I am not a social activist or indeed, an activist of any sort. I do believe in my individual efforts to contribute and give back to society, and towards this, I prefer to do volunteer work whenever and wherever I can. I keep this blog non-political too, and hence, rarely post political opinions or views. This is one such exception, and it is more to do with personal anguish, rather than anything purely political.
The following mail has been written by Pramod Joshi, and I am posting it on my blog because it articulates the state of affairs in the country today.
This time has come (actually it has been long overdue) to speak up in defence of India. As this is being written, public outrage against a total collapse of governance at the federal and state levels is being played out on television channels. Most of India’s educated, learned and affluent people are in their homes, enjoying their Sunday and watching this unfold on the screen. Some who had smugly written off Team Anna and Baba Ramdev as flashes in the pan are hoping this will be another damp squib. The way the cops are dragging men and women who are unarmed, peaceful demonstrators reminds one of the Emergency era, or maybe even the time our forefathers were fighting for freedom from the British. Rather than opine on this sorry situation, I thought it is better to just ask some very fundamental questions of ourselves, our so-called leaders and society at large. Here are some:
1. Are the Opposition Parties (BJP et al) not in collusion with the Government in defending their joint turf? Why has the Parliament not been allowed to function by the Opposition demanding the PM’s resignation? Why can’t Coalgate and other scams be discussed in the Parliament as a matter of routine? Why can’t they launch the agitation to demand the PM’s resignation AFTER the Parliament has heard the Government’s response?
2. What is the motive of the CAG in adding many trailing zeroes to the presumptive loss figures of the several scams, as some Congress spokespersons sniggeringly accuse him of doing? What material benefits
accrue to Retd Gen V.K. Singh for lending support to Team Anna? Are people like Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Manish Sisodia, Anna Hazare really hankering after power and pelf? I so, could they not have quietly joined one of the established parties and dipped into the same cesspool of corruption for personal benefit?
3. Can anybody who understands body language not see the difference between the artificial confidence and self-serving arrogance of our political leaders (even when there is no provocation) and the sincerity and simplicity of those drawn from civil society (even under severe provocation) ? What does a true Indian’s gut feel say? Is it necessary to intellectualize about how democracy is being subverted by the common man taking to the streets? Is there no anger against the total failure of
governance across almost all ministeries, and the brazen defence of indefensible acts by many educated ministers speaking in convoluted circles and falsely accented words?
4. When people like Manish Tiwary of the Congress say that there is no loss in the Coalgate scam since none of the coalmines actually have gone into production, is it not like a group of men disrobing a woman in public, and then saying that there is no loss of dignity since she has not been raped yet? When the Congress-led UPA government repeatedly questions the motives of people fighting against corruption, do they sound even half credible? Do they not understand that the reason the loss is being termed “presumptive” is exactly that there is still a chance of saving the country from incurring a “real” loss?
5. Why is the PM not able to initiate any dialogue with the nation? Why is every Independence Day speech nothing but a mishmash of homilies lifted from past speeches? When he promises that electricity will reach every village in India in the next 5 years, who does he think he is fooling? Can anyone sitting in Delhi or Bangalore or Hyderabad or Kolkata honestly believe that THEY will have uninterrupted electricity in the next 5 years, let alone villagers in remote parts of the country?
6. Can the youth of India hope to live in a great country if they project the graph of India’s governance pattern from now into the future? Will they be able to sleep in a safe house and enjoy a free lifestyle if the poor, disenfranchised citizens of this country take to the streets and bay for the blood of those who have become obscenely rich by subverting the system for their benefit? Can they afford to watch from the sidelines when India’s aging, sychophantic, non-democratic leaders are hell-bent on playing every game in the book to protect their self-interests at the expense of the
7. Why are the cricketers and film stars, who draw sustenance from the followership of their millions of fans, and whose market value is determined by the common man, not by political patronage, silent on the state of affairs? Barring a few like Anupam Kher and Om Puri, why are a majority of these so called “heroes” and “heroines” unable to gather courage and lend their voice against the way corruption has flourished in the highest places, destroying the lives of millions of their followers?
8. Can we afford to be calm, mellow and/or intellectually dishonest at what we are seeing play out in the capital city of the country today? Can the educated and privileged of this country not unite in lending at least moral support to the men and women out on those streets? Can we not use FB, Email, Twitter freely to express this moral support? Can we show the highly biased and bought out media channels, who derive advertisement revenues through the common man and sell their souls to the powerful, that we have other means to communicate freely?
9. Can we KEEP RAGE ALIVE?
Please do forward/cut/ paste/do whatever to create a mass movement that says “Enough is ENOUGH!” Mother India never had it so bad, its children never let down so badly.