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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Chandraayan on Moon-A Mad Hatter’s Party

The author highlights how shallow and pointless it is for Indians to celebrate Chandraayan's Moon landing.

The whole of India is celebrating and cheering the landing of Chandraayan on the moon, but I regret I simply cannot join this meaningless frolic, festivity, jamboree, carousal, jollification, and merry making..

Previously, I have given my reasons for not celebrating Independence Day on 15th August, and for the same reasons I will not celebrate this event.

How can one celebrate and cheer when half of our children are malnourished, wasted and/or stunted according to Global Hunger Index, and India ( which has a population of 1400 million ) has slipped from position number 101 to 107 in just one year ( 2021-2022 ) among the 121 countries surveyed by that international agency ?

How can one celebrate when over 55% of our women are anaemic ?

How can one celebrate when tens of millions of our young men and women are without jobs ? If 100 class 4 ( peon’s ) govt jobs are advertised, there are often 500,000 applicants, many of them having M.Sc, M.A. or M.B.A. degrees ( some even Ph.D. ), engineers, etc.

How can one celebrate when proper healthcare and good education is almost non-existent for the masses. Private hospitals and clinics are too expensive for the masses, and the condition  of the govt ones is terrible ( to say the least ). Even the All India Insititute of Medical Sciences ), New Delhi ( AIIMS ), a premier medical institute in India, looks like a railway station, with thousands of people waiting outside endlessly, and usually with perfunctory care, if any.

Read More: Why I will not celebrate Independence Day

How can one celebrate when prices of essential commodities have soared.

How can one celebrate when atrocities are committed regularly on minorities and dalits ?.

How can one celebrate when the gap between rich and poor is widening, with a handful of big businessmen becoming richer ( often by illegal means ) while the poor get poorer ( because of escalating prices of food, etc. ).

How can one celebrate when one sees our political leaders ( of all parties ) only cultivating caste or communal vote banks, and seeking power and pelf, instead of genuinely caring for the welfare of the people, and squabbling with each other ( even committing acts of violence as in the recent West Bengal panchayat polls ).

Such celebrations remind me of the Roman Emperors who used to say ” If you cannot give the people bread, give them circuses ”. Or Queen Marie Antoinette who when told that the people do not have bread, said ” Let them eat cake ”.

To me the landing of Chandrayan on the moon is just a Roman circus, or offer of a piece of cake for the forthcoming 2024 parliamentary elections.

Moreover, in June 1969 two Americans landed on the moon and came back to earth.

54 years later we are celebrating landing of an unmanned rocket on the moon, which will not even come back. Does this not show how much behind USA we are in science and technology. So what is there to celebrate about?

So Indians, celebrate as much as you like, but don’t expect me to join you in this tomfoolery, gamboling, hijinks, buffoonery, shenanigan, wingding, hoopla, and rambunctiousness.

Markandey Katju is an Indian jurist and former Supreme Court judge of India who served as chairman for the Press Council of India. He has also worked as Standing Counsel for the Income Tax Department.