Friday, November 28, 2008

A time to act

Actually, there are hundreds of streams of thoughts running through my mind when I am writing this article, and I don't clearly know what I want to say.

One thing is for sure - my blood is boiling since yesterday morning, when I saw for the first time this picture splashed across all channels.

Since then, every news portal that I visited has people saying the politicians are to blame, and that the home minister has to resign. It is not the political system that has to change It is we - I, that have to change.
I support the BJP in general, but am extremely angry on Advani for using this as a platform to gain popular support by going to the Taj yesterday evening when the NSG were risking their lives to protect the pride of our country. We have given our politicians enough rope to do anything they desire. 

For the last couple of months, I've been mulling over the fact that the anniversary of 9/11 was celebrated at India Gate, where hundreds of people paid tribute with candles for the American WTC attack many years ago. Do our people even remember when the Mumbai blasts happened last? Or the attack on the Delhi Parliament? Or the Hyderabad blasts? Hypocrisy pays - and it has been paying for all these years!! The TRP ratings for the American president elections were way beyond anything that the country has managed recently! Hypocrites.

The sad part is that this frustration will die out in a few weeks, and we will all go back to our 'chalta hai' attitude. We won't bother about the next guy, and will kill for our politicians. Our favourite topic over coffee will once again be the elections and the idiosyncrasies that our nation is obsessed with. One 9/11 galvanized a whole country into action, and even today, the security measures are equally stringent.

At our railway stations, there are metal detectors that go on beeping, but the constables have gone for tea. A few months ago, there was a Swiss knife in my brother's hand baggage while flying, and the X-Ray people did not stop him. He went and came back, without being challenged once! Hundreds of people die in temple queues and it is termed as fate. Stampings happen all the time at political meetings, and it is termed as fervour. Motorists die due to a lorry that comes the wrong way, and still people do not stop those breaking the rules. Churches are burnt, Temples are desecrated, mosques are broken down - all when there are people inside; and no one remembers! All we do is put a few people behind bars, and they lead happier lives inside that out.

Change has to happen. And it has to happen at the grass root level. When every single citizen becomes very aware of his nation and his nationality, the country will start looking up. After all, the politicians are our representatives - we put them there; why in heavens name are we so enamoured of them? Police and government officers are there to serve us. Why are we afraid of them? 

Because we are at fault. 

We do not behave like responsible citizens. We don't have licenses in our vehicles, we don't wear helmets and seat belts, we don't have proper documentation for anything we do; and we get away with a bribe. Who has made the country inefficient? 
We have - I have.

If we don't wake up now, we never will. At my level, I need to do things that I should - without someone telling me. I should not cut across the road the wrong way, just because it will save me a couple of minutes. I should not get away with a bribe - if I am at fault, I should have the guts to stand up and pay a fine in a court. I should not file false taxes to scrimp on a few thousand rupees. I should not turn a blind eye to all the wrong doings in my vicinity. I should not claim ignorance on the law and on my responsibilities. I should not keep quiet when some idiot from somewhere degrades my country and speaks derogatorily.

When I do that, I will have the courage to stand up and question someone else.

Change has to come. And it should come from one person to one person. The problem that the country is facing is not that of terrorism. 
It is of inefficiency. How else could kids sail into the harbour guns blazing? How else could they get away in police vehicle! 
How else could a nation that has had hundreds of terrorist attacks be attacked again - once more in its commercial heart?
How could the wife and 3 children of the general manager of the Taj Hotel be butchered in front of everyone, in their home - the hotel itself?
And how else could a nation that has never attacked anyone in all these thousands of years of existence be attacked again and again repeatedly; and the offenders get away with it each time.

How else could an Afzal Guru give headline statements in the newspaper asking for pardon?

How could a kid run a red light, killing an old man trying to cross the road; and get away by paying money to the police inspector??

I know that all of these are inter-related at some level. At a level that all of us know, but are afraid to accept; as the cause is each of us. 

It is a time to change. A time to act.

I will not sit queitly, and allow my country to be butchered. That is why I am writing this article, so that each time I open my blog, I see this and am reminded of the promise I've made myself. That I will be a more responsible citizen.
That I will not let my country be played with.
That I will be the change I want to see in the country.


Anonymous said...

hi!-here is gvlu-thanks for the article-initiating me in to a fresh outlook about the whole incident of mumbai blasts- vande mataram ! i am proud of u yet again..

Neha said...

I really like your writings (starting today) and this one forced me to post a comment. Keep up the good work and increase general awareness by your summarized posts. Thanks