BY VINEETHA MOKKIL
It’s time to face facts. Your God does not have a 56-inch chest. Your God is all bluster, no action. All swagger, no substance. Your God has failed the people of India on every count as the worst crisis in modern times ravages the country. Your God has no interest in protecting the citizenry he is expected to serve. While India gasps for breath, while patients die in hospital after hospital for lack of oxygen, while the sick collapse on the streets and beg for medicines and beds at overcrowded hospital gates, your God is lavishing ₹22,000 crore on building himself a glitzy new palace in the heart of Delhi. Consumed by his vanity project, he forgot to instruct his government to procure adequate vaccines supplies — the one thing that could save countless Indian lives as the second wave explodes in the country.
Your God is deaf to the cries of millions of Indians in distress. He is blind to the living, the sick and the dying. His hearing is faulty — neither the dying nor the living can get through to him. He only hears the sound of his own voice.
Wake up, dear Bhakts! All those odes to India’s ancient glory, the shiny promises of turning India into a Vishwa Guru who dazzles the world, all the bombastic words he uses to cast a spell on you at his Madison Square Garden rallies are a means to an end. Your god mouths the words to make sure you donate your dollars to his political campaigns and rallies. Keep the dollars coming, and he’ll keep telling you what you want to hear.
Instead of glory, he has heaped misery on Bharat Mata’s head. Under his stewardship, India has been dragged into the dirt. His demonitization drive broke the backbone of small businesses across the country. Much like the hare-brained Mughal emperor, Tughlak, your God’s ill-conceived move sowed chaos and hardship in the life of the common man.
As we speak, India is desperately seeking foreign aid to tackle a health emergency that your God’s lack of foresight caused. After a gap of 17 years, ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ has had to solicit foreign aid to bail itself out of a crisis.
Under your God’s watch, India had been brought to her knees. It is a pariah nation now. The Covid hotspot every nation dreads. The country every person across the world is watching in horror. Indian travellers are banned from flying out to almost every spot on the planet. Your God has no ‘masterstroke’ at this moment to flaunt.
Please understand. Your God is no God. He is a conman, a scamster, a talking head who trades exclusively in hate and vitriol. Inside his Photoshopped 56-inch chest there is no beating heart.
He has not consoled the families of the dead or met with them. No condolences. No hospital visits. No regrets. Your God does not feel the pain of others or acknowledge his role in inflicting the worst on them.
Think about it. What kind of God stays unmoved as Indians continue to die of lack of oxygen, hospital beds, and access to medical care? What God retreats into silence as 120 Indians die — every hour, every day — from a second wave that could have been averted if he had acted on time? Who holds road shows and campaign rallies and chases after votes with zero regard for human life as death stalks the land?
Your God is no God. He has no wisdom or vision. He shrugged off warnings from scientists, ignoring their findings in early March that deadly mutations of the virus were about to strike. Instead of protecting Indians and mobilising the full might of the official machinery under his command, he actively encouraged mass gatherings across the country. Ads with his face pasted on them inviting Indians and non-Indians to the Kumbh Mela were plastered everywhere from newspapers and giant billboards to the pages of Time magazine.
Your god takes God’s name in vain. He chants Jai Shree Ram only to win elections. He pits Hindu against Muslim and throws a lit match on the fire when tensions flare up. He watches brother lynch brother. He lets burning trains burn, lets the bodies pile up. He doesn’t mourn the dead. He doesn’t mind the blood.
If your God is the protector of all Hindus as he claims to be, if your God is the bearded messiah of the Hindu Rashtra he and his party fantasise about, why did he allow the Kumbh Mela to go on knowing full well that the faithful would be infected? In Madhya Pradesh, 99 percent Kumbh returnees have tested positive. Test results from other states are pouring in, adding to the strain on a health care system which is already stretched to breaking point.
Eyes firmly fixed on the vote bank, your God allowed the Mela to turn into the super spreader event nobody needed. With this, he has proved to be the biggest danger to Hindus, the khatra he keeps harping on.
Your callous and calculating god has finally shown his Vishwaroopam. Open your eyes wide. Open your eyes and behold his grotesque core. He is full of false promises. He has a forked tongue and an ice cold heart. He cannot save, protect or defend the people under his care.
Stop leaving offerings on his bloodied altar. Stop funding his campaigns of hate. Stop enabling the annihilation of secular India’s soul.
Find a less lethal God to worship. This one has feet of clay and blood on his hands.
_Vineetha Mokkil is the author of the short story collection, “A Happy Place and Other Stories” (HarperCollins). Her fiction has appeared in the Santa Fe Writers Project Journal, Gravel, Barren magazine, Asian Cha, and in the anthology, “The Best Asian Short Stories 2018.” She is currently based in New Delhi.