Wednesday, 28th June, 2017

The Star Pracharak

22, Mar 2017 By Manpreet Singh

Interval 0: (एक गहरी शाम)

Once a man climbed on to the ledge of the high rise party building. I’m not sure what his name was. May be his name was “unemployed engineer” or “raped acid-bathed” or “used minority” or “foolish majority” or  may be “indebt farmer”. But for the sake of simplicity and we can call him the “poor public”. Who knows what his real name was. And frankly who cared about him until he climbed on to the ledge of the high rise party building and stood right next to the party flag. And he was about to jump. So at that moment the party body of course woke up with a लहर of nationalism and patriotism and some religious-ism and of course विकासism. After many meetings (another name of fighting over the chair) it was decided to send the Star प्रचारक himself to talk the suicidal man safely down from the ledge.

Interval 1: विचार विमर्श

It would have been a huge scandal and literally atomic मसाला for the opposition party if the suicidal man had jumped. Imagine dead body of the general, nobody, uncared  “poor public” on the party building lawn. That alone was far worse to imagine than any 11. I mean the party of course knew that a dead body in itself posed no threat but the negative publicity it would project. The news channels, real and fake will make demons out of them. The party saw another angle to it as well. They saw an opportunity. This situation can be turned around. It can be demonetized and remonetized to their advantage. The Star प्रचारक however had doubts. And rightly so. After all, he was no counselor, no psychiatrist. He wasn’t even a family man. But he was spiritual. But that alone, the Star प्रचारक knew will not be enough. So he protested. Told the party high command, throwing his hands high, it’s beyond me. Find another man for this act. But the party insisted. They saw something in him, a talent, which even the Star प्रचारक himself was unaware of. The force was strong with him and within him. But which force? They knew. They felt it. So they argued, commanding the Star प्रचारक to proceed with the attempted rescue of the “poor public” hanging onto the ledge. The party told him, this is what you do everyday. You motivate people to vote for you. Isn’t it?. Motivate the “poor public” to come down from the ledge. The Star प्रचारक , now got irritated. He said, what absurd comparison. I agree, I drive people to vote for me and against the opposition but the stakes are different here. Normally, if I fail. I just lose the election. I can try again. Nobody dies. But in this act if I fail, the “poor public” will die. Doesn’t the party understand this, the gravity of the situation. The party chair glowed red with fiery anger upon hearing such logical statements. How dare a party member question a pre-decided logic. And yet the party chair and its चमचे and खाली बर्तन, controlled their collective anger and frustration over this act of insubordination. The party chair replied calmly, with eyes glaring like X-Rays at the Star प्रचारक Since when have you developed a अंतरात्मा. You preach sacrifice for the common good. Don’t you? And the “poor public” has been systematically killing themselves as per your prescription and necessary sacrifices of the growth of a new nation. You accept their sacrifice as a service to the cause you sell to  them as a dream. It is their patriotic, nationalistic, religious listic duty to die. On the bodies of the “poor public” who sacrificed themselves over your designs of the new nation and economy, you are and have been building your career. Is it true or not? Nobody is innocent. Those who voted for you. Those who voted against you. And especially those who didn’t vote at all. All are disposable.

Interval 2: सत्य जीत गया! शायद

The Star प्रचारक realised his excuse of an ideology presented no more defense. He had lost. So he gave in. He grabbed the party flag and started climbing up the stairs. Shouting slogans patriotic, religious or economic according to what the people on each floor desired. Alas, he reached the top and slowly approached the “poor public”. Dark, ominous clouds hung over them. It didn’t rain but got chilly. Like that chill you feel when evil is around. And after a while, the “poor public” came down. And The Star प्रचारक, well they elected him to all the top posts. May be for life. And he inspired many like him. Some spoke like him. Some dressed like him. Some even became his exact color copies. But he was the first one. Since then many have popped up almost everywhere successfully turning impressionable and weak minds alike into fruit baskets. Resultant apple, peach and especially banana republics came into existence.

Interval 3: अपशगुन

To this day, it remains a secret why the “poor public” wanted to commit suicide. May be the “poor public” felt too hurt, too let down or got simply too bored of the too poor lives forced upon them. Anyways, the Star प्रचारक never revealed the reason citing “National Security and Fanatical Majority” priviledges. Also, he did not reveal till date what he had said to the “poor public” for motivational purposes. But whatever was said to the “poor public”, took hold in their hearts. And it spread like wildfire. The “poor public” , once on the ground, starting making a list. A list of all those who it thought were against the common good. The term “Common Good” can be very vague sometimes. But it was well explained to the “poor public” by the  The Star प्रचारक. The “People’s Good” he called it. So the list with categories like the anti nationals, the censored poets, writers, actors, teachers, journalists, students and even lovers was recorded in the government computers. The people on this list  were denied the air if they breathed a bad word or raised a questioning finger or held a protesting sign. They were hunted. Once caught they were herded together. Kept under tight watch and control. This was for the “People’s Good”. It was necessary. And it was paramount and above all.

Interval 4: प्रचार नीति

Supercomputers have debated and come to this final solution. Every story has a moral. Even this one. May be different to each mind and heart. And may be even different to the heart and mind in the same person. But what is motivation? It is to create positive force of self confidence in a mind. To make them believe in themselves. So they may rise above the negativity that’s lingering in their hearts and minds. But what happened here? To take the negativity, especially fear already present in a person, and repackage it and shape it like a weapon. Give confidence that this weapon and its use is mere pious and sacrificial duty. But use it on whom? The Star प्रचारक had to teach them. How to turn their and his failures, his lies and lies the ” poor public” kept feeding itself into pure hate. But who to hate? Those who don’t hate. The Star प्रचारक taught them how to find and list and punish such an enemy. As long as a man or a woman would be born or raised to think and question, without bias or prejudice they would become entries in the list of those who are against the “people’s good”.

अन्तर्यामी अंत

तो मित्रों, आपसे निवेदन है की याद रखें इस कहानी के सभी पात्र, स्थान और घटनाएं काल्पनिक हैं | सच्चाई से कोसों दूर | क्योंकि सच हमें यूँ भी देखने और समझने से परहेज़ है |

The ” poor public’s” most common talent is in fact – to look without seeing, to listen without hearing, mainly to live as if in a trance, channel surfing, bored of anything and everything. Switching from one bad channel, only to find the next worse or little worse, but keep at it like a habit. An illusion of improvement, of hope, of a dream implanted in their minds by The Star प्रचारक.