Thursday, August 12, 2010


Dear Failed State,

What is really left to be said regarding your supposed Failure? All the usual things have been said: goodbye law and order, hello false democracy, fuck you Mr. President, etc. etc. In strictly statistical terms, of course you are a Failure, dear State. But don't make plans to blow up into nothingness (however good you are at Blowing Things Up) just yet. If one wants to be fair about it, it's not you, it's us. In fact, let's begin at the beginning: Attempts at forcing Nation-Statehood is a pretty stupid idea to begin with, and it's never been a good colour on you. Of course you failed at it.

Let's be responsible about this analysis of where you went Wrong. There are several places we could start:
a) 1600, when the East India Company decided to arrive
b) 1947, when you were born
c) some point between 1947 and now, TBD by various squabbling factions.
I'm going to scratch option (a) for now, because that merits a separate letter about your origins, and truth be told, we never really explained to you where you come from. I'll also have to dispense with option (c) because I'd rather not get political and point fingers at any of our Great Leaders, none of whom I would choose to lead you again. I think it's time we acted like two adults here and talked about birth.

You weren't really what anyone would call a planned birth. You were more of a pleasant surprise, even if the labour was long and hard, even murderous, one could say, and even if your parents were going through a period of confusion about who they want you be and how they would like to raise you. Your father made a speech 63 years and 1 day ago about freedom of religion at the same time as he made one about the Triumph of Islam, at the same time as he championed the poet-laureate who had brilliantly political ideas of his own, at the same time as he accepted the Cabinet Mission Plan which never really wanted you get the idea? The truth is hard, and the truth is, there is none really. Or if there was, it's been dead for 62 years, like a joke from another decade, being dredged up years later by people going through mid-life crises and attempting to relive the great trends of their youth. This is not a cynical explanation, dear State. It's simply the kindest way of saying, nobody knows who or what you really are and the collective confusion this creates has led to your multiple personality disorder today.

What matters now is that you understand and accept yourself who you are-a badly explained idea with a series of poor choices under your belt. What matters even more is that you quit trying to understand how you ended up this way, make better choices and choose to take your disorders with you to rehab. You may not have made your own bed, or at least not all of it-saying that is like saying your toes should suffer because someone flicked you in the eye, but you can make it easier to lie in. Rhetoric about democracy/dictatorship, enlightened moderation/religious guidance, fuck you Mr.President/fuck you Mr.Prime Minister/fuck you Mr. Chief Justice may be fun, but it's just so last year. I suggest you come out of your long stupor by beginning to think more (but not overthink, it is a guaranteed migraine), talk less, for God's sake talk less, and move beyond the circumstances of your birth into the hopefully wise sexageneranian you should now be. It's not (entirely) your fault, and we don't mind that you already Failed in the eyes of statistical evidence. Unless the world really is ending in 2012, there is endless time to right wrongs, provided of course you become less of a whiner and more of a doer.

Happy (Almost) Birthday, remember to have fun and try to be good.


Your Citizen

Acknowledgement: Thank you to Zehra Nabi for writing the first letter :)