The name and reign of Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, the great-great grandson of Augustus Caesar and the fifth emperor of Rome, is associated with tyranny, extravagance, and debauchery. Nero had a habit of addressing his people in regular manner and was notorious for heavy spending on constructions, which had turned down the economic prospects of the Italy during his reign. The Great Fire of Rome, the one which had destroyed countless mansions, residences and temples had devastated three out of fourteen districts of Rome and had severely damaged another seven. When the fire was gripping over the empires assets and claiming the life of Rome, Nero the emperor, was infamously playing his fiddle in the calmness of his palace, said the media of those times. The so called right wing media of those times had deliberately made a false propaganda against Nero and published a big lie against him stating that the fire outbreak was a plot created by himself to rebuilt the Rome which was having congested roads and old style buildings. The right-wing media had projected him as a notorious ruler who was obsessed with modern style of constructions and accused him of playing the Fiddle, when the souls of Rome was burning.
Nero trashed the said allegations as a mere media propaganda during his daily evening press meetings and through his one sided “Mann Ki Baats” and returned to Rome to organize a relief effort, providing for the removal of bodies and debris, which he paid for from his own funds. Immediately after getting the fire under control, Nero had opened up the doors of his palaces to provide shelter for the homeless, and arranged for food supplies to be delivered in order to prevent starvation among the survivors, praised the media heads of those times.
However the history proved otherwise. Suetonius, the Governor of the province of Rome, had noted that Nero had caused the fire as he wanted the clear the clumsy town and build his Golden House. After the outbreak of fire, he had designed a new urban development plan and built houses built in brick and widened the roads by spending hefty money on it. Nero also built a new palace complex known as the Domus Aurea in an area cleared by the fire. He raised the funds for these extravaganza by increasing the tax on common man, who were still feeling the burns under their foot and by devaluing the Roman currency for the first time in the Empire's history. The donations collected from the people to rebuild the Rome had went to his coffers to make him more and more rich. The Golden House or Domus Aurea , which was built on the ashes of the old city had included lush artificial landscapes and a 30-meter-tall statue of himself, the Colossus of Nero.
The new age Neros
When the pandemic is squeezing our throats and freezing our hearts, when the people of the country are gasping for breath and running for life, when the holy rivers are getting filled with corpus and debris, when fellow beings are fighting hard for their life and crying for help, the cacophonies of death are getting subdued and submerged in the uproars of loud and heavy constructions machines which are striving hard to build the Central Vista, the New age Golden House of the Prime Minister of India and the gates of Central Stadium at Trivandrum are thriving with 800 odd personalities to welcome the newly elected Chief Minister of Kerala, the self-proclaimed Messiah of mankind, both for celebrating the democracy by stepping on the tombs of its people.
Let the history reveal itself the veils of our heros, the new age Neros, when left and right wing medias are fighting it hard to get fair share of the blood and flesh of their beloved citizens.
Bijoy P Pulipra