars.

No one in India is unhappy with the way things are going. We are living in a time of extreme happiness, and there is more hope for the future than we know what to do with. Enemies of the idea of India have been trying their best to provoke and distract us, but we are aware that our strength lies in unity. We have never let anyone divide us by caste, language, or religion, and anyone who says that we don't get along must never be trusted.

A generation from now, when our children ask what we did while the world was burning, we can tell them with pride that we did nothing because India was fine.

When he isn't ranting about all things Mumbai, Lindsay Pereira can be almost sweet. He tweets @lindsaypereira
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The views expressed in this column are the individual's and don't represent those of the paper

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First Published: 31 October, 2020 07:00 IST

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