Tonight its just going to be some random observations. No real plan or structure to what I should write, not admitting most of the others have to.
Before the grammar Nazis point it out, the “F” in Freedom is in capitals even though it is in the middle of the sentence. Precisely. The emphasis is on the word itself – the state of real freedom. We are a nation, 65 years young (or running 66th however you want to see it), plagued by problems which infest us like bees. And in the middle of all this, freedom lost its real meaning. There have been many treatises on the various interpretations of it and this one of mine is quite different from what it is now being called as “freedom”. There are many instances which make me feel this way about it. Like for example: Look at Manipur and the economic blockade – the sheer apathy towards them by the administration. Mary Kom would probably have to sell her medals to buy cooking gas and feed her twins (Cooking gas is priced at INR 2000). Look at Assam and the recent floods (I am not even going into the mob incident in Guwahati yet) – again apathy. The Prime Minister did an aerial survey as always and for a change visited one or two relief camps and promised action. I remember, he promised action when Bombay was attacked and the whole country was shell shocked.
The ethnic violence in Kokrajhar, the Naga crisis, the armed forces special powers act (AFSPA), the ever rising inflation and financial insecurities, the insecurity of women (women do not walk out of their homes beyond 8pm in Kerala for the fear of getting harassed - physically, mentally, sexually however…., gruesome murders over lust, rapes – both big and small as per the new definition given to us by Kiran Bedi), threats to life (innumerable blasts, terrorist attacks, attacks on women, attacks on minorities and ethnic groups…), corruption (some of the biggest scams ever to be unearthed in our history, some of the most corrupted people our motherland has seen, some people who took this for gaining personal mileage for entering into politics as a “supposed” agent of change…), bad administration (the current Government of India – who is surely going out of power in 2014, the previous President – whose election into the office still baffles the nation, Ministers holding important portfolios like the Railways- who decided to spend more time at home in Kolkata than come for work, the erstwhile telecom minister – the modern architect of the 2G scam, people like Mamata Banerjee who would put anyone behind bars if he/she dared to question her and christen him/her to be a maoist…), religious extremists (the moral policing incidents in Guwahati and Mangalore – where people decided to take law into their own hands and indulge in anarchy, the instigated riots of Mumbai over the Assam riots – one brilliant piece of work by the Raza Academy…), the outdated education system (which is incapable of churning out good quality research – not for the lack of talent, but for the administrational impossibilities and the never ending loop of iffs and butts in it) and many many more. Yet, the majority in this country would like to call this state of affairs as “Freedom”.
When I pointed this out on Facebook today morning, I was immediately told by a good friend of mine to shut my mouth. Because, he felt that since me and him are part of those citizens of the country who are abroad, a stand such as this from me will get my foreign national friends into the belief that India is not the land of snakes, tigers and the naked sages anymore – in his words. Further, it was also mentioned that we need to keep these problems of ours to ourselves and not speak out in the open. I thought this attitude of his was very shallow and I made my displeasure noticed by him. Although, I don’t really blame him for saying that. For, this is precisely what the majority would like to see it as. We are a nation which is quite incapable of questioning authority. We always have the tendency to look for a leader and then blindly follow him. The irony now being that the leaders who come forward to question were themselves tainted. Yes, Anna Hazare’s intentions are probably known to atleast some of us. I mean, all of us know it by now, only some of us agree to agree on our new found understanding of the subject.
We are also a nation which does not like to revel in the reality before we make our stance. Okay, let me not put the nation at fault for this (too much already for mother India to handle). So, its not about the nation. Its a basic human instinct globally to make believe yourself that everything is fine in and around and with us (In India, I would blame those mundane directionless Bollywood movies to be responsible for this). Ofcourse, that way most people are happy. But that reality, is very contorted in my opinion. Never let your guard down in the belief that everything is good – right here,right now,at this moment,in this way. Because battles involving human kind never completely cease, it is just a state of a temporary ceasefire at any given moment. Personally speaking, I am told that I mostly come across as a person who is being termed – to be in a bad mood most of the time. And I am used to this by now. Because reality is never a fairy tale. When you live and revel in reality, life is always a struggle before you. And you are always playing catch up with it. And the so called bad mood is the real mood of life. Optimism is always there, but it is also the awareness of the fact that we are not viewing life through rose tinted glasses. It is very hard to digest this and maybe this is the reason why most people wouldn’t want to revel in it and instead opt for the contorted version.
I know your next argument too. As is the case when someone points out something, the best form of defense is to question my integrity. And I am up for it, today. I am a victim of this educational system which worked against me and as a result of my futile efforts to compensate for my earlier follies, ended up being disappointed as ever and left the country looking for opportunities elsewhere. And today, what I am doing is exactly judging the system from outside which many take to be the stance of a quitter. But in doing so, today, I stand in a position where I have been objective of my feelings towards my motherland and not merely driven by emotional patriotism which I find to be very foolish. And if you ask me, being realistic, we need a lot of help. Someone who is capable of being an agent of change must come out and take note of the state of affairs and work out a formula to get things back on track. And that agent of change is every individual of this country. Now you might be thinking, why would I sit here, seas apart and look up to an agent of change to guide the nation instead of taking the plunge myself. Valid point, I agree.
But the disappointment that I faced when I had to leave the country, for options elsewhere will not die so soon enough that I forgive everything and do my rescue bit. Although, I will make it a point to give it back to the nation that got me here in the first place – at a later date. Everyone needs to wake up from their contorted reality vision and work (grudgingly or not), towards the emancipation of the multitude of issues plaguing the country. Only then my friend, will we ever experience the real freedom. And only then do I wish to call my nation, a free state. I would rather call August 15 to be our national day or even as the birthday of this country. We were born in 1947, but we are certainly not free in 2012 as well.
I am not even sure how many people will take note of this. Because the most usual attitude is to shun anything that is long, and term it boring – especially since today is the time of twitter and social media making life a whole lot more simpler. The fact that I am a male writing this piece, will work against my case as well, as is evident on social media and networking sites today. Although, that is an argument for a different day. And I don’t even know how much I might have to run from pillar to post, to get this piece to be read by everyone – on twitter through retweets (RT) and through shares on Facebook – which I am not going to try as well.
I am aware that companies and organizations scour through the internet to find some evidence to turn down employees and the competition is neck deep. My frequent rants such as these on the blog or on social networking sites might stand against me in securing work or even finding a visa to go elsewhere ( I recently got acquainted with two gentlemen who were denied visas to the United States over some of their sly tweets – reasons for rejections are that ridiculous nowadays), but I am ready to face whatever will come against me for that is my bit to see some change in my motherland. And I wouldn’t hold it against her if things did not work out for me. Ideally speaking, so should everyone else stand up for the sake of the motherland although I do not insist in doing so because that is a strictly personal choice. So in case you are still reading this, please do drop in your views however it maybe on the comments or on twitter or Facebook and it will be duly appreciated.
Lastly, I saw this video posted on twitter by someone who has truly been a revelation of sorts and one of my personal favourite women in the 20s for reasons largely unknown to me as yet. As she says, “ To dad and the rest of his kind who’ve braved the world’s harshest battlefield.There are still those who care. Jai Hind. “
Happy Birthday, India!