As I write this, our television channels and news sites beam images of currency notes being put on the tables in the well of the Lok Sabha. Yes, these images are disturbing. Yes, these images are shameful. Yes, it's a black day for democracy.
However, one thing it is not is surprising.
When I first saw those images, somehow, I was not shocked. Because, finally, the facade has been broken.
We always knew the truth. We knew that support is bought and sold. We even coined terms for it like horse trading and aya ram, gaya ram. Jokes about it are now part of Indian pop culture. We even read scathing editorials and blog posts. We held discussions about it. We made successful and unsuccessful movies portraying it. Today, we finally saw it.
That is why I don't feel shocked. I don't feel betrayed. I only feel bemused and sad and disgusted.
Now all news anchors are giving us sentimental, sanctimonious speeches. Yes, we've all heard that before. Is anything going to change? No. Is Indian politics suddenly going to start being about ideology rather than about money and power. No.
What will happen? There will be outbursts, yes. But only on television. In some drawing rooms over a hot cup of tea or coffee. There will be editorials pooh-pooing all the various players involved. Magazine covers providing an in-depth analysis. Blog posts condemning the media, condeming the politicians, condemning the people. We might even get a few humorous and sarcastic posts out of it. Everyone will agree that politicians are scum and the everyone is corrupt.
After a few days, when the infinite loop of these images have earnt their last rupee on India TV, we will go back to talking about reality shows and bollywood wars. We will justify to ourselves that no one can change anything, that India will remain the same and it's the country is fucked up beyond repair. We will watch our movies for escaping from real life, for doing in the reel world what we cannot do in the real. We will read our books full of magic realism. We will go back to teaching our children that our culture in morally superior to other cultures, and on 15th August we will send each other SMS's which proclaim that our country is the best in the world. Our misplaced jingoistic patriotic pride at work again.
In the end, our politicians will go back to what they are the best at doing, making our country a bonafide de-MOCK-cracy.