No More Excuses


no more excuses

Newly instated men at the helm!
and stewards of our country’s mothership…
Kudos on winning the ballot game yet again,
and flogging the opposition with a political whip.

Now that you have tasted the sweetness of victory,
please don’t forget what you owe to the nation.
Don’t hesitate to water your motherland with sweat,
Don’t spend the next five years in hibernation.

Don’t shatter our fragile dreams with hollow promises,
Don’t fan our hopes with worthless Five-Year Plans.
Don’t stretch our delicate communal fabric further
and then with cries of secularism, place us in a trance.

Admonish and punish those naughty babus,
who use offices to fill their pockets with gold.
You have a billion-strong workforce at your disposal –
channel it and let our gargantuan might unfold.

Tackle the twin troubles of poverty and unemployment –
bring them out of statistics and cabinet discussions.
If you sound the gong of prosperity in the star-lit cities,
let the villages too revel in its repercussions.

Don’t make us sitting ducks for satanic terrorists,
and turn up hours later with empty words of regret.
Don’t let thwarted hooligans butcher us in our homes,
and give us a past we are never likely to forget.

Don’t play queer games for ministerial posts,
just give whatever job you get your best shot.
Don’t peddle your conscience for bags of cash
and tie the nation’s progress in an impossible knot.

Just try and practice even half of what you preach…
Just try and believe in even half of what you endorse…
That should be enough to put us on the path to glory,
and give a feel of good life to India’s unfortunate crores.

Try not to mix up politics with governance,
Try not to let old political axioms dictate your choices.
Don’t turn the parliament into gladiatorial arenas –
make them a fitting platform to sound our voices.

While you are watching ‘Bull’ fights at Dalal Street,
the poor Indian farmer toils for his daily bread.
While you are cutting deals with foreign diplomats,
a sobbing village somewhere is tidying up its dead.

Even as you mindlessly tweak the reservation quotas,
the orphaned youth seeks a new parent in Uncle Sam.
Even as you deny the vandalism of mosques and temples,
a child is being recruited in the army of Rahim or Ram.

We do not demand a state of blessed utopia,
nor do we expect you to conjure up miracles overnight.
All we ask for is a sincere attempt to govern,
and an honest confession when things don’t go right.

We know the task is too wretched and monumental,
and the system too jilted to accept new ideologies.
But that is what could separate you from your predecessors,
and make custodians of history write you lofty eulogies.

Show us – for once, that you can still unite,
this mindlessly divided country that we have become.
Free us, empower us and most importantly, remind us –
To stand up and sprint – for our time has come.


NISHANK MEHTA  |  21.05.2009

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