Thursday, July 14, 2011

When Will This Stop?

Genre: Current Affairs

So, yesterday Mumbai once again witnessed serial bomb blasts. 1993, 2003, 2005, 2008 and now again. Once again the common citizens of the city have lost lives even as the culprit of the previous attacks enjoys VIP treatment in special jail and the netas of the state "offer deep condolences", their lazy fat asses safely tucked behind a wall of security personnel. This has reached a stage when I no longer feel enraged at the terrorists doing these attacks. The rage is entirely towards the spineless incapable government, of the state as well in Delhi. As someone had rightly said, Civilizations fall not so much because of the strength of the enemy outside, as through the weakness and decay within. 

Now the moment I say this, some smart Alec will come up with the straight-out-of-Civics-textbook statement that "it is we who elected this government, so whatever is happening is our fault, and next time we should ensure we bring the right people to power". True, very true theoretically, but if only things were as simple as that in reality. Did "we" really elect this government to power? Talking of myself, I did not. In the last election, many of us did not vote for the well-known corrupt candidate. We went by the "We want change" principle and voted for an IIT engineer who was contesting the election with the utopian idea of "Be the change you want to see". But what happened? He lost badly and like every time, the same corrupt politician won the election. How? Votebanks. In this "largest democracy in the world", most of the winners are decided much ahead of the election date. How and why does this happen?  

Take an example. Before every election, a politician from a certain party visits a slum locality near my residence and offers the people living there a cash incentive and foodgrains to vote for him. If he did this to me, it wouldn't swing me in favour of voting for him, because for me principles matter more than the money. But does the same apply for my maid who lives in that slum? No. For her, the money matters more than principles. Why? Because she is poor. Why? Because she is uneducated. Can I do something about this? Yes, encourage her to send her kids to school so that they don't get pulled into this same quicksand. In the meantime, how do the existing politicians afford to spend so much money on their votebanks? Because they are shamelessly corrupt and accumulate millions of rupees in bribes. Can we stop this? Theoretically yes. How? By getting a strong anti-corruption bill passed in the Parliament. Will it happen? No. Why? Because the sitting MPs will reject any bill that plugs their "source of income". Why? Because they are in power and they can unanimously do what they want to. Can we remove them from power and get someone else in? Theoretically yes, but practically nearly impossible. Why? Because they have vote banks. Why do so many people vote for corrupt politicians for money? Because they are poor. Why? Because they have not got enough opporunities to get educated. Can we get them all educated? Possible, but a Herculean task. Will the existing government want to sincerely do it? No. Because that would mean digging their own grave. Why educate everyone and make them rise up to vote on principles and get thrown out of power when its easier to "buy" their votes with little money? 

In short, this is a very messy vicious spiral. If India aspires to truly become a world superpower, this spiral has to stop. How to do it is a very difficult question to answer but someone has to do it. Someone who? We, the citizens of India. We need to realize voting is not the only way to bring about change. Do we have that potential to bring about the change? Yes, we do. Incidentally, the people of India showed what potential they have to come together and unite for a cause yesterday itself, in the aftermath of the serial bomb blasts. While the TV news channels were busy shouting out irrelevant stuff about how they were the first to report the blasts and assorted bullshit, scores of unknown heroes, common men and women from across the country, had risen to the occasion to quickly send out accurate information and help anyone and everyone in need, on Twitter. Within minutes of the blasts, hundreds of unnamed citizens had given out their phone numbers and addresses on the social networking site offering complete strangers either a place to come over to stay, a ride back home from work, food, first aid, blood etc. Someone came up with this brilliant idea of collecting this information from the tweets into a Google doc spreadsheet and within one hour there was a list of over 250 people in different parts of Mumbai whom people affected by the blasts could contact for help. This particular document soon went viral and many of you must have noticed it being shared on Facebook too. This is the power of social networking. This is a small trailer of what the citizens of India can do when united for a cause. But to bring about a pathbreaking change such as overthrowing a government, it will not be enough for just the Facebook-Twitter junta of India to unite. It will require encouraging the very large poor and illiterate population of the country too to join in and fight for principles. This will need someone who can bring the whole country together. Something like what Hitler did in post World War I Germany. And in the current scenario, I can think of only one personality in India who has that influence over the entire nation that people will come out and do whatever he asks them to do- yes, Sachin Tendulkar! But I don't see him doing that anytime soon, so we have no option but to wait until that one messiah comes up and unites the entire nation against the corrupt leadership. India needs an Egypt type revolution. 

Until then, keep outraging, take out candle marches, talk about "the spirit of Mumbai" and keep paying taxes on time so that the netas can continue to afford to travel with their security cordons and Kasab can enjoy one more serving of his favorite biryani.  


  1. Exactly my sentiments, and I actually have chills up my spine reading this post of yours. You could not have read my mind more clearly. I sincerely feel that the "spirit" and the "candle marches" are sheer mockery of the whole situation. As if a candle would get a life back. Do something real, attack the fucking government 'babus' if needed. We need change. You are right about Facebook and Twitter, I feel so warm and happy to have been present at the time when the normal common people were out there, trying to help with all they had got.

    When we as humans express rage or sadness and offer condolences to the people involved in the incident, some ignorant set of people who can do nothing but complain blame us, for sitting in the comfort of our houses and expressing our thoughts over the internet. I have one message for all such people. You are no less of a hypocrite if you call me one. We are all in this shit together, so it is better we stick together and act together instead of playing blame games. Fuck the media, fuck the mockery of the word administration and power that we call the Indian Government, and fuck everyone that you are waiting for, when you say that you wanna make a change. Go ahead and do it. In your own small way. Help a kid go to school, provide them with books. Make people aware, spread literacy, work on better security in your own locality and learn to be alert and prompt in any given situation rather than pointing fingers at others and trying to find out who is responsible. We have people who are specially trained to do so. What we have access to, is the most important. We, are the common man. We can find ourselves in the middle of any emergency and at that time I am sure we would not be blaming the police or the government but trying to run for shelter.

    Remember, you cannot nurse a wound until you have fallen and gotten hurt. You can nurse it and only take care not to trip over again. So people, let us stop cribbing and act up. I hope I made some sense to someone and I am not sorry for any offense caused to the "ignorant set of people" I mentioned above.

  2. You are right, it is going to take more than facebook and twitter to change the government. And I am saying this...the only people who are going to challenge this government are youngsters and especially women, because more half of Indian men are either drunk or running after girls.

    We need youngsters, in huge amount, especially between 25 and 35 age, to form a group and challenge Congress. Congress is the largest political party in India. It this party goes down, all the other smaller parties will go down one after other. So our target shouldn't be government as a whole, but only Congress. Bringing down the whole government will take decades...but taking down only congress will only take few years.

    So we the youngsters on India need to rise and do this. Rather than waiting for someone else to take the initiative, we should all come together and take the initiative.

  3. Very well written...!
    When I was arguing with spineless creeps yesterday on fb...I felt like a fool teaching them social existence and humanity. Its a very self-centered youth that we'll be fighting against in the first place let alone the govt and corrupted politicians. The fact that nothing can be done has got dissolved in their bloods!

  4. And one more thing, I've shared this link.. and my friends have shared it too. :)

  5. Its great that people used technology to help others in such a time of need.

    About solving this problem..

    Well, hanging Kasab is not gonna stop terrorism. He's not being hosted as a VIP. He's simply small fry. The real masterminds are still out there, free in the open. Kasab's been held as a political prisoner and a witness, with whose help the real masterminds can be implicated. If we lose him, we might never be able to get hold of the bigger bastards. People should understand this reality.

    Secondly, about stoning the bastard in public and all other demands...we're a democracy and have a judicial system. We're not the Taliban to mete out jungle justice. The anger in public minds is understandable, but we have to follow the rule of law, in spite of the delay. We have to understand that just like we have Kasab here, there are maybe hundreds of Indians held in Pakistan on similar charges, both genuine and forged. If we kill Kasab without a fair trial, the Pakistanis kill retaliate and kill all of those Indian prisoners, Hence, it is imperative that we follow procedures, notwithstanding the delays.

    All of us have our hearts in place. But we shouldnt get carried away in such emotional times. No matter how it seems, our administrators do have at least a little idea of what theyre doing. Instead of pressurising them without considering facts, let us support them in bringing the culprits to justice. Theyre Indians too.


  6. Well written karan!
    @CRD: I agree that policiticians are also Indians. But why is that they get top-notch security even while going from their house to their car ? why is that we dont see their kids or family hanging out in Zaveri bazar like common man? Power and money!!!!! And that changes the whole story!
    If their life is so important so is each and every citizens life.
    We have been patient and supportive all through. Its been 3 years since kasab and his mates took away so many innocent lives. Kasab has been fed every day (probably twice) for the past three years while there are so many indians starving away to death.
    If he has not revealed anything about the real masterminds for the past 3 years, do you think he is going to now or later? If he/they could plan extensively on the bombings, you think they cannot figure what why we are still not hanging Kasab?
    I really hope the day doesn come when he escapes from the prison.
    Kasab’s case is just an example to show that action is required. Merely talking and discussing wont help. People cannot go on hunger strikes( while kasab is still enjoying his biryani!) to just make the people in power to hear them.

  7. @jshree - Oh cmon. What has power and money got to do with it. A lot of rich people got killed in the 2008 attacks, and all their so-called top-notch security was helpless. We're dealing with highly-motivated terrorists here, who do not even mind killing themselves in the bargain.

    Every citizen's life is important.

    About Kasab. Well, he's already been sentenced to hang in case you didn't know. Abt feeding him twice a day, we're a civilised nation, and not a nation of cruel warlords. We don't want to emulate USA's Guantanamo Bay fiasco. So let's keep it that way. Jail life is not really paradise y'know (wonder where the biryani story came from :O) he's not exactly having a vacation in there. Some people argue that jail life is worse than death.

    Let the law follow its own course. And let's not be jingo-patriots..


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