F*ck you, 2020.
This year was the year I see snowfall for the first time. This year was the year I visit Varanasi. This year was also the year I wanted to get a stamp of at least one European country on my passport.
But thanks to you, none of that has happened.
The first two months of the year were spent anticipating riots. A bunch of people gathering together, asserting their religious identity over imaginary fear of ‘being stripped off of their citizenship’, accusing everyone who tries to explain them otherwise as ‘Islamophobe’ and a ‘hater’ – what could go wrong? Especially when the same bunch of people had been threatening roadblocks and setting buses on fire and pelting stones just for fun at cops trying to bring in some law and order. What really could go wrong.
Elections in the national capital were to take place. Delhi Chief Minister claimed he had ‘no power’ on Delhi Police. He, of course, had enough powers a year later to ‘deny’ permission to Delhi Police to let grounds be used as protesting sites for Punjab farmers. Delhi Chief Minister, you are a despicable human being.
What is it with these bunch of people and setting public property like buses, trains on fire.
And then, just like that, one fine day, ‘spontaneously’ mob gathers and starts rioting. Politicians make fake calls to cops knowing fully well that the police vans will not be able to reach in time because of the rioting idiots blocking roads. This works as his alibi as he lends out his roof to hurl petrol bombs and such stuff to unsuspecting neighbours.
Intelligence Bureau officer is killed, his body recovered from the drain. Another constable is killed by a mob while a police officer barely manages to escape the mob. Why is mob angry? No one knows. The CAA never affected Indians, still, a particular community took it upon themselves that they’ll be sent to detention camps.
As if the Islamists giving calls for Khilafat and chanting ‘La Ilaha Ilallah’ while torching the national capital wasn’t enough, China unleashed a friggin virus on all of humanity. As Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar expressed in disgust, so many animals to eat, did they really have to eat the damned bat!
And just when we were coming to terms with this new virus no one had heard of and is most likely made in a shiny lab somewhere in China, Tablighi Jamaatis are discovered from the Nizamuddin Markaz. That was one of the first superspreader events in India. Earlier such superspreader event was the Tablighi Jamaat in Malaysia. So many of these Jamaatis were foreigners and were on a visa violation.
Of course people got mad at them. Not for gathering but for hiding. For spitting on healthcare workers. For lying about their visits. For defecating in the hospitals where they are being treated, just because they could. Those who call them out for their general aversion for all thing decent, you get called an Islamophobe.
Oh and the later gatherings during festivals and political rallies? Yes – all covidiots. All sorts of political and religious gatherings should have been avoided. Just because Tablighis were called out for spitting on unsuspecting doctors and healthcare workers, should you compare them to others celebrating festivals without resorting to display of disgusting behaviour? Apples and oranges.
Half the time went reading about those spitting machines and other half saying how religious and political gatherings of non-spitters is not cool either. But, not the same thing.
And things got so politically correct that you can no longer call them out for their reckless behaviour. To avoid ‘stigmatisation’, Delhi started reporting all contact traced positive cases as ‘single source’. They got flak for it also. No, not quarantine but ‘single source’ should have been word of the year.
The nightmarish lockdown and the sheer cluelessness regarding the future. There was nowhere to go, no one to meet, nothing to do. Every day you see doom prediction and read about jobs, lives lost. People having no money, no job. So many lives ruined.
It was heartbreaking.
The migrant crisis happened. In the middle of nation-wide lockdown, the migrant workers who had gone to other states to earn a living were stuck. With no money, no work and no help from the state governments they were staying in like Delhi, Maharashtra and Punjab, thousands of them started walking towards their home states, mostly Bihar and Uttar Pradesh on foot.
Political parties did not shy away from earning brownie points and adding to chaos either. There were reports that migrant workers in Delhi were informed through loudspeakers that Delhi govt run buses will drop them off at the UP border where the UP govt buses will take them home. This when there were travel restrictions across the country. Delhi government-run by Aam Aadmi Party and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal left the UP-Bihar migrant workers on their own. And then AAP has the audacity to go fight elections in UP after abandoning them when they needed them the most.
Speaking of fake awards from the UN, did you read this one time when ‘UN-NGO’ hailed Mamata Banerjee’s work in countering coronavirus pandemic in her ‘kingdom’? Well, yes. That ‘NGO’ is not really linked to the UN (United Nations) that we know. OpIndia team dug through the Internet wearing the Sherlock hat to figure out the drone-boy-esque dubious NGO.
You guys do know about drone boy Prathap, right? Yea, so the 22-year-old boy from Karnataka who made drones out of mixies and grinders? Yep, that didn’t happen. This was ‘India on Diwali night as captured from space’ level hoax which everyone lapped up till my colleague here Raju slayed it and how. Raju slayed droneboy and how!
There were locust attacks, earthquakes, wild fires. The world was coming to an end it seemed. And then there was the ‘fear’ of Donald Trump being reelected as the President of the United States.
A former church, which was a museum, is now turned into a mosque again in a country far away. A teacher is beheaded in the streets of another country because he showed a satirical cartoon of a religious figure. While most are shocked, ‘liberals’ across the world, instead of calling out the radicalisation of the person who beheaded a person, were busy giving lessons on how one should not ‘offend’ the others.
Like, seriously. It was as if it was the man’s own fault he was beheaded. A word against the hardliners of this particular religion gets you labelled as ‘communal’.
And then the unlock happened. There was hope that things will get better. That if things are not normal today, they will get normal eventually.
All festivals were cancelled. But then, there was hope. Some of the most brilliant minds were working on a vaccine. Which if not today, will be here tomorrow, everyone believed.
And then we saw the dark side of the Internet. As a 90s kid, who grew up as an introverted, shy person, the Internet has been my only constant friend. A bunch of school kids in elite schools of the national capital were discussing rape fantasies on social media.
Normally one would dismiss such talks as raging hormones, but not when there are detailed planning of ‘gang-raping’ their classmates is concerned. Especially not when one of the girls pretends to be a boy suggesting that she gets gang-raped. Kids, why don’t you focus on studies like most of us did when we were your age.
To make matters worse, in another, unrelated case, a class 12 boy Manav committed suicide. A girl had accused him of molestation. He started receiving threats and under pressure, jumped to his death. He was made a rapist overnight. The horrifying side of social media where people would rather believe the worst than giving someone benefit of the doubt.
A young, promising life lost. A family ruined.
And just when we had agreed that the Internet is a horrible place, suddenly, a wild Baba Ka Dhaba phenomenon appeared. A video of one old couple in south Delhi went viral on social media. Lockdown had hit them hard and they had no money.
SUDDENLY INTERNET SAMARITANS ASSEMBLED.
Everyone suddenly decided to go eat at that particular Baba Ka Dhaba. Not at the old-dude run food lorry down the road but that Baba Ka Dhaba in Malviya Nagar needs our money SO WE MUST GO. Baba Dhaba got so overwhelmed he shut his shop that day. There were marketing stickers of mobile phones and mobile payment apps that sprung up overnight.
Baba Dhaba got cataract operation for free.
Baba Dhaba suddenly was a meme.
AND THEN HE SUED THE DUDE WHO MADE HIM FAMOUS.
AND THEN DUDE SUED HIM BACK!!
AND BABA DHABA GOT DEATH THREATS!!!
AND NOW BABA DHABA OWNS A RESTAURANT!!!!
WHAT JUST HAPPENED!!!!!
At least the pandemic came as a blessing in disguise for some.
Speaking of blessing in disguise, how can one forget how Rahul Gandhi and his sister along with every other politician worth their salt politicised murder of the Dalit girl in Hathras.
Whether the girl was raped, not raped, whether she was in a relationship with the man who allegedly raped and then strangulated her or whatever becomes secondary when you see that a woman was strangulated and a life was lost. From Congress leaders to communist leaders to some random woman who posed as a ‘bhabhi’ of the girl and turned out to be a completely random woman, everyone came to win political brownie points.
Things turned ugly pretty quick. But in a week, all the media and political circus surround the murder of the young girl died down as people moved on to a new news cycle.
But it just showed us one more example on how the elected representatives, who claim to be fighting for you, are in reality fighting only for the limelight. 2020 was a year when our faith that politicians lack humanity was restored.
Meanwhile, as things were getting normal in rest of the country, Modi decided to fasten the normalcy process. Hence he brought in three new laws which catapulted normalcy like nothing else.
PROTESTS WERE BACK!
Farmers wanted to protest for the same thing the government was giving but they were still protesting. Suddenly the demands they had from the government over the years became ‘kaala kanoon’ (black law) because Modi did it. A conversation between a friend and I went something like this:
Friend: Modi hates farmers also now.
Me: What happened?
Friend: The anti-farmer laws? It is because of the farmers that you have food on your plate.
Me: Well, I thank the farmers for doing their bit in helping me eat, but I also kind of pay for the food I eat. Not that I am getting anything for free.
Friend: So, farmers should give you food for free?
Me: No. In fact, I should be giving a fair price for the produce and the quality of the food produced by them.
Friend: That.. is nice.
Me: That is also what PM Modi has done with the new laws.
Friend: No, he has done for Ambani and Adani.
Friend: They will buy grains and exploit farmers.
Me: Farmers then can choose not to sell it to Ambani and Adani.
Friend: But APMC are going.
Me: Who said?
Friend: You are a bhakt.
And well, that’s how the conversation ended. APMC or even MSP, the minimum support price at which government procures food grains from farmers is not going anywhere. But the ‘farmers’ are protesting against the laws which are doing exactly what they are demanding.
Either they are misguided or they are politically motivated.
And amongst all this, farmer leader Geeta Bhati had her chappals stolen by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A video where Bhati accused PM Modi of having her chappals stolen so that she cannot participate in the protests further had gone viral.
This summed up farmer protests. Anyone who thought that annadata Geeta Bhati’s demands were unrealistic is an IT cell worker and an andhbhakt. He is a monster who does not deserve the next meal on his plate.
So, F*ck you, 2020 for unleashing riots and virus upon us. F*ck you, 2020 for shutting down schools, colleges, offices, lives of people. F*ck you, 2020 for reaffirming that only non-Hindus can assert their religious identities in India. Even if the other religion is the world’s second most followed religion in the world, they will continue to be the ‘minority’, and anyone calling out their extremism or radicalisation is a hater. F*ck you for showing how politics across the world has to be politically correct only if it pertains to one particular religion.
And most of all, f*ck you for depriving farmer leader Geeta Bhati of her chappals.
PS: F*ck you 2021 already for the friggin mutated coronavirus. F*ck you.