“We are ranked first as the cleanest city in India!” muttered some municipal boss to his subordinate in the city of Indore.
“Yes sir,” the employee whispered back, “four years running!”
“But to keep the award, we have to be vigilant,” continued his boss, “I have been going up and down looking for overfilled dustbins, dirty roads, or even messy railway tracks!”
“We have been careful sir!”
“Careful!” thundered the boss, “Careful? What is this?” The subordinate looked fearfully at his boss’s mobile, and at the pictures that had been carefully shot.
“Those are the old and homeless people sir!”
“Get them off the streets!”
“Shall I put them all in our municipal hospitals sir?”
“What? And dirty our hospitals? Are you mad? Throw them out of the city!”
“Sir, the temperature is freezing!”
“Do you want us to win the award or not? Do it now! Now!”
The newspapers said today that ‘the Indore district magistrate apologized to God, for the local administration’s action of dumping homeless people outside the city, amid the cold weather’
This, after the whole country reacted in horror!
But I wonder what God said as the apology was made?
I wonder whether He said sadly, “Does cleaning the outdoors, come with dirtying the indoors?”
Or maybe God didn’t use a pun, but bluntly whispered, “Isn’t that what is happening all over the world? Didn’t it happen in Germany, where six million Jews who were thought dirtier than their Aryan neighbours were taken to gas chambers and killed? Hitler was just trying to keep Germany clean wasn’t he?”
“Didn’t it just happen in America with a president, who thought he was squeaky white clean, closing the borders to those who were coloured different? Even allowing policemen to brutalize non- whites in his own country? Was Trump trying to make America ‘clean again’?”
“And closer home, isn’t it happening when men and women who worship different are being forced on their backfoot to defend their own marriages, against love-jihad laws? Or those who eat a different diet than yours being stopped from doing so? To keep the nation clean?”
I’m not sure whether the Almighty said all this, but it must be a sad God, who watches us trying to win, ‘cleanliness awards’ through dirty means. Indore’s tragedy was for a straightforward cleanliness award but most of the other, ‘clean awards’ seem more political in nature!
A clean America is most certainly not a white America, and a clean India isn’t just people of one community. Looking after the elderly, understanding those from other communities, caring for the poor and the weak is what cleanliness is about.
Only ‘clean’, clubbed with compassion, will win a divine ‘Cleanliness Award’!
Nothing else will..!
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