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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Incredible India, Indeed!


While coming to office today morning, I got a glimpse of where our country is heading. It is heading nowhere or at best to a disaster. While waiting at a busy traffic intersection for the lights to turn green, I felt a tap on my left window. A kid not more than seven years old was seen waving the morning newspaper at me with a hope in his eyes that I would buy a copy from him. When other kids like him would be preparing for their schools, this lad is running around a busy traffic intersection to earn his living. I got this jerk – it is not only the kid who is in some physical danger amidst the chaotic traffic but also our future and our boasting images of India Rising or world’s second fastest growing economy and nonsense like those are in some serious danger. Now someone shouldn’t turn up and tell me that world’s second fastest growing economy can’t ensure basic education to its next generation. Shameful is an understatement.

Where are all those NGOs who siphon a lot of money in the name of fighting for a social cause? Where were those Babus and Mantris who were talking big when Right-to-education bill was passed? I always had a feeling that our government (of anytime) is best at lip service only and more I see these kind of display of our achievements even after 60 years of independence, I feel vindicated.

On granular level – it is not only about small kids or providing basic education. In every field we have made a habit of not giving individuals their due or worse we go through the recipient’s economical stature before doing justice to their unspoken demands. All were charged up, including few HRD ministry sleuths and state education board when students of a certain posh Dehradoon school complained of getting stale soup for last three days. But I am sure, the same chaps would turn blind when they will see a small kid begging on the streets. Come-on. When there are kids selling news paper on streets, doing Phatka on car wind screens (forget any education) so that they can live another day, HRD ministry shouldn’t be too bothered about some stale soups supplied to kids getting down from Mercedes-Benz back doors. Why this selective amnesia? Is it because the kids at the Derhadoon School have their fathers posted at high position or an industrialist coughing out considerable amount to support Mantriji’s election expense? Or are the kids at Dehradoon school are different or superior than the kid I saw selling news paper today morning? Or the kids of millionires are the only set of kids left in this country who will build our nation tomorrow?

The more I question myself, the closer I get to an answer. It has got nothing to do with who is suffering or are we doing justice to our responsibilities. It is all about the weight of the wallet. You will only be heard and pampered if you carry a thick wallet or else get to the side and keep your mouth shut or find a way yourself. This precise attitude is what driving millions of our kids rather being in school seen selling News papers on streets or begging. Is this the Raising India we are boasting about?

The other day my friend sent across few pictures of the CWG opening ceremony. What struck me are few of those pictures which were depicting our hypocrisy. While rascals like Kalmadi and Bhanot were cordially allowed and welcomed by smiling females, poor chaps were seen getting pushed out by policemen. Let me assure you - the pictures were disconcerting. The guys who slogged for years to build the stadia were pushed out inhumanly while clowns who made sure that dirt and shit is thrown at our face are welcomed with garlands. Yes I am talking about those thousands of nameless and faceless daily wage laborers who slogged without any reward or recognition. I am talking about the same chaps who stayed for months in snake infected Yamuna bank to make sure that the athletes get a fabulous place to hang around. If anyone who deserves a front row during opening ceremony are these foot soldiers that sweat day-in and day-out so that we can cheer with full throat. But irony – we don’t recognize the true contributors but appease all the scoundrels. If it is not money which drives our response, then I don’t know what it is.

I hope we will change and change for good. I hope we will treat our fellow citizens as humans, irrespective of their wallet size. Hope we will care balls for dialogues – ‘Jaanta hai mera baap kaun hai’. Sorry it’s not a question which will fetch me a crore in Kaun Banega Karod Pati. Thank you very much. I hope the day will come when we will see all our children going to school than running around traffic junctions to earn a living. Hope we will stop touting and be constructive in our approach all the while respecting the true value of – Equality To All. Amen!!

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1 comment :

  1. Apart from the last stanza, I really appreciate the way you put forward your feeling about India, Indians and it's overall miserable condition.

    Now please, don't get me wrong, but when you say "I Hope one day.. this and that will change" .. then can I ask- "How exactly will it, and moreover, Why exactly it should?" .. Just because you and I so 'hoped' for it? Hell, no!

    So the next time, you see a kid selling a newspaper or the guthkas on streets, don't be cynical of the country's apathy towards them, instead go out, reach out to them, if you will, and see how can YOU help.

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