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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

vote for the goat

The goat is a stubborn creature, more stubborn than the donkey. When we witness a pair of goats lock their horns, we realize that none wants to give way without a fight to the finish. 2003 was the year of the goat as per the Chinese calendar. The goatee beard is fashionable; it is convenient for those who find it difficult to maneuver the shaving razor in the soft contours of the chin. There is a saying in Bengali that goes - ‘the lunatic speaks whatever he wants, the goat devours whatever it sees’. It is, therefore, not very strange that goats do not die even after munching and swallowing the plastic bags that other animals find it hard to digest!

Goat translates to bakra in Hindi and in the famous TV serial Chhupe Rustom, we enjoyed seeing the wonderful team of experts make bakras out of ordinary people like you and me on the streets. The MTV channel also has a special slot for the bakras. And – in the larger world, the politicians are continuously making bakras out of the electorate. In spite of knowing them in and out, we continue to repose faith in them and expect them to deliver us from the ills that plague our country. Our social spectrum spreads from the brilliant youngsters who control the destinies of MNCs to the ill fed, half clad people who survive on the leftovers of the multi storied buildings, who take shelter under parked vehicles or who sell their bodies to earn a meal. The politicians have been promising to improve the conditions of the common man, they get themselves elected to parliament on these false promises but except prosperity in their own backyards, the picture is as gloomy as it was in the fifties.

Goat, in short, means a fall guy, a scapegoat. We love to boost the ego of an innocent and leave him stranded in mid air; we flee from the place before he comes crashing down to discover himself to be at the receiving end of some ill conceived joke. If a poll is conducted to identify the Bakra of 2005, who will win the crown?

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