India’s 64th Republic Day is fast approaching. As this thought flashes across my mind, the usual gleam in my eyes gets doused. Like a regular ritual, are we going to send the same photocopied message to the world about Shining India with sheer display of our military strength and cultural tableaus on India Gate Street? Is India really Shining enough to woo the world audience? Are we not living in the world of our own whims and fancies, if we believe so?
I hang my head in deep shame to confess that I’m a part of Suffering and not Shining India. Some of my friends can counter attack me by citing the facts and figures of our economic growth. However, I find this cynical.
Though this land is where I breathed first, received my whole education and subsequently the means of livelihood, I feel today that the anti-abroad settlement ideologies that I nurtured over the years were incorrect. Today, I feel my otherwise babbling tongue in dearth of words. I’m living in a country, where the members of one gender do not enjoy their basic rights. Right to live. Right to security.
We take immense pride in quoting about the financial progress that we’ve made in these 64 years post independence. It’s nothing but a fake show that we put up on the world podium. What progress have we made if we could not provide our 50% population with security, which they deserve as much as the male population? We live in a society ensnarled with deep-rooted male chauvinism and hypocrisy.
We bring blabbering tongues out of our mouths to bestow acerbic criticism on the issue of physical and mental atrocities being meted out to the burkha-clad women in Afghanistan on the hands of Taliban. In a nick of time, we are all out there on the new channels to condemn the fatwas, when issued to the women in some part of the world. Today, our society’s double standards stand nude. We, as a society, have totally belly flopped. In real, the conscience of the modern India is callused to unimaginable degrees today.
Deeply analysing as to what factors have hand holded us to the doors of moral devastation, we’d find that our own opaque thought process is responsible for it. We, the Indians, squander most of our time engaging ourselves in war of words and more importantly, are extremely forgetful by nature. This factor alone has inspired the slew of our conniving politicians to run the country in a fashion they like, and encouraged them to boot down our economy from boom to doom.
Inflation, price hike, corruption – all of this has driven us nuts. We’re madly running in professional marathons to make our ends meet, only to be dismayed and get distant from our moral values. Over the time, we’ve evolved into insensitive species, indifferent to pain and grief around us. We’ve learnt to stay silent, shut eyes only to believe that everything is hunky dory around us. We are jaded and petered out. We have called it truce with all wrong doings surrounding us. We truly represent “The Three Mystic Monkeys” of Mahatma Gandhi.
Then why does the nation stand in disbelief over the most reprehensible incident that has taken place in our national capital, Delhi. Better to call it “India’s rape capital!”
You, I and each one of us is responsible for this. Mumbai 26 / 11 terror attacks and the city trudged towards near-normalcy in no time. Delhi blast and we were back to our routine lives next day. We tattle our tongues for a day or two and then are quiet, only to pave way for lumpen elements to come out and mock hard at our cowardice, which we hide under the veil of sophistication.
In past 6.5 years in the capital, I’m aghast most often to find that some of my colleagues are so indifferent to anything happening around us with the most often heard statement slipping out of their mouths “Uh!! How are we concerned? We don’t have the time to waste discussing these issues. We are apolitical. Those who discuss have plenty of time and interest in politics…………”
The most amusing thing is that the next morning a few of them can be seen complaining while keeping their office bags about the traffic police man, who booked them for not carrying pollution or vehicle papers and managed to pull out a 1000-rupee note from their pockets, as a bribe.
The fact is that our own insensitive approach has eaten into our political, social and economic system like Moths. Our illusionary hope that one fine morning, we will have everything set right, without even moving a needle, has become the deadliest of killers.
We have to open our eyes wide to be more enlightened. No pepper spray is going to work for a woman, if five beastly men would pounce on her with iron rods. We all need to learn to constantly throw the volley of questions to those who serve us and ourselves, who we elect to represent us. Only then, we can teach our forthcoming generations the same. We can’t refrain ourselves from discussing the political issues, since these impact our lives directly.
Our education system is rotten. It needs to be set right. Besides compulsory martial arts and NCC training, I advocate the academic curriculum with the mandatory subject of Public Administration” and “Polity”, right from the elementary grade so that our next generation is way ahead of us in terms of political understanding.
Civil and police reforms are the call of this hour. But who will do this? We’d be only adding to the already very long string of our blunders, if we continue choosing from the same breed of politicians, armed with their immeasurable power and wealth stashed away in foreign banks.
It’s time to dethrone these political czars spearheaded by a leader, who excels in making deadpan speeches and proves time and again incapable of bringing about any change to the country’s political or even economic fiascoes. Once the top layer would be set right, all the evils tickled deep down the layers would fade at the snap of a finger.
Let’s uproot the political evils and clear the filth of our minds. Until then, let us all refrain ourselves from talking big words and coming up with engaging narratives of “Shining India”.
Looking forward to hear your views on this.