INTO THE PAST WITH PAIN..XXXXVI
Prof Dr Colonel K Prabhakar Rao ( Retired)
( Gandhi, Patel and Nehru are seen walking on a forest road in Mahboobnagar District in Andhra Pradesh in the late hours of the day. The sun is seen going down a hill at distance and long shadows are seen extending. Many shrieks of wild animals are also heard in the late evening hours. A tiger’s growl is also heard at a far off distance.)
Gandhi. Look Patel This area appears to be rich in forest life.
Patel. Yes Bapu. This is the strong reserve forest in Andhra Pradesh. There are plenty of deer herds. There are varieties of antelopes, stags, Wild boar, Neelgai, Barasingha, spotted deer, Black deer and plenty of Tigers and leopards in this forest.
Gandhi. That is very good. Look. The humans are greedy and they have destroyed the habitat of these animals all these days. It is our noble duty to preserve the forests and cater areas for these animals.
Jawahar. True Bapu. When I was the PM, I took special care to preserve forests and animals in the forests.
Patel. That is good if you have done. I do not know much because I died early in 1950 after you became PM and was not fortunate to see your rule and all good things you claim you have done
Nehru. Hope you are not sarcastic.
Patel. Why should be?
Gandhi. When you guys would stop squabbling? I am getting vexed up.
( In the mean time two jeeps with some people are seen . There are two police men in uniform sitting in the jeeps. The men are carrying rifles. The jeeps are open type and canopy is removed. The jeeps appear to be prepared for hunting)
Gandhi. .Look Jawahar. I suspect these guys to be poachers. Why should they carry such high powered rifles.
Jawahar. But there are some police guys also with them.
Gandhi. That is a point to note.
Patel. I can recognize the rifles. These are not the usual sport rifles for hunting. They appear to be 7.62 mm semi automatic government weapons issued to police and paramilitary forces. They are not used for hunting because they are used for law enforcing.
Gandhi. Then why these civilian men are carrying these rifles? There must be some fishy thing in this. We must find out truth.
Jawahar. Why worry Bapu. Let them go to hell. We have other things to do. Why should we get involved in all nonsense that goes on in this country. We had enough when we lived.
Patel. What Bapu said is correct. There is some thing wrong here and I suspect some unlawful activity being planned and I am sure it is for poaching. All hunting is prohibited now a days. I saw some search lights fitted to the jeeps.
( In the mean time the jeeps drive fast and the men queerly look at Gandhi and his friends The trio feel tired and sit on a culvert and drink water they carry along with them. The sun has already set and things are not clearly visible… In the mean time suddenly three rifle shots are heard in quick succession and the birds fly out from nearby trees quackling)
Gandhi. Look Patel. Have you heard those shots? I am sure those guys in jeeps have shot some animals.
Patel. You are correct Bapu. You have to be correct always, I mean
Gandhi . Are you joking with me?
Patel. How can it be Bapu? Are we mad to joke with you. ( Sings)
Who can joke with you Bapu
And life itself is a big joke
Do not get annoyed my dear Bapu
Be happy and drink this coke
Gandhi. That is OK, Relax
( Again three ore shots are heard in distance and Gandhi and his friends get up and rush down the culvert and they are very close to a lake near by. In fact from the culvert, lake can not be seen as it is hidden by many trees and bushes. They clearly see animals struggling near the lake after being shot. Then they find some men with rifles approach the animals and the trio are aghast at the sight when they find the men slitting throats of the animals that are not yet dead. The men settle down and start skinning the animals. Patel counts and there are five animals that were shot and skinned. Gandhi and his friends slowly approach the men and they are up at their feet when they find them.)
Stranger. Hey old man ! What are you doing here?
Gandhi, I should ask this question and not you. What are you doing here with your friends?
Strranger. Can’t you see? We are doing hunting here. We need deer meat for a big party.
Gandhi. Hunting is forbidden. It can be serious. You have to be punished.
Stranger. ( Laughs) Haa…haa.heee. Who will punish us?
Nehru. Why do you laugh? You have committed crime and then laughing too. You need to be fixed.
Stranger. Who are you guys to ask me? We are very powerful and well connected in Hyderabad. Go off you guys or else…
Patel. What will you do? Will you kill us?
Stranger. Have you seen these rifles?
Patel. I have seen many like this.
( Suddenly they find some lights at a distance and they find some vehicles approaching them. The strangers load the dead animal carcasses in to the jeep and jump into the vehicles and drive out fast while the approaching vehicles close in. They are forest officials and they confront the poachers. One of the jeep driven by poachers rushes at the forest vehicle and dashes against it trying to topple it. The forest officials jump out and fall on the poachers. Some of the poachers run away while seven of the poachers are caught red handed. Gandhi and the trio who are at the sight arguing with poachers help the forest officials to mop up the poachers. Patel roughs them up.)
Official. Thanks sir, for all the help you gave us. You appear to be gentle men.
Gandhi. Please do not mind. We have done our duty. We are always gentle.
( Patel picks up rifle cartridge cases from the site and hands over to the official)
Patel. Look sir. These are the cartridge cases of Self loading Rifles of either Police or some other armed agencies. All are of 7.62 mm caliber.
Official. Oh God what a crime! Has the government given rifles to the own agencies to do hunting? What a shame indeed?
Gandhi. There is no shame for them. They think it is their right. They think rifles are given to open fire on crowds and kill animals.
( All the poachers arrested are tied and are made to sit at one place while the forest officials interrogate them)
Official. Who are you guys? Who are the guys escaped? Who sent you?
Poacher. We do not know. Our brother in Hyderabad sent us.
Official. What is his name?
Poacher. I do not know his name.
Patel. You swine. How dare you do poaching? Who gave you rifles? ( He slaps the poacher hard). How dare you talk like this?
Gandhi. Patel. Plesae do not hit him. Look Baba.. Poacher Sahib. Why are you doing this hunting? Don’t you know this is a crime?
Poacher. Oh Bahia. Laws are to be broken. If not then why have laws? In fact hunting is a sport and manly activity. That is natural right of people. Who is this government to ban it?
Official. Ahaa. You appear to be clever.
Poacher. We have to be. It is our bad luck that we are caught. But nothing will happen to me. Our leaders are well connected and strong. Even police guys are involved. Then who will dare to us to punish. At the best we may be arrested and case would be booked. We shall come out on bail. We killed only animals; not humans. What happened to film actor Salman Khan? Has he been punished? He is free and enjoying. Nothing will happen to us. Decades will pass and you keep watching the show…haa…haa
Gandhi. What he says is true to a great extent. Indian laws are very poor. I also know that nothing has happened to Salman Khan who killed some black bucks in Rajasthan. He is going around free. I am sure these guys also would not be punished. I also remember Tiger killing in Hyderabad zoo some time ago. Governmnet had no clue for many many years. By chance one of them was caught.
Nehru. Do you think Bapu, all this exercise is waste of time?
Patel. Jawahar. You know it better. You ruled for 16 years. Could you punish the guys who brought shame to the country in Chinese war? Krishna menon was just eased out. Was it a punishment for him?
Nehru. Why bring that matter now. That is not connected to this ( Sings)
Look Patel my friend
That is not this
And this is not that
You know all is a fine miss
In India criminals escape
The law is very loose
Courts cases go on for decades
While all the guys have nice booze
Patel. Hee…hee.. That is a good poem. You are good at this art
Nehru. What do you mean Patel? I am best at many.
Patel. True. I read your discovery of India. I do not know what discovery was made. Sir Jadunath Sircar wrote great books than that.
Nehru. What you want to bring out?
Patel. Nothing. You know every thing ( Sings)
I am not saying anything
That you also know
Why do you get irked up
Relax and feel happy somehow
Gandhi. Please keep quiet. Is it the time to squabble, both of you?
Official. Who are you sir. I am unable to make out any thing from your talk.
Gandhi. Better you could not. We are Gandhi Nehru and Patel
Official. Who are they?
Gandhi. Ohfo ( Holds his head) Don’t you know them. What a surprise?
Official. Really do not know them. I know about Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, and now Rahul Gandhi.
( Gandhi picks up a stone and hammers his own head crying.. What a shame… What a shame to me.. e..eee…eee..sings)
The guys in India forgotten me
They think I am big joker and nut
Tom Dick and Harry are worshipped now
And I feel in the country there is great rut
This guy does not know who was Gandhi
While I was the one who gave them freedom
Jokers are now at the top of affairs everywhere
They made this nation their fiefdom
( Gandhi again picks up a stone and hammers his head crying and sobbing..ee…eeee…eee…aaa…aaa)
Patel. Bapu. Take it easy. Why are you crying now? Churchill told long ago that Indians did not deserve freedom. He said Indians were great nuts and corrupt guys.
Gandhi. (Sobs)…eee…eee…ooo…ooo..aaa….aaa.. Yeah I knew it. It became true although we condemned him.
Official. So you are that old guy whose photograph is worshipped on Oct 2 every year. Now I can slightly remember. But you were killed by some one long ago. I read in a book
Gandhi. Thanks for knowing that at least. Look Patel the guy remembers my death more than what I did. What type of people are these?
Nehru. Bapu. It is sad. But we cannot expect people to remember us for centuries. Human memory is very short.
Patel. Look Bapu. People say that many guys were relieved when you were sent to heavens by Godse. They say your pampering Muslims became extreme.
Nehru. Patel! Why dig old skeletons from cup boards?
Official. I think this is time now we leave. Thanks again for everything. We may need your witness in future. Kindly give your addresses and telephone numbers.
Patel. Please note. MK Gandhi and friends, H NO 1111, street no 1111, Ramdhun marg, Narayanpur, Vishnudev Mandal, Vaikunth district, Heavens State. Pin code..111111
Official. This address looks very strange. Where is this district. Is it in India?
Patel. No .It is in Vaikunta where Lord Vishnu lives.
Official. Plesae do not joke sir. Give me correct address. We are getting late. How about telephone numbers?
Patel. It is 1111111111111111
Official. There can not be any number like that
Nehru. But it is there.
Official. If you are from heavens you must be dead long ago. Then how you have become alive? It is strange.
Ga.ndhi. You will not know this. Shake hands with me. You shall know every thing
( The official shakes hand with Gandhi and he only moves hand in air. He tries many times.. He gets scared ..)
Official. Come on guys run. These are bhooths…eee…..eeee
(All the forest guards quickly put all the arrested men in Jeeps and drive away fast shouting run…run.. Bhoots are here)
Patel. (Laughs) Hee..hee..hhee
Gandhi. Come on guys . We had enough of fun
( The trio holds hands and walks away singing Ramdhun)