Telegraph Calcutta

The new improved tapeworm epidemic

This was always going to happen. We spoke. We spoke sharp words. So we were spoken to. We were spoken to with shrapnel words. Cuts were caused, and worse: gashes, and a cleaving of flesh and soul, as you might often have witnessed being caused at the back of a butcher’s. Seldom a civilised thing for the exchange of words to become the consequence of the exchange of weapons. But it happens often.

And that may also be because we are no longer talking civilisation. We may be talking the clash of civilisations. And when civilisations clash, we have known most often for them not to clash with words; the words are there, of course, this Book versus that Book, but for each Book, there has been blood to be let. Those Books have blood on them, the blood of those that the Books were written for as scripts of salvation: humans. Us. We fought for Books and we bloodied each other. Through time that is longer than time we can measure. Those Books were written with pens. The battles over those Books were fought with swords. And those battles have not yet been resolved or rested. The Pen is still battling the Sword.

But, ah. There are better means of battling, more approved ways. There’s Democracy. Hai naa? We have moved in from medieval ways and mores. We are more civilised. We are democrats. We have constitutions and all the provisions it may contain, or may be amended to contain.And constitutions are not medieval things: they are agreed upon things. Benign things.

They eddy with words. And the violence of words. There can be nothing as violent as words. Not violence itself. Non-violence is the most effective form of violence, we know that, do we not? It is that violence we employed to throw off Empire. Hai naa?

So here’s the constitution, again. You were cut? You were slashed? You are bleeding? Hmm. Constitutions can do that, used in the right fashion. Or abused. You know what I mean. Let us help. Let us stop the bleeding. Let us sew up the cuts and slashes and gashes. There is the thing called tape. Bleeding? Bring the tape. Quick. Groaning? Bring the tape. Quick. Complaining? Bring the tape. Quick. Talking? Oh please bring the tape. QUICK. Going to court!? QUICK. QUICKTIME. Bring the tape. Stick it. Plaster it all across, and securely. Tape. Tape. Tape.

Do you not know how to treat a patient suffering? Do you not know how to treat a patient complaining? Do you not know how to treat a patient bleeding? Do you not know how to treat a patient? Even if it is a patient of your own creation? Even though it is a patient you bled? Even though it is a patient you caused pain? Even though it is a patient you brought in here? Even though it is a patient you wanted put to death? But no, this is a patient you want out to death but you want the world to believe you are bringing to life. Trying your utmost to keep smiling and saying, ah, what loveliness this punishment is, but I shall survive, in the larger interest. In the interest of the nation, whatever nation it is that you wish to call it. There, you said it. There, you nailed it. There, you said it like what it is.

Because nobody says it like it is. Put a tape on it. And that will take care of it. Tape things. Tape those bleeding hearts so they are able to speak no more, only beat. Tape. And eventually it will all stop.

They say I use chains

But never believe their lies

That hurts and that pains

Look! I’m liberating butterflies.

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