How Can I Wish You a Merry Christmas?

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Let’s begin at home. There are a couple of churches in my town. One of them is just a stone’s throw away. On Christmas Eve, they are lit and decorated with dozens of balloons. Talks, music, and dance in praise of Jesus are held. Children in colourful dresses attend the festival. They are happy. Their parents wear a festive look and exchange Christmas greetings as usual.

A year has passed. Riots break. Men are lynched. Slums are burnt. Manipur is burning. Rohingya Muslims are made refugees, and they are in search of a survival shed. Attacks on the minorities are taken for granted. In India, two or three words had the royal privilege: Modi, Hindutva, and Jai Shree Ram.

The death toll of Israel’s genocide in Gaza reached 20,057, according to a statement Friday by Gaza’s Ministry of Health. Taking into account the 7,000 missing, most buried under rubble, the true death toll has likely already exceeded 25,000.

Let’s stop talking about COP28. The climate conference is a lavish mockery. “There is absolutely no reason to expect that the UN climate conference process will ever yield anything resembling a practical road map for edging away from the impending apocalypse,” journalist Mahir Ali put in a recent article in the Dawn.

The church we are talking of in the beginning is guarded by a madman who puts a quilt on his body on the hottest day. Today, he is still guarding not the main gate but its left side, the shawl resting on him as usual. And the beggars who take rest by the gate are driven away to make a smooth passage for the visitors.

My country is heading towards hell for the non-Hindus. Ayodhya is gearing up to fulfill the long-cherished desire of the crores of Hindus on 22 January. Israelis have made Palestine a killing field. One needs not read Dante’s Inferno. Hell is right now in Palestine.

Against this background (not to mention the huge number of unemployed Indian youths. Our honourable Prime Minister dreams of making them millionaires. Very good. Let me place a single instance of the Indian job market scenario. One of the job seekers, as she confides to me, is going to face an interview board for temporary recruitment for the post of a Bangla Teacher in a private school with a consolidated sum of Rs. 6000/- per month. When she reached the school, she was dumbfounded as she found 210 candidates with BAs, MAs, MPhils, and PhDs appeared for a single post.); how can I wish you a merry Christmas? I don’t want to burst a cracker. And I know no Santas can remove the tears from the Gaza children.

Still, I wish you all a merry Christmas.

Remember, we are human, not animal. But tonight, on Christmas Eve of 2023, it seems that animals are more compassionate and more agreeable than brutish human animals. Their only motive is to profit by selling WMD, waging war, and looting resources of Jal, Jamin, and Jungle in the name of development.

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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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