Wherever it has an outlet — and does it have any? — the Government of India is asking people to #GiveItUp.
For Macaulay’s children, a.k.a. the creme de la creme of India, the fact that an uber-dull thing called government is making a point with a hashtag adds an element of cool — and persuasion.
Let me come to the point. It is that they, the said children, should give up their LPG subsidy for the greater common good. Targeted. Clear. Appealing. Isn’t it?
They’re not exactly reaching out to all those idiots who don’t get what a hashtag is. Nor is it for those who can’t #GiveItUp because they haven’t got any.
In other words, it’s for you.
Not your housemaid, your gardener, your driver, etc., etc.
You find it damn appealing, don’t you? You get to be the hero for all those who are serving you day in and day out. Not to mention all those stingy colleagues at work who make you pay for coffee all the time.
What better way to do yajna in these modern times than automating the damned thing, you think. Don’t you?
After all, that’s what you’re doing when you pay tax. So why not add some change on top of it? This time you get to tweet your sacrifice using a government-sponsored hashtag, and you’re on your way to stardom.
You’re just fooling yourself. It’s impossible to automate sacrifice. Even tax is the worst form of service we can do to our fellowmen.
So is this #GiveItUp money.
Even a foreigner can be as much a hero as you by just paying tax and now this LPG subsidy to the government.
By the way, who is a foreigner? I always refer to what the Gujarat High Court called Hindi: “a foreign language in Gujarat”. It follows that every Indian is a foreigner when he’s out of his or her own linguistic state or region.
Aren’t you in a better position than a foreigner to serve those immediately around you? Do you have to pay tax to do so? Do you have to #GiveItUp to do so?
Do you really believe a government can help automate sacrifice? That too, a government made up almost entirely of foreigners?
For a Kannadiga or a Tamil, a Gujarati or a Marathi, the Government of India is made up entirely of others. Foreigners, to be precise.
The best way for a Kannadiga to help poorer Kannadigas – is it to put money in the modern version of Queen Victoria’s empirical treasury?
Why put your money in such a long loop, especially when the loop has wolves waiting to devour anything coming on the conveyor belt?
Those wolves aren’t going to send any money to your housemaid, are they? They’re not going to help that auto-driver dying in the pollution, are they? They’re not going to help “underprivileged children” get education, are they?
No, my friend. Forget they. If you really want to do something for those around you, get the idea out of your head that you can automate it.
Get out of your house, away form your computer. And throw away that smartphone.
Get talking to those who you want to help.
Learn from them, because they know more than you do. They’re just not hashtaggy, and money doesn’t want them.
Talk to them day in, day out.
Learn their language. If you already know it, proceed to…
Enrich it with what you know.
Make it yours.
They don’t need money.
This is the real #GiveItUp.
What the government is asking you to do is #GiveItToMe. They just got the hashtag right, like I got the title right for this article.
Don’t be fooled.