Monday, April 9, 2012

Mera Bharat Mahan

On the first page of The Great Indian Novel by Shashi Tharoor, he says: India is not a developing country. It is a developed country in an advanced state of decay.

And every passing day, when I read the newspapers and when I find out new things about ancient Indian customs and philosophies via the Sanskrit classes/ books/ discussions with various people, I am more and more convinced of the truth of that statement. India is in such a pathetic condition today that sometimes, just sometimes, I feel super ashamed that I'm an Indian. And it takes a lot for anybody to say such a thing about their own country.

We are a country with such a glorious past. But for how long can we continue living in the past? Look at the condition of our country today, the psyche of the people, the political and economic condition. All you'll see is decay. One of the articles  that is doing the rounds of the internet these days shows what a substandard and absolutely filthy mentality the Delhi police has. (I'm sure you'll must have read it by now but if you haven't, here it is.) These are the people who are the first point of contact for victims of any kind, rape or otherwise. And this is the city that is supposed to represent our nation.

I started the list with that article because it is exploding the social networking sites these days. But there are thousands of such small and big examples which point towards innumerable problems faced by common Indians today. Every single day, we read articles about rapes, murders and thefts in our cities. In fact, it is so common that we read about it and we forget. It has totally desensitized us. A few months ago, one of my friends' grandmother, an 86-year old woman, was sitting in the park after her daily walk. A young man came and started chatting with her. After a while, he tried to snatch her purse and run away. What he failed to realise was that the purse was wrapped around her wrist and held on to tightly. The poor woman fell down from the bench and broke one of her bones. Of course, by this time, there was a bit of a commotion around there and the man ran away on his bike. But, in an attempt to earn a few hundred rupees, which he lost anyway, he cost the old woman a couple of lakh rupees for her hospital, fracture, tests, medicine etc bills. Plus, the added anxiety to the family members. What is more pathetic is that not everybody is able to afford such sudden and unforeseen costs. And this was a totally avoidable problem.

So, this moral corruption, which begins at such a small level has, today, pervaded every nook and cranny of our society. And it is this same moral corruption at little points that eventually become 2G, CWG, Cash for Vote and so many other scams. It is despicable how the common man is being taken for a ride by anyone and everyone around here. Corruption has rotten our Government to the core.

If all this wasn't enough, we have Anna Hazare and the Maoists, who think they can blackmail the government at the drop of the hat. The Government might not be right but this kind of blackmail is not the right way to deal with it either. Tomorrow, anyone who manages to gather a lot of media attention can ask the Government to make bikinis compulsory school uniform, donkey the national animal and demand that they kill Rahul Gandhi, can't they? Of course, these will be much more practical demands than the Jan Lokpal Bill but that is a totally different issue.

Another point I'd noted down in relation to Jan Lokpal Bill is about the people who supported it. I had once noted in the newspaper how a big group of Rickshaw wallahs were demonstrating at Azad Maidan alongside Anna Hazare, against corruption. But these were the same Rickshaw wallahs who rigged their meters and fooled the hapless customers into paying more than what they owe.

Which obviously leads us back to where we started. Corruption is not only limited to politics and corporate companies. It is everywhere around us. These rickshaw wallahs, you, me, all of us are guilty of small things. Everytime we pay the police to get our passports passed quickly, everytime we throw garbage on our roads, everytime we pay off the traffic policeman into letting us go, we contribute to the corruption problem faced by our country. We are ready to pay Rs. 150 per person to go watch a film on the weekend but if the Government levies some extra tax on some necessity, we crib. We don't want to pay the taxes, we want to throw garbage on the roads and we also want to crib about how the Government can't even keep our roads cleaned. Err, who is right and who is wrong? (I know that the scenario is quite the opposite. The Government not only collects taxes, it also doesn't clean up. I'm just talking about the mentality.)

What I'm trying to point out here is that it's a circle. Neither the Government nor the people can be completely blamed for the corruption problem. But what gets my goat is that I don't see any practical solution for it all. *This is where the anger begins.*


  1. The only solution I can see is to look into ourselves and keep motivating ourselves to follow the right path. Of course it is easier said than done.
    The latest post on DesiPundit (Under a Dangerous Motto) is a testament for that.

  2. you've put in all the right words to point out all the impurities of our society. it weighs down the little goodness tremendously and tht is very saddening..

  3. @ Orchestra: I agree! And that is a really beautiful, heart warming story. Thanks for sharing. :)

    @ Lavanya: Thanks for dropping by. :) I know exactly what you mean. There maybe goodness but there are too many problems for that goodness to make any difference. ::sigh::

  4. Is that really the first line?? If so it's absolutely EPIC, I have a feeling it may become as famous as the opening line of Pride and Prejudice!

  5. @ Life Unordinary: Thanks for dropping by! :) And no, unfortunately, it's not the first line. It just appears on the first page of the book, somewhere in the middle of second paragraph. :)

    PS: I love my chick lit too! (Maybe a bit too much. :P) And 'The Undomestic Goddess' is my absolute favourite. :P