The Great Indian Tamasha

'Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.’

65 longs years since Nehru uttered these words; 65 years since Indians woke up to the dawn of independence, to a new sunrise; 65 years since India’s sojourn towards shining future began. Our leaders and those that fought for our independence had dreamt of an India free and fair for all; where food, water, electricity, social security would be the right of every citizen; where prejudice wouldn’t reign supreme. But when we look around ourselves; do those dreams appear realized?

Poverty, Inflation, Lack of affordable Healthcare, dowry, honour killings, Terrorism, Lack of Infrastructure, unaffordable housing, lack of safety for women, lackluster judicial system, dreary investigating agencies and on top of that uninspiring Politicians plague our society. We are at a point in history where a lot needs to be done, heaps of mess need to be cleared. If we continue the way we are; very soon we will reach the nadir, the point of no return and our society; our India will spin out of control.

On a survey, India was ranked 95 in a list of least corrupt nations in the world giving us ample fodder for retrospection. We are plagued by a malignant affinity towards scams; wouldn’t be farfetched to say that we are a ‘scam diseased nation’. We are nothing but a rotten state and the credit undoubtedly goes to our beloved politicians and bureaucrats as they have gifted the nation jewels such as the Commonwealth Games Scam; 2G Spectrum Scam; Coal Mining Scam; Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association Scam; ISRO’s S-Band Scam; Bellary Mining Scam and more. These scams are what rule the corridors of power and authority in India. And these are just a few among a long list of such others where Tax Payer’s money is grossly misused. Corruption cases against government servants have risen from 17.68% in 2008 to 28.39% in 2011(figure as of August 2011).There were 991 cases registered in 2008; 1,119 in 2009 and 1,009 in 2010; and these are only statistics for three years from 2008 upto 2010 that I could find. Add the unreported cases to these and the figures will go well beyond anything that you could fathom.

Many may argue that things are not as bad.  The condition has improved and the quality of life is indeed what had been dreamt of. Perhaps 20 or let’s even say a generous 30 percentage of our population is leading a healthy, happy and economically stable life. But what about the rest, the alarming 70% of our population which need to be brought up speed to the development and the modernization and the safety that we boast of?

And that is not even the gist of it all. Look around what do you see. Or open a newspaper what do you read. Mine reads of rapes in atleast five locations across the country and these are only those that managed to get reported for the day. It also reads that a certain politician has been freed by the judiciary inspite of ample proof against his misdoings. It reads that a husband is running from pillar to post seeking justice for his brutally murdered wife by the son of an affluent businessman and instead of all proofs the judiciary and the investigating agency does nothing. It reads that the common man is being made to bear the brunt of the economic slowdown while the government does nothing. It reads that the price of healthcare has gone spiraling out of control and being healthy is now no longer a right but a luxury. This is the truth, the real face of our country. Our politicians are more concerned about banning cartoons that they consider offensive than actually doing something constructive about our country!

Will they ever take responsibility? The common man is at his wits end trying to make his ends meet. He doesn’t have the time or the means to leave all that and fight against the system; against the archaic beliefs and other evils. He needs a push; a push from a person in authority, the support and the voice of someone with the avenues to lead such a revolution; such an uprising. He needs a nudge from our leaders; from our Politicians. But do we have such politicians who have it in them to in fact work for the country without worrying about filling their pockets?

Larry Hardiman defined ‘Politics, n:  [Poly "many" + tics "blood-sucking parasites"] ‘. Well isn’t this what we feel? Isn’t this what the general opinion is about those so called representatives of our country? Scams, money laundering are only a few of the skills in their portfolio. Their sole aim is personal gain and gain for the future generations of their families. Is it so hard for them to serve their nation for a change? Is it too much to ask them to do their jobs for once?

The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests.  An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.  ~Woodrow Wilson

 There is not a single person of character or personality in the by-lanes of power and politics who wants to work for the country. Instead of making lives easier for its citizens; the politicians are either creating future deplorable conditions or are not bothered to do anything at all. And if a common man dares to raise his voice to combat the evils and rebuild our society; these very politicians spring into action to make every possible attempt to create road blocks in his path.

Look at the coalition in power at the center; it is made up of 13 different political parties and each one has a personal agenda to follow which severely inhibits the possibility of anyone driving for a positive change. Take the case of the Railway Budget which was presented by Dinesh Trivedi this year. After many years a budget was presented which was balanced and pro-growth for the Indian Railways. Hike of fares for the first time in a span of 9 or 10 years; most definitely acceptable but alas due to vote bank politics a huge uproar was created by the infamous Mamata Banerjee; and Trivedi was removed inspite of presenting one of the most objective Railway budget the country had seen in some time.

Everybody wants to eat at the government's table, but nobody wants to do the dishes.  ~Werner Finck

India is supposedly world’s largest democracy but we are nowhere compared to some of the youngest nations of the world in terms of standard of living for its citizens and the quality of life. One can only hope that a day comes when they wake up to their true calling instead of stashing away public money. Perhaps a day will come when the modern day politicians will pay heed to what Nehru envisioned in his speech- We have hard work ahead. There is no resting for any one of us till we redeem our pledge in full, till we make all the people of India what destiny intended them to be. We are citizens of a great country on the verge of bold advance, and we have to live up to that high standard. All of us, to whatever religion we may belong, are equally the children of India with equal rights, privileges and obligations. We cannot encourage communalism or narrow-mindedness, for no nation can be great whose people are narrow in thought or in action.