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‘Your voice has been heard’ says the blind and deaf Sonia Gandhi: A story of hope

Sonia Gandhi

Sonia Gandhi struggling to smile

India’s most honest, sincere, trustworthy and clean-chit politician and national leader Sonia Gandhi has finally heard the voice of the anti-rape protesters. For two full weeks following the horrific incident of the Delhi assault on 16th December, many Indians have been, and continue to, protest in the capital and all over India. Their demands, pass a stricter and stronger law and constitute fast-track Courts for such cases involving crimes against women.

At one time, one could have only hoped that this message of the protesters somehow reached Sonia Gandhi, who, incidentally happens to be blind and deaf. “Once we manage to get the message of the Delhi protesters to Sonia Madam, maybe we can hope that things will change”, remarked a political commentator a little over a week ago. The cause for concern is how can the message of the protesters reach Sonia Madam who can’t see nor hear?

One may be familiar with the situation of ‘Michelle McNally’, the blind and deaf character portrayed by one of India’s leading actresses Rani Mukerji in the film ‘Black’ directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Michelle lived completely in isolation in her own black world surrounded by darkness due to her inability to see or hear or express herself. These same circumstances somehow precisely describe the present situation of Sonia Gandhi.

With the nation in such massive turmoil, and no one coming ahead to take charge and give some reassurance to the people, all hope seemed lost. The one dependable leader, Sonia Madam, was sitting away in isolation, not knowing anything about this great turmoil. Her Congress party workers couldn’t find anyone to communicate this message to Madam ji, someone like the miracle worker portrayed by Amitabh Bachchan’s character ‘Debraj Sahai’ who was able to communicate with Rani’s character and taught her to express herself.

“We don’t have any miracle worker here in India who can communicate the message to Sonia Madam”, was the statement made by a concerned Congress spokesperson few days back. And without their esteemed leader’s opinion or decision, Congress is like a “stagnant puddle of water, completely useless and a piece of shit…”, as famously said by one of Congress’s leaders himself. So without their leader’s decision, Congress as well as central government remained brain-dead.

But hope was on the way. Just two days ago, an unknown person only identified as ‘Mr. X’, who miraculously was proficient in sign language approached the concerned Congress party leaders. He was immediately taken to Sonia’s place and spent hours and hours trying to explain the state of the nation by spelling words in her hand, just like how Bachchan’s character tried to teach Rani’s character in Black. Sonia, however isolated she may be, slowly picked it up. The first thing that came in her mind was to address her subjects that their queen has heard their voices.

After almost 2 grilling weeks, it took a great deal of protests across Delhi and all over India, and the aid of a miracle worker ‘Mr. X’ to get this message to Sonia Madam. And so it was established, Pranab Mukherjee may be the President, Manmohan Singh may be the Prime Minister, but it is none other than Sonia Gandhi, the queen president of UPA, who is the true leader of this country. Without her, even the PM and President are just mere humans. Their posts in the Government don’t count for shit, Sonia Madam is the real boss. But still, kind of ironic, because India is called the world’s biggest democracy (as opposed to monarchy).

The first thing Sonia Madam did was to come out of her cave and greet her protesters. “Your voices have been heard”, she said in a breaking struggling voice which was met with cheers from 90% Indians. Now finally that our blind and deaf leader has ‘heard’ our voices, we can expect some action from the government.


Goat arrested for blasphemy in Pakistan

In the intolerant and backward society of Pakistan, it seems a local Goat is out there to challenge the masses. On Thursday, in a case which has become an international media sensation, a local Goat residing in a remote tribal district of Pakistan was arrested after the Goat made some anti-religious comments. The Goat has been remanded in police custody and was scheduled to appear before a Judge this morning. Election season is going on in that region and it has been alleged by the complainants that the Goat made the allegedly anti-religious remarks at the rally of a local political leader, when the political leader was giving his speech to a small crowd that had gathered there.

The goat (right) seen here eating grass prior to his arrest

The goat (right) seen here chilling with a friend prior to his arrest

“Someone was saying that a politician was distributing free food at his rally so we gathered there and also started listening to his speech. The food didn’t taste so good. But they had lots of quantity so we enjoyed. There were some goats feeding on the grass nearby. Suddenly, one goat came and stood close to the crowd. Anyways, the crowd was very receptive and enthusiastic. In the speech, the politician was strongly supporting the blasphemy law and said anyone who doesn’t support it should be imprisoned.”, said one of the eye witnesses to this incident. He continued, “All was going fine until he started directing questions towards the crowd. He openly challenged the crowd asking if anyone believes that the blasphemy law should be repealed (cancelled).” And it is then, according to the eye-witness, that a brave voice emerged from the crowd, “Main……Main…….(Me……Me….)” uttered the unflinching and confident Goat. The politician appeared visibly dismayed. Apparently, the Goat’s disapproval of the blasphemy law didn’t go down well with the politician and his staff. The Goat was arrested on the spot by police stationed nearby and immediately taken into custody.

The arrested Goat faces charges of blasphemy (for opposing the blasphemy law which is also a blasphemy), which is a strictly punishable offence under Pakistani Law. Many critics have emerged criticizing the Pakistani Government’s’ stand on such rigid and strict blasphemy laws. Several International Human Rights Organizations have written petitions to the Pakistani Government to pardon the Goat in view of right to the freedom of speech and thought. “I have known the Goat for many years and he is very polite and humble and I cannot imagine that he would hurt anyone’s religious or cultural sentiments.” said a friend (and also owner) of the Goat, while the Goat’s legal representative said that the Goat was taken out of context and didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings.

The Goat made his first public appearance while entering the Court for the first hearing before a magistrate in a remote province in Pakistan. The incident has attracted worldwide media attention as was evidently seen when several human rights activists joined in to support the Goat.

On being interviewed, a journalist mockingly remarked at the Goat, “Since when did you become an activist of speech and expression?”, to which the Goat firmly replied “May (Since May).” leaving the journalist stunned at the quick wit of the Goat.

The Brave Goat

The Brave Goat has become an inspiration to freethinkers worldwide

Thousands of supporters and activists had gathered just opposite to the Court building and were seen holding placards and shouting slogans in favour of the Goat. “It is about time someone has stood up to an unfair and biased law. We will stand by with this Goat till the very end.”, said an enthusiastic supporter of the Goat. The Goat arrived at the Court in a police van and almost appeared to wave at the crowd as thousands of supporters cheered on. “There is something different about this Goat. This Goat has given a new wave of hope to the people of Pakistan who are tired with the silly administration of the Government.”, said another supporter.

Such incidents have been happening since decades but are dismissed off as a small issue, however, Pakistan now faces a challenge as the world becomes more aware of human rights and dignity. “This arrest amounts to a blatant violation of human rights. The Goat, like any free citizen, has the right to express himself and stand up for that he believes in.”, said an international social activist who has specially flown into Pakistan to support the Goat. This brave Goat is not only facing against a biased blasphemy law, but in fact a whole system of an intolerant nation. Will this brave Goat change Pakistan?