On July 30, when I wrote that the purpose of any celestial body, particularly planets and moons, is not necessarily to engender, nurture and perpetuate life, something striking happened.
Minutes after I posted that particular piece, I stepped out into my front yard to get some fresh air. I noticed a colorful multitude of flowers blossoming in one of the pots. (See the picture above) As I stood there bewitched by their effortless beauty and resplendent colors, I caught something falling from the corner of my left eye. It turned out to be a dead baby bird still partially emerging from an egg (See the picture on the left). There was also a piece of its nest right next to it. The bird appeared as if it was born embalmed in a taxidermist’s lab.
I had seen the nest some weeks earlier but had forgotten about it until that morning. I suspect the baby bird had been dead for sometime. I cannot speculate how it died soon after almost entirely breaking through the egg shell. Not that I needed more evidence of my long held view that the earth is not obliged to live up to our grand expectations of its motherly munificence but the drop of the dead baby bird seemed to reaffirm it. She, if we can attribute a gender to it in our innate sentimentalism, has no intrinsic goodness to it as we define it.
All that the earth does is try to maintain a minimum degree of equilibrium between various elements that constitute it and various forces that act on it. In the process if a baby bird is stillborn and pushed off the tree that hosted its nest, so be it.
On a wholly unrelated note, Anna Hazare, often hailed as India’s most authentic campaigner against corruption in public life and who stages public fasts against it as a matter of routine, is asking his followers whether he should form a political party and enter politics.
Notwithstanding that there is always the danger of becoming just another one of the more than two dozen political parties, Hazare seems to have recognized the limited effectiveness of fasting as a tool of political change. He now seems inclined to consider an alternative, namely a political party. Of course, he wants to keep himself above the fray by not joining it himself but supporting it.
There is not much option for the so-called Hazare movement other than forming a political party because nebulous movements such as theirs do eventually unravel. It also smacks of a certain arrogance for the core members of the movement to think that they could stay outside the electoral and legislative process and scrutiny and still presume to dictate new sweeping anti-corruption laws.
Somewhere along some of the members of the movement might have been worried about losing the aura that comes with leading a popular movement. It is possible that they thought they might be dismissed as just another political party hungry for political power. However, the movement cannot become more effective than it already has if it chooses to remain a bunch of eternally ranting demagogues.
It is not clear yet whether Hazare and his core group would turn into a formal political party that has to adhere to all that the country’s Election Commission has laid down for political parties to follow. Once they do indeed become a political party, they will find it impossible to just demagogue their way out of public questioning. Some of them may also realize that it is easier to be saintly than navigate all the grime of electoral politics and still remain honest and effective.