I wonder what else will I, as a proud citizen of India, have to witness while I am still growing up. I wonder for how long my pride in my nation and my fellow citizens will stay intact. We talk about liberty, and it is misused for burning cars, malls, buses, shops..and people. We talk about brotherhood, which disappears whenever the subject of reservation crops up. It has become difficult to be open about views, thoughts, and expression lest they hurt someone’s sentiments. Are we really the world’s largest democracy?
What could get more ironical than the juxtaposition of a so-called egalitarian, cosmopolitan crowd in NCR along with the backward attitude of a group which wants to take pride in being notified as ‘backward’? Where exactly are we heading with this kind of attitude? Is this what our lengthy Constitution stands for? I have so many questions today that this blog post might as well turn out to be a questionnaire. Were I to pose these questions to our leaders, I may get a dose of idealism in response. But my head and heart give me answers that are shrouded by cynicism.
If democracy translates into public nuisance, riots and mob-culture, then maybe the next most viable option is dictatorship. If any random person or persons can take the law and order in their own hands, there may no longer be any need for any civil institution. Freedom of expression is being abused, and so is peace. It’s not always fair to put the blame on the government, because most of the time, a certain unacceptable mindset is the culprit. Maybe the group indulged in such repulsive acts in order to prove the point that they really are backward in their thoughts. If that was the intention, they surely succeeded. But these are individuals who bring disrepute to their whole group. These are individuals who can never be pacified because they do not understand the meaning of words like ‘harmony’, ‘brotherhood’, etc.
Isn’t it funny that we must be the only nation where people take pride in being known as ‘backward’? For starters, it’s a demeaning word for an individual. Any normal individual with some integrity will (and should) take offence for being referred to as ‘backward’. If it’s so derogatory for an individual, exactly what makes it so legitimate for a group? ‘Backwardness’ and ‘Modernism’ are attitudes, and should be confined to psychology. But when these attitudes are exhibited by a group or association, it has a certain impact on the society. This blog post is a testament to that impact.
It is 2016, and we still do not know what ‘Indian society’ comprises of. Atleast I do not. I may hesitate to define a ‘typical Indian’ because our nation has diversity not just in food, cultures, people, languages, etc, but in attitudes also. The group that wants to save the Ganga clashes with the group that is blissfully unaware of the reality. The attainment of Moksha has become synonymous with escapism today. Those who want to express through art, literature, poetry, cartoons, etc. are curtailed and put behind bars, but those who express using flames are not. What a person eats becomes the concern of a whole group. Our leaders almost never take prompt action because of their own vested interests, and they turn democracy into bad diplomacy. When they should be speaking up, all they manage is a statement about a workable solution with an exceptional clause “if needed”. Every failure of the civil machinery and society abuses the sacrifice of our military martyrs. If this is how democracy survives, democracy in India will not survive for long. Sadly, it has become a big joke.
Maybe, there’s a state of emergency. It’s a scary word, but today, it seems legitimate. Sadly.