When I got this forward, I opened it reluctantly. I thought it must have something to do with the BPL versus the rest of India - APL and above, reaching all the way up to the India of billionaires.
Bachchan’s two Indias were 1. the India on the leash, rearing to go charged by optimism and 2. the leash that is India, that skeptical India looking fearfully down at the bottom of the ravine, asking the leashed India to prove itself and only then it’ll be unleashed.
What struck me was the terrible truth that the class represented by Bachchan is totally oblivious to that India, which starves, hungers, thirsts for the basic amenities, to that India which lives in darkness where electricity is unheard of, to that India which is uprooted, and deprived of livelihood and a roof above its head, to that India for which roti kapada aur makhan is the ultimate and unachievable goal.
I hated this forward for I too belong to this callous India, rearing to go, about to make history and earn all those adjectives, which the world is showering on it!
I too belong to that India which snatches bread from the hungry India and demolishes the tiny hut which gave it shelter from wind and rain and scorching sun so that I can have live in air-conditioned comfort, or travel in hi tech cars.
I belong to that India which kicks another India out of its home all the way to giant metros to live on footpaths and be resented and insulted by the denizens of those big cities.
This forward reminded me of my sins.
And I don’t want to be reminded.
Or feel guilty.
I’d rather continue to bury my head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich, and continue to exist in my ivory tower- -
Till that day the deprived India rises
And guillotines me.