Though I was very young when Indira Gandhi declared a national Emergency in 1975, I still remember the political chaos that preceded the declaration, the total collapse of law and order and the lack of accountability as the increasingly besieged government lost control and its legitimacy. Student protests, hartals, strikes, bandhs were the order of the day. Of course, for us young school children, most of these events including the Emergency were not completely understood and certainly not our priority. However, when at home and among adults, you could sense the tension and stress as political battles raged, often in the streets.
Over the last few weeks, I feel the same vague sense of disquiet and unease as I watch the news on television. The optimism, hope and euphoria that had enveloped India just a few months back seems to have all but evaporated. Even that euphoria reminds me of the days when Rajiv Gandhi swept the polls in 1984 and then quickly squandered that great opportunity with a series of missteps and scandals.
This is like watching a pressure cooker. You can hear it gathering steam inside, but sometimes for some reason it refuses to go. You give the handle a couple of thwacks but there is still nothing. And then in a little while, that little boiling noise too fades away. And you stand there thinking that it is going to blow and you had better move away. But you wait and hope and tell yourself that nothing like that is going to happen. But that little pinch of dread stays with you.
I hope somebody tells you that it is okay if the rice is still half cooked and makes you turn off the gas. We know you are a tough guy. But it is not a prestige issue, it is not your ego versus the ego of the rice. If you wait too long, the best that can happen is that the rice and the vessel will be burnt and unusable. The worst scenario is that the cooker will explode and bring the roof and the food down on you and your family. Turn off that damn gas. Cook your darn rice outside later.
The government needs to turn off the gas. This is a disaster waiting to happen. Something is going to give.
The CAA-NPR-NRC is not a priority. It is not a do or die proposition. You can always consult with the people on it, rework and reintroduce it with the buy-in of the nation. There is greater chance of getting it implemented that way.
As for the cooker, next time, measure your rice properly and put enough water in the cooker.
And make enough for the whole family, not just for a few.