OPINION | Meghalaya Politics: The game that animals play – by Michael Makri


By Michael Makri

As 2018 is dawning soon, Meghalaya is preparing for a new era. The games that people play these days can be compared to a life lived in the wild jungle of the Amazons. Wherever we look, we see political animals performing their best trick for their own habitations and happiness.

Most Political {(LEADERS?) Are they?} in Meghalaya leading among them are the crocodiles, revered and reviled, as fascinating as they are frightening too. They are known for their greed and voracious appetite, they feed on meat (money-earned-at-tables) and whatever — or whoever — is offered them. They do not have the capacity to think if what is offered is poisonous or not. Here greed is the cause of their breed's extinction. Next, we see the chameleons' political leaders; changing colors on demand, from saffron to green, green to white, white to red or whatever — saffron of patriotism to saffron of bloody streets; green of environmentalism to green of greed; White as light to white as lies in broad day light.

What do you think is next? Of course there are the attack dogs, willing to jump on any prey upon their master's bidding. Skeletons in their closet — not just bones to fetch them but to keep them in check; these too like the crocodiles, they feed on meat (although these are fed under the table) too. Though ferocious against their enemies, this breed of animals can also be lapdogs: which are more docile, submissive, wagging their tails for fame, panting for power no matter when and how it will come. Of course, reality tells us that there are watchdogs that go against the attack dogs, hence the inevitable and thrilling dogfights we see all the time. By now, we must be aware that there are some watchdogs that barked loud enough to wake us up from our apathy. But beware of watchdogs too, because not all of them can be relied upon. Some have fought valiantly against corruption or whatever they think is an enemy of their surrounding, but now they wear a very different collar. Hard life is not it?

Don't you see the kangaroo courts? I hate them, because these animals are characterized not by the extent of their erudition but by the depth of their pockets. Hmmmmm…they can go on surviving for months even if we all die of hunger and thirst. Then, we have our very own sacred cows that no crocodile would devour, no attack dog would bite, and no kangaroo would leap upon. They are fully protected with Z level security. From time to time, we also encounter scapegoats – poor animals used to divert attention from pressing matters or limit the damage from scandal, poor little ones but these too are not sinless either. My heart at times goes with the sacrificial lambs, which are young, helpless, innocent, slaughtered in the name of progress and development by their very own owner.

As if this is not over and we haven't had enough; don't you realize that we also have to deal with monkey business? These ones conducted in the corridors of power, some even when caught flat- footed; they manage to escape by imitating love for society, or by shedding crocodile tears. Funny is not it? I am not sure if there are cats among them, but many of these political animals seem to have nine lives. In the real sense of the word, they are immune from allegations of corruption, charges of sedition, or staged assassinations, they manage to resurrect themselves from political graveyards at every competition. And just as the deaths of sacrificial lambs are taken as proof of their guilt, these nine-lives animals present their longevity as proof of their righteousness and holiness.

Let us journey to the political safari that is replete with reptiles and mammals, birds and winged creatures. We know they truly participated in this game from their parroting of untruths and the tweeting of hate that goes on every day. We also know this from our seeming tendency for wild goose pursuits. In this sort of arena there are hawks that wants to fight the enemies, and also doves that call for peace. Meghalaya's playground, have a mix of them, but alas, some of them chicken out in the face of adversity, conceding our territories and borders not with a chuckle or a cock-a-doodle-doo, but with a 'salaam'. In the end, we notice that beyond vertebrates, there are also undefined spineless creatures: those who do not have the courage to stand up for their convictions. They are caught in the spider's web of corruption, yet seemingly able to liberate themselves at will; some of them I must say are political butterflies.

"Man, by nature, is a political animal," said Aristotle an ancient Greek philosopher and scientist. If this saying is true then – what is the rest of us? I begin to broaden my observation, it is here I see lowly carabaos or the water buffalos, beasts of burden made to toil every day, plodding through the daily commutes, made to bear the weight of our society's troubled reality: the true milking cows of our socially unjust and corrupt system. It is pitiful and I feel sad for them. I also see sheep without a shepherd, being led astray, fed with fake news and false promises. What a pitiful situation.

After observing all these, I still refuse to lose hope. I know sacrificial lambs may yet awaken our conscience, eagles may yet soar, and crocodiles may yet destroy themselves in their destructive struggles. And some animals, however endangered or hunted down, will definitely help us in times of dire need. Indeed, I think they are among us, and they will rise. But for now, however sad, the "law of the jungle" reigns. There should be a realization in each one of us for much vigilance therefore. Because like the Bible often reminded us that we should especially beware of prowling nighttime predators; these ones are leading our society to the dogs. The Holy Bible warned us that there are 'wolves in sheep's clothing' and I am sure 2018's result will prove the Bible right.

(Disclaimer: TNT-The Northeast Today does not necessarily subscribe to the views and opinions of the writer. The observations made is that of the author alone)