Mirroring anger, disbelief, bewilderment and helpless fury of nearly two-thirds of the planet, scores of Hyderabadis too rose, on social media, to mark their protest against the man America has elected as their 45th President. Within no time of taking the oath, he has built the first of the numerous walls he has promised to build – a virtual wall of denial of visas to refugees, and other immigrants, from several Muslim countries.
Rarely have so many people across the world protested so angrily, even before a democratically elected leader had taken office. Forced I am to wear my ‘reality-double-checking-glasses’ and wonder, if in his vices, he is alone. As we look at the map of our city a bit more closely, piercing the walls of hypocrisy and pretence, we will see
a million Trumps abound, and governing us.
Landlords who build similar walls and communities which pride in those walls and people whose life’s biggest triumph is marked by entering those gates. Don’t they deny entry based on religion? The greater scrutiny President Trump wants which shock us are already in vogue amongst landlords of Hyderabad for decades.
Behind the façade of organic food consumption, eco-friendly water harvesting infrastructure, corruption-fighting decent middle class folks, those lawns and those pets, those yoga classes and social responsibility initiatives, will be those who will let maids and drivers not have access to a common bathroom, or even spend money to enable separate lifts for people of ‘lower means’. Ever been to a star hotel or a pub or a mall lately dressed wrongly? Or on a wrong vehicle? Try it. There will be a handful of walls and its sponsors, from policy making owners to the ruthless in cutting dissent bouncers everywhere. No shoes, no car, no good clothes, not accompanied by someone of the other gender – forget it buddy. No entry, can’t you see the wall?
Ever been serviced by door delivery? Ever thought how it feels to be on the other side of the door while the delivery happens? What if someone treats you at the US Visa Counter the way you always treated him?
Not only has America gotten the Trump it voted for; even the world at large, I suspect, has always had its share of Trumps in its own midget size backyards, in their little neighbourhoods.
TAILPIECE: Nothing is as frustrating as a politician who comes to power on promises he has no inclination, or ability, to implement. But worse is the politician who actually implements his promises.
— Sriram Karri
(Sriram Karri is author of the bestselling novel, Autobiography of a Mad Nation. He writes for international media such as The New York Times and BBC besides organising debates at Hyd Park)