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Sunday, December 23, 2012

India's Tianamen

The Tianamen square of India, the sprawling Vijay Chowk was today erupting with people, people who were anguished and angry at the same time over the ghastly rape incident that has shocked the nation. The ordinary citizens of India who identified themselves with the victim were shouting slogans against the high and mighty of this nation, the so called leaders who have distanced themselves from the ground realities and the men they ostensibly represent.

Standing at the Vijay Chowk, I wondered whether a governance machinery that does not feel the pulse of the nation that it governs, has a right to exist. Continue it shall as in banana republics, for want of a leadership that can make it efficient responsive, accountable and also sensitive to public opinion. Yet it is indeed sad that peaceful and spontaneous protests by ordinary citizens have been met by water cannons and lathi charge by the same police, whose inept conduct has led to such shameful incidents of lawlessness.

I am shocked at the inability of the leaders of this nation to face their own constituents at moments like these. Is interaction with the masses reserved only for the election time? Avoiding even the idiot box to allay the genuine concerns of their own constituents is a reality beyond comprehension for a civilized society. And that leads me to wonder as to whether we can indeed be classified as civilized. Even the president of the united states comes forward and faces the nation whenever catastrophes afflict the collective conscience of the nation, but our leaders are yet to display symptoms of such exemplary conduct.

Perhaps and I may be wrong in my assessment that while the delhi police is blameworthy for its inefficiency, insensitivity and callousness, but holding them fully accountable for this ghastly incident may not pass the test of fairness. It is indeed true that almost the entire sarkari tantra is inefficient, unresponsive and insensitive and therefore needs to be collectively held responsible for the mess. With many having their hand in the till, the common man has hardly any options. 

While the government may or may not draft and implement laws that deter such incidents, the only course left for all of us is take a pledge that whenever we see a lady in distress on the road or in the organization we work for, we shall without fear of violence, harm, harassment or inconvenience come forward to help and shall not later offer, excuses for inaction.

With hope we live!  

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