Free Press Journal

All that glitters…


With Maharashtra Chief Minister’s wife picking a pure gold chain out of thin air, we can presume the state’s economic problems are finally over. Or are they? V GANGADHAR finds out. 

We must accept the new theory, miracles are ‘miracles’ only when they happen in the homes of the high and the mighty like Chief Ministers, leading film stars, cricket heroes, the new crop of billionaires and so on. Quite often there are news reports of two-headed cow or buffalo calves born at the humble dwellings of rural based masses. Within no time the birth makes news. Nearby media persons rush to the scene with their cameras and in case of multiple births the TV channels are summoned. The media is not bothered over normal births but swing to action even over rumours on the birth of freaks.

The levels of superstition are always high in rural areas. Godmen and women and religious activities are on the upswing ever since the NDA government came to power. Under the leadership of the BJP and the open encouragement to all kinds of Swamis, Sanyasis and the saffron brigade. Political leaders no longer hesitate to combine superstition with governance. The government offices everywhere in the state did not hesitate to begin their routine with ‘puja Prasad rituals. No questions will be asked. Throughout working hours ministers, secretaries and Class IV staff were allowed freedom to practice ‘pujas’ of different types. Nothing was ever done without ever seeking divine approval. The Chief Minister and his First Lady led from the front.

Things are going swimmingly for the state. God men and women drop in by hundreds to bless the CM and his first lady. Non-believers and their leaders like Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and rationalist scholar M M Kalburgi have been silenced and forgotten in public memory. Never in the history of Maharashtra such vermin silenced so effectively and ruthlessly. Both the Chief Minister and his ‘best half’ personally led the clean up operation with distinction. What a colourful, pious function did Pune city witness recently to honour the holiest of the holies, ‘piousest’ of the ‘pious’ , ‘Swamiest of the Swamis’, Mahaswami Guruvanand, who was of the same age as the grandfather of the CM’s spouse. A wonderful, remarkable coincidence.

The CM and his wife made a remarkable jodi, acknowledged by the pious citizens of Pune who witnessed a series of remarkable coincidences. Pune city and the state are justifiably proud in the context of Maharashtra having already passed the Maharashtra Anti-Superstition Law. An eminent singer and performer like Amruta was ideally suited to take part in the function to honour such a God man steeped in knowledge and drowned in degrees, Indian and foreign.

The government is now ‘culturally complete state’ having established links with Mahaswami Guru Anand with such divine powers of plucking a diamond-studded gold necklace from mid-air and presenting it to Amruta. With Hema Malini all set to build a cultural complex in the city on government land what more do we need? Very soon we shall watch Amruta singing and Hema dancing and the industrial and business tycoons showering gold, precious stones and currency notes on the city. How fortunate are we!