Mr. VP Singh, our ex PM expired yesterday.
But for the Mumbai terror, I should have felt good about it.
It is sad when someone departs from this world, and others feel Good bye to Good Riddance.
But, the truth is that it is precisely what I felt for Mr. Singh.
He had high personal integrity and that is to be given to him.
He was bright and sharp - undoubtedly.
But, he raised the bogey of caste - which had all but died out in the larger cities at least. And thus divided the society and did more damage to the social fabric than what any of the terrorists (Hindu/Muslim/Christian) might have done.
I still vividly remember September 1990 as I was a Class XI student then.
Our school captain was a girl called Shalini Yadav. She was a class XII student, an year elder to me.
Untill Mandal commission was dug out to thwart a Chaudhary Devi Lal rally and anti Mandal agitation took over India, I do not think any of us would have imagined or known Shalini's family name or surname.
What we might talked about was that she was no nonsense kinds, perhaps that's why she was made the captain to begin with. I was a school vice captain at that time and felt that she threw too much of her weight and lord is my witness, she did have weight to throw around.
And all of sudden, Shalini's throwing weight around was seen as her involvement with Mandal since she would have benefitted from it, being an "OBC".
I am fairly sure that Shalini would have been as clueless that she was an OBC as we were.
All this changed because of VP Singh.
Overnight, I got a Brahmin identity. It was really silly. I remember the impact like it happenned yesterday.
I ran the school's Quizzing club. And one of the brighter guys was someone called "Pramod" (name changed). Untill anti Mandal protests started, I did not know even - forget caring about - what caste he belonged to. He was one of the few guys who slogged to become a better quizzer and our school was rather pathetic in quizzing till then.
I still remember that I had to choose a team for a team quizzing competition, I chose him and there's this guy who comes and tells me that "Pramod" was an SC and how could I even think of making him the part of the team.... (to finish it, Pramod made to team and we lost - other teams were much better).
That's what VP Singh brought with a single act of his. All of sudden, accident of birth (your surname) became more relevant than how long you slogged, how you performed what ever.
It is not done thing in Hindu / Indian ethos to bad mouth someone who is dead.
But let me lose some "punya" for saying this - VP Singh was a rotten guy for what he did to our country.
Someone who tore apart the social fabric of our society, pitted Hindu against Hindu, did much more damage than Missionaries and Macaulay did in 150 years.
It is a pity he did not die earlier.
Perhaps living a parasite life for last 1.5 decades punished him some what for the damage to the society he caused.
May his soul be reborn in the lowest possible "yoni" in the next birth. I do not know if there is any "yoni" like "गन्दी नाली का कीडा" but if there is one, this guy belongs there.