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Saturday, April 20, 2013

The mayhem continues!

Two recent news items disturbed me. The first was regarding the apathy of the passers by towards road accident victims in Noida and the second was Nirbhaya Part II, the brutal rape of a 5 year old in Delhi. Perhaps Kalyug has now fully descended on this great land of Rama, Krishna, Rahim and Gandhi?

Value systems have apparently gone for a six. Perhaps they were never there in our hindu society and we merely maintained a pretense of the same for centuries togethor. Else how can one justify the series of brutal rapes in a society the scriptures of which harp on maintaining the dignity of the fair sex. How else can one justify a total lack of concern towards fellow humans as displayed by the passers by on the highway in which an injured girl and his father along with their dead son and mother were merely shrugged of as an unpleasent scenery by others.

The father of the nation lived his life for others, yet his sone and daughters, we the people of India live only for self with absolutely no concern even for fellow citizens in extreme distress. 

And the leaders of this nation will continue to parrot their old line of defending the juvenile. As someone recently and rightly said that a guy fit enough to molest and rape is also fit enough to undergo punishment. Will the pseudo leaders of this nation ever understand? Perhaps they will, the day the daughter of one of the high and mighty ones goes through an ordeal Nirbhaya or the five year old went through. Till then they shall continue to parrot what in their opinion will get them votes. Yet they are wrong, any politician who comes forward and sets things right even by taking harsh and unpopular measures like hanging or castrating rapist juveniles is bound to emerge as the ladla of the nation at the next hustings. 

Expecting the bureaucracy to pilot measures for a value based society will however continue to remain a mirage. Yesterday's display of a rabid conduct by a senior police officer while handling aggrieved protestors at the hospital where the five year old lay is perhaps in tune with what the bureaucracy has on offer for the masses they are recruited to serve. 

I never found reasons to be proud of being a hindu, but today I am ashamed to be one. Even the much maligned islamic countries are far superior in so far as comprehensive handling of the masses by the rulers is concerned. They dont brutalize women like in our country nor do they allow one who brutalizes to get away without facing the same level of brutality that he inflicted on others. Our record at handling terror is also dismal. An american would indeed be proud of the bold manner in which his government has handled the boston incident. Our actions and reactions stand out in stark contrast with even responsible leaders clamouring to save the lives of those who butchered their own countrymen or defiled sacred institutions. Sadly our judicial machinery with all its inherent merits also never believed in the dictum that justice delayed is justice denied. 

Yet the common man on the street and the high and mighty in the comfort of their luxurious homes know what is wrong. Each and every one of us knows what is wrong with the nation and uniformly expects and also waits for someone else to set it right. This has forever remained the biggest tragedy of this great land known as Bharatvarsh.    

Monday, April 15, 2013

An inequal society!

Fresh from the 122nd birth anniversary celebrations of the founder of the constitution of the nation, I wonder whether all that was said in the honor of the great man indeed came from the heart. If it had, perhaps the society would not be where it is and the nation would have been much ahead of its present ranking in the international human development index.

Baba Saheb Ambedkar lived and died for a singular cause, that of equality amongst human beings. For him this cause was bigger than any other including the freedom of the nation and rightly so, citizens of a nation that practised inequality perhaps had no right to be free when the freedom that they desired was not meant to be shared equally. For Gandhi, the cause of freedom was supreme followed very closely by the cause of emancipation of dalits. He also believed in the equality of mankind, a concept as alien for his followers as the liberation of our nation was then for the ruling britishers.

If it was not for the conviction and humanity of Gandhi and Ambedkar, perhaps the lives of dalits would not have improved to the extent it has, if only in the literate pockets of urban areas. Yes, the emancipation of the lower classes is still a mirage in our nation of over a billion souls.  

Social inequalities will exist wherever societies exist. Yet the extent of inequalities and differences that we witness in the hindu society of ours is indeed unacceptable.  Inequality in rank, hierarchy and social status often overshadow the age old caste based differences, especially amongst the educated classes and that leads us to the fundamental question of whether our educational system indeed meets the requirements of the twenty first century. And the answer apparently is a big NO.

Mere parroting of good intentions will not take the nation forward, nor will routine remembrance of personalities who showed us the true path in the past. Yet it is sad that mere rhetoric is what one witnesses on all such occasions that should indeed instil in all of us an enhanced feeling of national pride. Almost a decade and a half ago I had been actively and intensely involved in organizing an annual river based festival that was appropriately christened as the festival of national pride, and now I wonder whether mere festivals can indeed rejuvenate national pride in a populace devoid of the same. Pride follows accomplishment and accomplishment alone, and not mere noises that one makes about accomplishments of the future.

A true homage to Baba Saheb and also to the father of the nation would be to ceaselessly strive for establishing a just and equitable society in a reasonable time frame. The past almost seven decades of nothingness if merely wished away would lead to many more decades of a stationary existence and our impeccable constitution would continue to fail to have a sobering effect on the nincompoop governance machinery that we inherited and are continuing with.


Friday, April 5, 2013

What is life without a beacon!

The rulers must indeed be shell shocked. Absolutely unfair on the part of the highest court of this land to come down so heavily on all those for whom the beacon is an essential part of their identity. Unfair for the guy who as a youngster cleared the civil services enthused by the while ambassador with a beacon atop that he would one day envelop himself with. Yes for a nation the mandarins of which adorn themselves with symbols not with successes or commitment, the recent castigation by the supreme judicial body of the land would have come as a bolt from the blue.

That the primary purpose of power is not the welfare of the masses, but self aggrandizement is an Indian reality that is realized fairly early by all those who are poised to rise in the cesspool of national governance. A beacon atop a white ambassador is therefore regarded as the most powerful symbol of a bloke who has indeed arrived.  It conveys to the aam aadmi the movement of someone powerful from the ruling clan. Clan it is despite democracy, a reality that is sad indeed! The unfair utilization of men in khaki ostensibly for guarding the bloke, but actually for giving him an aura that he does not deserve yet flaunts also deserves castigation and abolition on lines of the recent beacon episode.

The social milieu lays stress on symbols, not deliverance and therefore worships men who flaunt power and status, not those who place values and nation above self. The rapid decline in moral values cutting across the social fabric and our collective failure to attain a respectable place in the comity of nations are starkly visible traits of this national malaise.

I find it sad as well as strange that this land of the Mahatma is rapidly proceeding at variance with all that the great man laid stress on. His simplicity and truthfulness stands out in sharp contrast with the traits of the men in power today. If a man’s life is indeed his message, I shudder to think of the message that the national governance machinery is collectively emanating and the impact that it is having on the future generations.

We shall reap what we sow.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Jambooree on the horizon!

Election fever is on. ON are also accusations and counter accusations between the so called leaders of political parties who claim a right over governing the nation. The mulayam beni barbs, despite the lows that have been attained by men in power are symbolic of the dismal state of political governance in the nation. Yet despite the regular five yearly jamborees, the situation this time is palpably different with the federal government on a life support system with over a year of its assigned life still in the bag.

Too many aspirants for the top job, not for pulling the nation out of its abyss but merely for being the top honcho and the power and perks that go with it. The prevalent environment where almost everyone with power and pelf has their hand in the till, also makes government formation more attractive as well as lucrative.

Yet it stinks. An environment where we witness the law framers bashing up a uniformed official within the precincts of the legislature, or surreptitiously watching blue films on mobile while the august proceedings proceed ahead on taxpayers expense, or lining up for entry to holy Tihar for looting the nation hollow can at best be called sick. Yes it is true that in India, politics has indeed proven itself to be the last refuge of scoundrels.

Despite the rot, sloth and the loot, what really hurts is the absolute apathy of the common man to the prevalent scenario. Perhaps he has lost hope or worse still he has also joined the bandwagon, the strength of which is growing by the day. What else can explain the all pervading corruption, moral degradation and rampant disregard for value systems that one witnesses day in and day out in the Indian social milieu.

The nation is indeed bereft of true leadership at both the political and bureaucratic levels. Merely heading a political or bureaucratic setup or being born in a dynastic family does not confer leadership traits is a reality that needs appreciation and acceptance. What the nation is badly crying for is a dose of true leadership, beginning with the apex level and percolating to all levels below.  

The moot question remains whether the hopes of the conniving public would again be belied in 2014?