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WERE   APRILS   THE  CRUELEST   ?—Prof. P K Sharma (Freelance Journalist)


“ April is the cruelest month….”

The Nobel laureate American-English poet, playwright and critic TS Eliot’s landmark poem “The Waste Land” opens with this daunting line haunted by the despair and desolation of the society of his contemporary times !

Although  Eliot created this poem in the year 1922 exactly a century ago to bring to the fore the follies, foibles and immoralities of the England of his times yet how amazingly the opening line sounds quite true and relevant in India-2022 context awfully grappling with ‘D’s in abundance !

The unabated dance of depression, disappointment, disease, deprivation, death and dooms’ days looming large all over the nation with no signs of this pall of gloom engulfing India to bid adieu so soon. Who is to blame for this is a very evident and pertinent million dollar question? In general, it can be said that we are all collectively responsible for this pell-mell when we tolerate this in silence but in particular for making these Ds assume dreadful and devastating proportions, are those at the helm of affairs of the nation not blameworthy? The polity of the nation did not bother to learn from the yesteryears blunders and blemishes.

Needless to mention, complacency, hegemony, apathy, unilateralism and hubris on the part of nation’s polity have been playing devil ’s game, hence nation facing the music as a result thereof ! Leaving no room for values, wisdom, expertise and consensual approach, the things have come to this  critical pass. Pulwama Suicide Bomb Attack(February14,2019), Demonetisation,Erratic GST just a few instances(there is a plethora) added to the hardships woes and miseries of countrymen in a number of ways.

Now a glance at the Aprils’ cruelest cuts during the past two years.

In 2021,about more than 45000 deaths and highest number of Corona cases jolted the nation because of Corona’s ferocity and active Covid-19 Cases going out of bounds. Then Oxygen shortage too took the nation by surprise as Corona patients died in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital,Jaipur Golden Hospital, Nasik Hospital, Neelkanth Hospital Amritsar. A fire mishap turned very fatal for patients undergoing treatment for Corona in a Mumbai Hospital. Twenty two CRPF-DRG-STF security men fell prey to Maoists bullets in Terram on Bijapur- Sukma border in Chhattisgarh. Then five factory workers in a cracker manufacturing factory blast in Bijnor of Uttar Pradesh  too lost their lives ! Glacier break in Chamoli(Uttarakhand) then claimed ten lives.

The 2022 saw April in contemptuous, pell- mellish, chaotic,destructive  and violent hues.The two words” bulldozer “ and “ loudspeaker ” gained prominent and frequent resonance across the nation sounding changed contours. The Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti celebrations this year along with “Hanuman Chalisa” saw taking ugliest-cruelest twist and turn in the annals of India that is BHARAT that too in the 75th Year of Nation’s Independence in form of bizarre culture of razing abd bulldozing natural justice springing up on the Indian soil  in an organized fashion with the tacit nod of  the “ powers that be “ to fan and flare up an aura of hatred, bitterness, fear, animosity and strife among the populace of the nation.I am haunted in this context  by a 1967 movie Upkar’s heart- rending song’s line “ Dete Hein Bhagwan Ko Dokha Insaan Ko Kya Chhodengen“(They deceive God, will they spare humanbeings?). The roots of this novel “ Bulldozer Baba” trend lay in Uttar Pradesh then spreading swiftly elsewhere too to reap electoral dividends.There was ‘ unprecedented “ and  ”unwarranted ” crackdown and demolition spree in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan  in the name of religion and on the pretext of breaking the back and morale of criminals.This  unfortunate scene  instead of promoting feelings of love, communal harmony, amity and common  brotherhood among the masses paved a way for discord, panic and devastation.

Ironically, the American- British poet did attach a lot of significance to Upnishads

(Upnishad impliesto sit down near a teacher”) whereas we Indians simply  overlook their importance relegating the same in to oblivion.He concludes the poem with Brihadaranayaka Upnishad 5,1…. with this high lesson offering line.

“Datta,Dayadhavam, Damyata, Shantih,shantih,shantih”.

 T.S. Eliot thus ended the poem on a very fine moral note enjoining people in the four directions of the globe to adopt certain moral standards where“Datta” stands for giving, “Dayadhavam” for being compassionate and “Damyata” for exercising control. Do either we or our rulers believe in these virtues ever willing to adopt the same in our/ their lives ?


Contributed by :

Prof PK Sharma, Former Reporter The Tribune- Freelance Journalist,

Associate Professor Of English(Retired), Pom Anm Nest,Barnala(Punjab)


Mobile: 94170-02504



Prof PK Sharma is an illustrious Alumnus of Satish Chander Dhawan Govt. College, Ludhiana.

1 comment

Dr.Sunil Chopra May 18, 2022 at 8:01 am

Worth reading.Thank you prof.P.K.Sharma


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