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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Being An Indian

Team Being Cynical
Few self formulated questions off late are making me think, if I am a real Indian. And as always I get the answer no. Why is that, I can't convince myself through a mirror as shown in Hindi movies, or through all those self formulated questions to believe in myself as a true Indian. I tried it just five minutes back and alas, I failed again. Guess I need to put myself on the judgement courtyard of some third party to answer or rather convince me on this.

Am I really an Indian ? Because have never slept half stomach for the night. I never being deprived from having my education. I never had travelled in the smelly general boogies of Indian Railways. I never had stood in a queue to collect 2 litre of kerosene through control card. I never had washed car windscreens on traffic red lights to pay my college fees. I never had molested girls in DTC buses taking advantage of the rush hour. I never had beaten up few poor chaps only because they don't understand or speak, the language I speak. I never had fooled a billion people by my gimmicks of staying overnight in a dalit's hut. I never had stashed millions of tax payer's money in Swiss bank. I never had pelted stones on someone whose views doesn't necessarily matches mine. I never being the part of that 60% who never vote. I never had lit a candle on the name of the dead, forgetting the larger picture. I never asked the part where I live is to be carved out to make a new state. I never had taken money in the name of gift just to do my regular duty. I never had travelled in local trains with at least 1000 cops surrounding me, just to satisfy my ego. I never had mis-used my power or position if I ever had. I never had erected a statue or smarak of myself. And last but not the least, I never have fallen into a gutter after drinking like a dog. Oops!! so many nevers. In fact it is only about 10% of all the nevers I have ever done.Now you guys can understand my dilemma in considering myself an Indian. Thanks to all these nevers which we Indians either do, or used to, or appreciate or slave enough to tolerate in our day to day life.

Why we Indiana are so tolerant to nonsense. Either we are seen digesting it or doing it most of the times. And to top it all we believe in complaining and conspiracy theories of every nature and magnitude. Corruption has rapidly become a part of our democracy and lately of our life. From grassroots to the helm we all are corrupt to the core. Let it be the Hariyanvi conductor in DTC buses to the Babus in not so posh government offices.

Sometime back the ever vigilant trafiic police caught me without my seat belts fastened and driving in a busy intersection of Pune. The cop more interested in my seat belt than the approaching traffic made me halt in the middle of the road and directed me to park on the left for questioning. Kudos to NaMo for spending more than 10 hours with the SIT, because I felt like going to hell and back in those 10 minutes of my questioning with the cop that followed my parking on the left. For the first five minutes, the cop gave me a lecture on the latest rules being passed deliberately to curb down nuisances like me and the the subsequent fine of Rs.300/- attached to it. Am I supposed to give that ? I asked along with explaining how a responsible driver I am and my fascination for seat belts, and how, it is just that I had forgotten for the first time probably to fasten it. None of my explanations went down with the Khaki clad guy it seems as he opened his Chalan book to report a fine. 300 bucks is getting a bit high, don't you think so? I tired to be suggestive, after losing all hopes on my explanations. There goes the Chalan book, promptly being closed and tucked away. It could be less, informed the cop, trying to be cheeky with his smile. Pay 100 bucks to me and get lost. He added. Honestly I followed the elementary mathematics of which is grater than what and handed over a smiling Gandhi and got my back off the hook, of course with my seat belts fastened.

This is how we all individuals contribute to the mayhem called corruption. I could have gone with the 300 option and could have asked for the receipt, but I selected the other rout. Now the green leaf with Gandhi, who happens to be the epitome of honesty fallen into a wrong hand or rather wallet. I sometimes feel Gandhi should be taken out of our currencies, more of showing respect to the great soul, than maligning his name by having him smile on the currency notes. The simple man who might not have seen more than 1000 bucks at a time is seen smiling in those currencies which Mayawati gracefully adored via a multi crore garland not long ago. Is it the disrespect to our currency or more to Gandhi by Mayawati is still debatable.

After writing so much , still I am doubtful, if I am a true Indian or not. My occasional confirmation (Paying 100 bucks to the traffic cop), isn't helping either. Some intelectual of highest degree of decor might suggest, if you feel not being an Indian for so many nevers you haven't done ever, then I hope all of our population become non-Indian someday. It's better being not a true Indian if all these nevers qulaify as being one.

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