In this great country called India, everything remains relevant after decades, centuries, and even after millennia. When it is the birth anniversary of any literati, people say he or she is still relevant. And they do not only say this, unfortunately it is true too. Few days ago intelligentsia of my city conducted a seminar to discuss the contributions of Premchand, an all time great Hindi author. The creatures who are relatively free most of the time organize and participate in these sorts of activities, and like to label themselves “intellectuals”. Special guest, after facing initial trouble with usual Indian microphone and intervention of mechanic with primordial mantra of ‘mike testing… 1… 2… 3…’, said, “Ladies and gentlemen, Premchand is still relevant today for our society.” What a cliché and what a pity! Premchand is still relevant even after 75 years! In India, still many Hori’s are waiting for cows in utter misery, and still many Ghisus are spending shroud money to satisfy their hunger. Alas, it is all relevant. Premchand is relevant.
Similarly, I was reading a book on Kabir the other day. The author declares in first line of prologue – “Kabir and what he said, irrespective of the different social milieu, is still pertinent in contemporary India.” “Man, this guy is also relevant, and that too, after 500 years”, I thought. India is still grappling with same old classism and communalism that this old guy addressed in his time half a millennia ago. Still Hindus and Muslims are jabbing each other and there still exists a cast whom they call untouchable. All is relevant!
I could console myself if it was up to last five hundred years only. But according to a news channel, Pranab Da, in his budget speech, invoked heavenly intervention of Lord Indra for good rain. Now, Vedas are at least five thousand years old. Some even claim this number to be far greater, ten thousand, twenty thousand, fifty thousand and even more as per their convenience, and it can be stretched further on the basis of what they want to prove. Many Sukta (hymns) in Vedas are full of this. Open the scripture from anywhere and you can read something like – “O great Indra, open the gates of grand clouds and bestow us with rain, so that we can have ample food grain.” Agriculture sector in India, even after 5000 years, is still dependent of monsoon like the ancient Vedic era. Those Vedic mantras are being sung in our parliament by FM. It seems that we have the history of relevancy and even those things are relevant in India, which are beyond history. Seeing current state of affairs in India, let’s all pray, “God, please make it all irrelevant!”