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Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Published on: 01/2/22 4:46 PM

Opinion: 21 Things that Got Me Good and Mad in 2021

Twenty-one things that got  me good and mad in 2021
  1. The anti-conversion Bill, with its implicit threat to religious freedoms, looking for passage in the Karnataka Assembly, on the ominous lines of similar laws passed in  Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
  2. Consistent spurts of vandalism in places of worship, usually of the minority communities, and lately targeting the Christian community.
  3. The Haridwar hate sermon — it was no mere speech — wherein it was emphasized that hate speech now is really the new normal. And no punitive action being taken against the speakers.
  4. Bangalore roads being eternally excavated and left like that forever more.  WFH notwithstanding, Bangalore traffic back to its usual chaotic shambles on the (terrible) roads.
  5. Loud people being loud everywhere and anywhere.
  6. The persecution of stand-up comedians from a section of society that feels threatened by jokes.
  7. Covid-19 still lurking in 2021. Masks worn at half-mast.
  8. Anti-vaxxers who refuse the Covid vaccine not on medical grounds but for political, religious, superstitious reasons.
  9. Endless `patriotic` films being churned out by Bollywood, all of them totally devoid of any nuance whatsoever.
  • Absolutely no opposition for the disenchanted electorate to fall back on.
  • The curly- haired actor who keeps spewing deliberately divisive hate on her social media feeds.
  • Lynching just not going out of fashion.
  • The return of the Taliban, and so easily at that.
  • Naïve of me but the intense politics in cricket.
  • Naïve of me but the ramped-up politicization of religion.
  • Public health infra still to get its act together, even with Omicron having crossed our thresholds.
  • Trees cut indiscriminately for roadworks, the modus operandi being to lie low and wait for the protests to subside, then bash on regardless.
  • The way Fr. Stan Swamy died.
  • Manual scavenger deaths still a thing.
  • The question regarding `insubordinate wives` and the damage they wreak on the fabric of the family, in the CBSE  exam question paper. One stupid question which put the effort of women across India to gain some serious agency back by several steps.
  • Authors being cancelled left, right and centre for what they feel, say or do. Just another kind of decree, if you ask me. If you don`t like something about an author, just don’t read them.

This appeared in NEWS TRAIL INDIA of 02 Jan 2022.

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Sheila Kumar • January 2, 2022

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