Disgraced Agony

Who are we, by the way?

Freeze FRAME

SYEDA AFSHANA

‘Somewhere without me my life begins’
These lines of Agha Shahid Ali hold true for many of us living in the midst of the mountains. Our daily affairs are involuntarily moving in a direction where it seems as if we are dancing cheek to cheek with uncertainty.
The surfeit of troubles clubbed with the onset of early winter has piled up the problems. There is actually no one available to relate the predicament as evidently nobody is around to pay heed to our unending saga. There are no narrators. There are no listeners.
Some old stories, some new pain; some past suffering, some current woes—our narrative is turning into a mosaic of unfinished history that lingers on with nothing but more misfortune. From a political spat of blood to squabbles over LPG cylinders, the agony is just disgraceful. Nothing is unrelated with the turmoil we are in since more than two decades. A consistent effort to devastate our sources of mind, money and morals is going unabated. And the tragedy is that we cannot identify and locate the real perpetrators for the offender is disguised among our own rank and file, which seems to be covered under the hidden agenda.
Probably, we all have hidden agendas that grow out of our uncontrollable desires. For some, a berth in mainstream politics is the motivation. For others, minting money out of chaos is the drive.  For few, power capturing is the dream. For many, fulfillment of certain ambitions is the force. That’s why, we all seem to be trading over the long-drawn-out agony we are in. From forums to films, scripts to serials, books to bandhs, passports to visas, and positions to packages—we have muddled up surrenders and cylinders, and continued selling our story and reaping harvest out of it endlessly.
Disappeared persons, killings, half-widows, orphans and blah, blah…what a nasty joke we make of all this to accomplish our personal agendas. Even Satan must be startled at our pretense.
Who are we, by the way? Self-selected groups of ‘civil society’, representing no one but themselves? A cadre of ‘activists’ without any knowledge of their history? A pack of ‘leaders’ who know everything but leadership? A bunch of ‘academicians’ who are good at everything except for academics? A flock of ‘writers’ who are never right? A set of ‘intellectuals’ who are only compulsive speakers? And a band of ‘thinkers’ who are just lotus-eaters?
Or are we a huge crowd of real victims who are not conscious of their sell-out? A pool of souls who don’t know how they are being traded off through discourse and data? A mass of pain that is misrepresented and misinterpreted in presentations and perspectives? A swarm of sufferers who are exhibited for sale? A cloud of grief that is floated by wild winds of travesty?  A multitude of people whose right to dignified survival is crushed by disgracing their agonies? And, as Aga Shahid said, whose life begins without them exactly? They have no power over their distress as well as destiny.
So, there is a vast void of identity crisis shrouding us. Unless we fix it with truthful pieces of reality, it will continue to haunt and harm us. The upsetting uncertainty will stay on. The disgrace of agony will never go. But, the resilience, resistance, and remorse will. In a phased way. We will be rendered deadalive. Eventually.
To wrap up with the words of the 18th century English author Samuel Johnson who wrote in one of his essays-“Of the uncertainty of every human good, every human being seems to be convinced; yet this uncertainty is voluntarily increased by unnecessary delay, whether we respect external causes, or consider the nature of our own minds….He that has now an opportunity offered him of breaking loose from vice and folly, cannot know, but that he shall hereafter be more entangled, and shall struggle for freedom without obtaining it”.

(The columnist teaches at Media Education Research Centre, MERC, University of Kashmir)

Lastupdate on : Sat, 3 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 3 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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