But, is it nothing to know when you are dying, when you are about to take leave of this world, of its joys and sorrows, when the past of your life is unfurled before you, when eternity opens wide its portals, is it nothing to know at that last awful,supreme moment of your lives, that you have not lived in vain, that you have lived for the benefit of others, that you have lived to help in the cause of your country's regeneration?

-Surendranath Banerjea

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hope of a better day

What drives me currently is sheer petulance, helplessness and frustration at the state of affairs my country is in. There seems to be no start or end to the saga. And the proportion of sham is bizarrely gigantic. IPL, CWG, 2G, the manipulative Radia tapes, Devas-ISRO deal, Adarsh housing, KG Basin,and what next? Every day we wake up to hear one or the other fiascoes of the government. And the unapologetic arrogant responses from people like Kapil Sibal and the irritatingly naive remarks from respectable people like Dr.Singh.

Who do we approach for succor. The very people who were chosen to protect and nourish us are oozing every drop of life out of us. When tons of food grains were found rotting, i thought it was just Sharad pawar. When Airlines started running in loss, i thought it was just Praful Patel. When IPL scam came, I thought it was just Shashi Tharoor. When Adarsh Scam was out, i thought it was just Ashok Chavan. Or at the most Vilasrao Deshmukh or Sushil Kumar Shinde. And then unfurls the huge list of Kalmadi,Raja,Maran,Kanimozhi,Murli Deora, and people who are yet to be known, or people who aren't known to me.

It's not just the UPA or the central govt. Look at Yeddyurappa. The shameless crook who clings to his throne in the most brazen manner possible. Look at Orissa, where the govt is more than eager to kick or wipe out the helpless tribals to appease POSCO or Vedanta. Look at Maharashtra where thousands of farmers suicide every year, yet all that the government does is manipulate the figures to show that the suicide rates are considerably low.

When Ambani brothers took to street their internal feuds, i thought Mukesh was the guileless one. The better in the beasts. "The Buck stops here tonight" made me an ardent fan of Barkha. The display of magnanimity to his employees during 26/11 made me genuflect at the broadness and integrity of Ratan Tata. But it came as a huge blow that they were nothing but creative creations of manipulative media. The omnipotent, which can make the most hated person out of today's most powerful and admired person with a dexterous turn of the pen, or a skillful tap on the keys.

Arundhati roy's statement that maoists were patriots and kashmiri secessionists were freedom fighters aroused uncontrollable fury in me. I felt like spitting on her face. But now i realise how true she is. At least to a great extent. One loses his faith in the system with such turn of events. If i were in the neglected forests of Orissa or Jharkhand or West Bengal, i would have become a maoist too. If i were cut out from the mainland in some north eastern town, deprived of all that should be rightfully mine,I would have joined NNC-F or ULFA. If i were in Kashmir, clouted and trampled by the govt of India over and over again, i would have turned into a stone pelter too. The only reason why I'm here, in an air conditioned office, tapping on the keys furiously is that i was blessed to be born into a safe and secure family in the relatively safe and secure God's own country. As per Hindu mythology, the quid pro quo of some good conduct in my previous birth.

Now Anna threatens the government of an indefinite fast. I don't compare him with Gandhiji. Neither do i call his, a second freedom struggle. I also agree with the government's argument that yielding to the demands of an individual or an undemocratic organization of individuals like Anna's team would undermine the stature of a democratic institution. But how else did the Blacks get to vote in the US but for Martin Luther King Jr? How else did Women's Suffrage come into existence but for the protests and rallies of millions of women demanding for equal rights? They were all show of power by random and loose collection of individuals, crying and clamoring for their rights at the democratically elected government which was happily comfortable to shut the ears and close the eyes.

I personally do not want Anna to be bigger and nobler than the Government of India. But let Government come up with a more accepted and better version of an anti corruption law than what the civil activists suggest. Arresting or gagging anyone who raises voice against the State is not acceptable. What distinguishes India from China or Myanmar or Pakistan is tolerance. And incidents like Binayak sen and Arundhati roy and Ramlila would only be a blot in the history of the nation. Success is transient and evanescent without healthy criticism. By gagging the intellectuals in the country, the government is setting the foundation to build a nation of insensitive people who have no balls to respond and resist..schmucks who wouldn't give a damn if the country goes to hell or heaven.

I'm still not pessimistic. Even when the 2002 pogrom is unforgettable, Narendra Modi is doing a commendable job in not just developing the state, but also curbing corruption of every form. Even when UPA is falling from one abyss to a deeper one, people like Jairam Ramesh and A.K.Antony still possess the respect and admiration of many. Nithish Kumar is doing more than an appreciable job in wiping out poverty and squalor from Bihar, and making it a state worthy of Indian Pride. As long as we have leaders like them, we can have hope.

I'm still not pessimistic. People are vigilant now. The recent polls, the election turn out being at a record high in some states, reveal that people have still not forgotten that the Government is By the people, and not by a few arrogant hollow headed people who believe that they are from from Mars or Venus and hold no accountability to anyone. I have hope. As Obama says,hope of a better day. Of breeze and sunshine.

Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.
-Shawshank Redemption 

PS: Baba Ramdev does not deserve a mention here. I personally believe his is just a publicity stunt for some ulterior motive, to be achieved sooner or later.

Khuda Hafiz


Sreeraj Muralidharan said...

Kidilam! :-)

Gayatri said...

Thought provoking article..Or may be it complies with my thoughts..well written..

rama said...

Thank you didn't mention Ramdev. I must say I admire Anna, and leaders like him, for if not for them many of us would not even know what a lokpal bill is leave alone asking for one.
The less said about the government and the opposition parties all put together the better.
I pray for young highly educated youths take up running our country with honesty, integrity, and a genuine love for the country.