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Swamiji meditated in lotus position, taking in the bars and walls which confined him. He contemplated his role in the new India. His story should have been remarkable for more mundane reasons - the wealthy man who gave up all his material possessions and relationships to lead a life dedicated to poverty, piety and yogic experience. That story was remarkable and common enough to raise the eyebrow of only non-Indians. But Swamiji's role in the civil war which now gripped this land was vital and entirely unintentional.

Swamiji contemplated the decision to travel to Bangalore. His followers regarded it portentous - a sign of what was to follow. What had to follow. Was written. Swamiji doubted this, having lost his faith in such mumbo-jumbo early in his initiation. He knew no Swamis with mystical powers. But he accepted the character he had to play in order that he could dedicate his life to... himself.

Bangalore was like Delhi, only with more white faces. It was one of these faces who had become rather too accustomed to the Indian custom of belittling the lowerdowns. Our man was of a vicious bent, looking on in glee when some middle class Indian beat a lower caste with a stick, chappal or stick. Our man decided to hit the wrong man; a holy man.

What else could cause the downtrodden to rise up and fight for their rights? Not generations of oppression, but the defence of a firengi's blasphemy by the middle classes. One billion paupers make one hell of an army.

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submitted at 6:24pm

26 March 2009

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