Sunday, August 5, 2012

Are we ready for change?

India has been a silent victim of corruption for so long that we Indians have developed a mindset of accepting it as second nature to our way of living & survival in general, if I may call that.

Where we were?
With Anna's hunger taking center-stage last year, there was a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Expectations soared, people wanted to believe there is a storm coming...which would ultimately usher in a sea change in the way we saw and related to the realities of our life. Emotions ran high, tempting people to get on the road...literally speaking, shouting at the top of their voices, hope fueling this surge of emotions - hope of change for a better future. All of this culminated in the Lokpal bill being tabled & "discussed" in Indian Parliament...the Dance of Democracy was played out.

Where we are?
One year on and the govt. hasn't delivered on its promise (as was predicted) of implementing this bill, citing ridiculous reasons if any that is. But one of the good things of Indian Against Corruption(IAC)'s last year's "showdown" was that an baseline of expectation was set for & by the people of how their country should provide for them. This expectation fueled another round of fasting by Anna Hazare & Arvind Kejriwal along with others in Delhi which was called off couple of days ago.

IAC channelized, if not mobilized, thousands of people who wanted to participate & contribute in this agitation against corruption. Evidently govt dictated a media black-out on the coverage of this event to curtail the movement and with no dialog/engagement of any sort coming from the govt's end, the fast was called off. Not without an announcement of finding an political alternative to resolve the current state-of-affairs. Govt's learning from our neighboring country China on how-to stifle discontent worked well I must conclude!
Reason I say that was, as part of IAC's call, I was part of the Human Chain formation, in the early morning of 3rd August 2012 @ a busy road junction in Bangalore. To my utter surprise, apart from a handful of 20 odd people, none of the other general public ever bothered to wait and understand the importance of what was going on around curious looks either!! They went around their business-as-usual!

So my point being, to start with this is & has been an Citizen movement, which is both good & bad. Good because we've a billion+ of them. Bad because only a fraction of those seem to be concerned with the current state-of-affairs & came out in support. Though I'm sure all of them without exception want a change for the better.

Are we ready for change?
So that is the big question that I want to ask and ultimately understand. I'm sure all of us would be eager to answer that in affirmative. But the plain bitter truth being if we aren't ready to participate in these kind of movements let alone be a flag-bearer for one, we better bid our goodbyes to our dream of a better country. In spite of all the hungama around how corrupt politicians and their corrupt ways are ruining our lives we hardly seem to want to bring an end to that by demanding change. Because that would mean we've to bring about a change in our ways of living and that is something we are not ready to do! We don't need to undertake any drastic & herculean task like letting go of families and dedicate all our energies to fighting corruption. No! No heroics required. All we need to do is make a systematic but progressive change in the way we perceive & go about life around us. Systematic as in ensuring we exercise our votes regularly as and when called upon. Participate in local community based issues & explore possible solutions. Remember if everyone took one small at-a-time, this movement gains enough momentum to sustain on...Now that is progressive thinking!

So now let me ask this again, are we game to shifting that attitudes of ours? Are we really ready for change?
Think India Think!