A rather long write; it’s just my late night’s hallucination. Feel free to skip and get on with your life.
In Midnight’s Children’s introduction, Salman Rushdie writes: “in 1975 I published my first novel, Grimus, and decided to use the £700 advance to travel in India as cheaply as possible for as long as I could make the money last, and on that journey of fifteen-hour bus rides and humble hostelries Midnight’s Children was born. It was the year that Margaret Thatcher was elected leader of the Conservative Party and Sheikh Mujib, the founder of Bangladesh, was murdered; when the Baader-Meinhof gang was on trial in Stuttgart and Bill Clinton married Hillary Rodham and the last Americans were evacuated from Saigon and Generalissimo Franco died. In Cambodia, it was the Khmer Rouge’s bloody Year Zero. E. L. Doctorow published Ragtime that year, and David Mamet wrote American Buffalo, and Eugenio Montale won the Nobel Prize. And just after my return from India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi was convicted of election fraud, and one week after my twenty-eighth birthday she declared a state of emergency and assumed tyrannical powers. It was the beginning of a long period of darkness that would not end until 1977.”
If you think I kept on reading the introduction, you’re mistaken. Actually, I continued reading but my mind wasn’t there. I, quite involuntarily, got busy comparing this detailed account of those years with the world we live in today. I stopped reading, and in a couple of minutes, I came up with these horrifying facts:
It’s 2019, and far-right parties have risen again flaunting all over the world. Against all odds, Donald Trump is still the president of the U.S. Every day, he wakes up and types hatred in his Twitter account, and later he stares at the cameras and lies to the world. Brexit has happened, something which seems to be the beginning of ending the dream of a united Europe. Brazil is being led by Jair Bolsonaro, a foul-mouthed homophobic far-right bully. Iran Deal is dead. ISIS still exists. The war in Syria still kills innocent people. Yemen is deep in a civil war, famine, and terror. Saudi Arabia’s crown prince is still ruling the country and is somehow forgiven after killing Khashoggi. Taliban are about to regain power in Afghanistan. Narendra Modi’s right-wing party has just declared 2 million residents of Assam as stateless people. Amazon rainforest is burning like hell. With social media, democracy is at its weaken state ever. Hundreds of thousands of Uyghur people of China are detained in mass detention camps. After a genocide in Myanmar, the remains of Rohingya people are living in the worst conditions imaginable in refugee camps. The peaceful protest of millions of people in Hong Kong doesn’t seem to be heard by the authorities. Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Jair Bolsonaro, Rodrigo Duterte, Matteo Salvini, Narendra Modi, Mohammad Bin Salman, Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, and so on. These right-wing populists. These are leading the world today.
I wonder if Salman Rushdie’s 1975 was dark, what is our world today.