Children’s Day

How do I celebrate Children’s Day? Is there anything to celebrate? My head reels when I think about it. Many things are rushing to me. Which should I put? And if I put, how? Should I write a beautiful poem? Should I write in prose?

Social media friends are not enthusiastic about this day. Very few posts about this day are available on my Facebook, Instagram, and X feeds. Why? My greatest apprehension is that it is so, for the day is the birth anniversary of our first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who opposed the insularity of a singular culture for India. His vision is inclusive, broad and holistic.

However, to the Hindutva people, Nehuru is hated most for his legacy. So, anything linked with Chacha must be abhorred and nullified. This may be one of the significant reasons for the tepid celebration of Children’s Day. I may be wrong, but sometimes, being wrong is the most fitting path one may espouse. And many think casually about this day. ‘Let the day pass as an ordinary day.’

indianculture #Nehuru — Abu Siddik (@ASBENM3) November 14, 2023

Another problem is that if we celebrate Children’s Day, How do we do it? Should we post a picture of some children working in kilns or garages? Should we post a picture of ragpicking-children? Should we post a picture of banjara children begging in the streets? Or should we post well-dressed children of a famous public school?

Or should we post the picture of two thousand plus dead children of Gaza?

Livemint has put a beautiful picture of some hill children wrapped in jackets. The Economic Times has set a stunning picture of a smiling mother carrying her girl. Both are happy, and all smile. The Times of India has put a couple of beautiful pictures of children. Business Standard has put Nehru’s picture to mark this day. Hindustan Times has placed a beautiful picture of some playing children.

My point is that we have no courage to tell the truth. After all, we are nationalists. Why do we bother about international affairs? Why do we paint our faces with tar by portraying the mass graves made for the Gaza children? So the godi media are galore with beautiful pictures of beautiful children. Fear works behind them. Fear unnerves them. Fear of advertisement and sponsorship withdrawal, fear of the government’s wrath, fear of the ruling mobs and so on and on.

We are sorry for you, the children of war-torn Palestine. We are sorry. It is the educated, wise and intelligent people who are killing you with their sophisticated MSW. Forgive us!

We are sorry. There is no Children’s Day for you. Every day is a fearful day. You don’t know what will happen to you in the next second.

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I write because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, said George Orwell. As a writer, I never kowtow to the whims and dictates of the sacred godmen or godwomen, the political bigots and hypocrites, dealers of laymen, the dishonest and self-serving intellectuals, traders of religions, the betrayers of ‘other’ Indians who eke out a living by their sweat, who are living in fear for being lynched for this and that.

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