Tuesday, April 10, 2007

An Alternative Revolution

Amar Akbar Anthony's elders took part in revolutions, wars, freedom struggles, risking life for great causes and attaining glory and meaning. We were however denied this - there was no great cause left for us, all we ever had was the insufferable ennui of a purposeless existence.

So we drew up our own Revolution, where at least our alter-egos could find meaning and purpose through a great cause - the fight for the liberation of Desh and its people from imperialist shackles, the struggle to be masters of our own destiny.

But lately, I have begun to wonder. Four hundred million Deshis managed to become subjects of a foreign force which never numbered much more than a hundred thousand - that is to say, there were 4,000 of us for every 1 of them. So we know that our Independence moment was in truth rather feeble.

However, to hear all the freedom songs written both before and after, the whole nation was filled with fervour, ready to rise up in revolt against the hated imperialists!

So how come we didn't win our independence earlier? All revolutions definitely need catchy songs. We had no shortage of poets. Indeed, we seem to have had more revolutionary poets than actual revolutionaries. Instead of fighting for freedom , we wrote songs about fighting for freedom. Instead of killing our enemies, we wrote songs about killing our enemies. But when it came time for inspired action, we were either all talk or fools.

So maybe the three of us also got our revolution all wrong. We have a vision of a less glorious revolution story:

It is the dark days of the early 1940s, the imperialists have their jackboots on our brothers and sisters' necks, and Amar Akbar Anthony have gathered to confer at a secret meeting place:

"This oppression has gone on long enough!"
"We must crush them like ants!"
"We must take action!"

Then we all sit down and start penning the next revolutionary song. Anthony draws up intellectual themes with allusions to history and literature, Amar fills in lines of fire and brimstone and makes it rhyme, Akbar adds in Balle Balle and makes sure it has a catchy beat.

Individual efforts may go something like this:
Amar song: "Let's kill the Imperialist swine, then pickle them in brine!"
Akbar song: "I am a lover of Desh! Balle Balle! I am intoxicated by her gaze! Balle Balle!"
Anthony song: "My fight is for a secular federal democratic republic, hai Jamalo!"

Then we all go home and wait for the Imperialists to return home too.