Thugland wasn’t always known by that name, it had been a crucible of culture, knowledge, valour and benevolence in its glorious history. It was home to the noble and the learned. Previously known as Godland, it was defined by its grandeur, yet it had been modest. As Godland, it had welcomed people from far and wide, belonging to any faith, region and religion on Earth, who made it their home and beheld it as Mother Godland. The name Thugland was an ugly legacy of its last King Midas, the corrupted, self-indulgent clown king, who conned the gullible people of the land with his crafty ways and a gift of gab much to envy of Satan.
Ages ago, Godland was freed by its alien rulers of the North but left poor and divided. Owing to the hard work of its new homeborn rulers, it did not turn into a banana republic; instead, it reemerged as a technically progressive and politically, economically and militarily stable country. Its new indigenous rulers did not have a readymade platform or proven blueprints to use but they had the vision and benevolence at heart; they served their nation with their sweat and blood, and not rule it like its alien rulers. Upon its rebirth, Godland followed more of benevolent socialist policies that allowed downtrodden people from the lowest rungs of its socioeconomic ladder to rise, some climbing right to the top and taking the helm of the kingdom.
Unfortunately, the benevolent policies of Godland gave birth to Midas, who manipulated the system to his advantage and quickly climbed the power ladder to the top. Before anyone could realise, Godland was taken over by Midas the Con and his gang of thugs. Soon, he coronated himself and became to be known by his henchmen and the gullible millions of fools, who followed him as if he had bewitched them like a sorcerer, as King Midas the God.
It did not take much time for Midas the Con to pronounce a new name for the kingdom – Thugland.
Thugland was characterised by thug media, thug police and thug judiciary, who would bend over backwards to appease their master, Midas the Horrible, the self-obsessed tyrant. Heartrending stories of suppression of common people, and their hunger, poverty and unemployment were kept hidden from the eyes of the world by Thugland’s thug media.
Thugland followed a capitalistic model, driven by wealthy prospectors — from both within and outside Thugland. As a result, two distinct communities emerged since the advent of Midas the Robber: (a) a wealthy minority that was socio-politically and economically privileged, and ruled like the new age sultans; and (b) a poor majority that was unprivileged and used as slaves by the sultans. With a growing socio-political authoritarianism and a scant freedom of expression limited only to its privileged minority, Thugland deviated significantly from the path envisioned by its founders.
Midas the Sorcerer gifted numerous key assets of the kingdom to his crony capitalists and the Lord of the West. Significant border areas were ceded to the Lord of the East. Many people said Midas’ cronies were the real masters of Thugland. But everything was acceptable to Midas the Megalomaniac, as long as he adorned the crown and carried the spectre. He was always willing to sell anything and anyone in exchange to keeping his crown. After all, the crown was all he had, he had no credibility, no family, no children or grandchildren to look after. His corrupted love for himself had made him completely blind and alien to commonsense and prudence. In most aspects of his lowly existence, he had shrunk to the level of Gollum the Hobbit.
After the poor majority wailed with pain and suffering for years, the exiled Price the Benevolent of the erstwhile Godland resurged from the exile. With the support from the masses, he challenged King Midas the Fallen to an open duel. Despite all his trickery, Midas was overcome and sent to gaol. His gang of thugs were also nabbed one by one and sent away to join him in the gaol. Prince the Benevolent reclaimed Godland and led it back on the path of glory, peace and progress of one and all.
Bill K Koul [28 November 2023, Perth, Western Australia]
Copyright © Bill K Koul