A Colorful Solution Indeed!
“Whatever happened to these Red Indians, ultimately?”
“Papa, do you know what a Red Indian is?” the Minister’s ‘darling’ son, a ‘late autumn product’ borne by his latest (third in the ‘legal’ category) young and beautiful wife, looked up from the book he was reading and asked his distinguished father. The Minister replied with an affectionate smile, “I don’t know, beta! You tell me!”
This animated the ‘darling’ son who readily launched into a detailed narrative about the Red Indians being the original inhabitants of America and how settlers from England and the other European countries came and drove them away from their own lands! He related how these ‘civilized’ people swindled the Red Indians out of their land by offering them some trifle, like say a string of colored beads in exchange! Or again, by simply exterminating them through, invariably, treacherous wars! Of course sometimes more subtle methods were employed like by exposing them to infections to which they had no resistance because they had never had them before (through clothes and blankets given as ‘charity’) and thus nearly wiping them off altogether!
The Minister listened to this whole account in wide-eyed wonder, greedily drinking in the details and occasionally he would mutter, “Wallah, the genius of these foreigners!”
“Whatever happened to these Red Indians, ultimately?” he asked, after the ‘darling’ son concluded his history lesson.
“The book says,” the ‘darling’ son said after consulting the book, “that whatever remained of the Red Indians was ‘preserved’ in some ‘protected’ areas like ‘sanctuaries’ or ‘Indian reserves’ and places like that…”
It seems that a germ of an idea must have got into the Minister’s mind while he was in the process of imbibing this history lesson. The very next morning he called a meeting of his party and his minister-colleagues and outlined the plan that had blossomed in his mind during the night.
He spoke with a messianic zeal beginning with a brief history of the ingenious way the Red Indian ‘problem’ had been dealt with in America by settlers from outside. Then he introduced his ‘Red Indian Package’ for the ‘paradise-on-earth’…
“We can make an America or perhaps something even better, out of this land of Kashmir! Let’s lease out all the resorts and I say we don’t have to stop with that! Let us clear out the cities and the villages, pull down all these shabby houses and ‘reclaim’ the land! We could even clear the Lal Chowk of all those shops and business establishments – there is such a parking problem there anyway! It could be converted into an amusement park! No parking problems and a lot of revenue to boot! Why I am sure we could even strike a deal with the Disney people!
“This is a fool proof plan to solve the Kashmir problem (which is getting to be quite a bore now!) and in fact it will solve all the problems, I say! Imagine Kashmir, the paradise on Earth, purged of all the eye-sores, particularly the local inhabitants. This will solve all our ‘security’ concerns regarding the safety of the tourists in one stroke. We will never have to worry about any resistance from the people, no more hartals or demonstrations to embarrass us in the eyes of our foreign visitors! Because you see there will be no people around, the locals I mean...”
“What about the locals? Whatever do you propose to do with them!” one of the party members asked rather apprehensively.
“We could settle them in blocks and blocks of shelters that we can construct in Dachigam, our already existing sanctuary.”
“Dachigam! The wild-life sanctuary! Whatever will happen to the Hangul ?” one of the members exclaimed.
“As if I wouldn’t consider that!” the Minister snorted contemptuously. “I have a plan that will generate us revenue here as well! We can sell all this Hangul business to Himachal. They might make a better deal of it as they did with the apple industry and save us a lot of bother as well!
“Of course, the sanctuary will continue to be called a sanctuary and we can even work out an arrangement with the security forces and conduct ‘safaris’ and ‘guided tours’ for tourists using their armoured vehicles. Not that all that will be necessary, but just to add a sense of adventure and a bit of romance… We can use this sanctuary to showcase the local inhabitants, the ‘aborigines’ and their culture etc., what people call Heritage tourism and all that!”
The Minister concluded his speech and there was pin-drop silence in the meeting with everybody looking towards him with unconcealed admiration, their mouths hanging open in wonder!
The silence was finally broken by the representative from the ‘center’ who had flown in especially for this meeting. He clapped his hands, congratulated the Minister and said, “What Genius! All these years we wasted so much time trying to convince these people that they are Indians and here you are with this brilliant plan – so much more easier and, what is more, profitable – of making ‘Red Indians’ out of them!”
Truth is mostly unpalatable…but truth cannot be ignored! Here we serve the truth, seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of sauce (iness!). You can record your burps, belches and indigestion, if any, at email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Sat, 20 Jul 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 20 Jul 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 21 Jul 2013 00:00:00 IST
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