Monday, July 16, 2012
We Are A Nation Of Onlookers And Show Offs
I am not getting into the unholy debate of who does what or what one should do in his/her social life or the ever so funny phenomena of displaying your moral superiority at the drop of a hat. I am not at all saying how we as a nation collectively are bankrupt in many things, which also includes the minimal or nonexistent ethical and moral quotient. I am not outraging on our indifference towards many things which we know are wrong for us, our society, our nation and even our value system. I am also no way claiming I have the authority to point fingers to everyone else just because I am largely hallucinated of me being a superior human in comparison to many in our country. What I am is what I am and I am quite sure I will pretty much remain that even if I go through a millions of blogs questioning the very attitude that I may possess. This is applicable to everyone else also. So this piece is no way meant to raise eyebrows or an attempt at changing the perception towards the idea of responsible citizenry or for that matter even basic civic sense.
I am not going to outrage over the Guwahati molestation incident either. Raging over internet on sensitive and serious matters might just give that self-satisfaction of having a superior moral but in reality it is not more than a futile attempt at romanticizing with an idea that we can change the world by venting our anger on the cyber space. I am not a person who gets flattered by the idea of contributing to the society by just pressing the like button on some bloody Facebook page condemning the Khap dictate. Episodic outrage is pointless if the solutions sought for are not institutional and unidirectional. So outraging on public forums is nothing but just the reflection that we have enough spare time to show our good or not so good English literary skills and ogle at the cleavages the next time we are around a shopping mall. So neither do I have much of an anger against all those rascals who were tormenting a hapless girl on a busy street nor a pride feeling for those who supplied close to a million of Tweets condemning the above mentioned rascals. For me, both groups are equally useless in the context of whatever happened in Guwahati and many similar unreported happening elsewhere.
That said I still believe we have turned ourselves largely into a group of Showbaazs. Issues pertaining to many sensitive matters have long been treated as a fanfare to showcase yet another of our show off skills. Be it molestation caught on camera or the decades long sexual harassment case involving S.P.S. Rathore; it always remained a placeholder for many to display their not so required concerns which invariably always are fabricated and artificial than otherwise. For everything that our media wants us to believe we go gaga without understanding the core constituents of the whole issue and furnish statements as if it is our moral obligation to shout for every damn thing before we realize for what exactly we are shouting. I have no problems with people overreacting on issues which rather requires a holistic and constructive approach but the indemnification of the veracity of the situation by going ballistic on cyber space and thinking yourself to have accomplished a herculean task of mending the norms of the day and scared the shit out of those who are responsible is a little more of exaggeration than anything. This collective behavior of ours has a striking similarity with that of a real life and reel life. The hero of the movie can fight with a dozen well-endowed rowdies and still emerge as a hands down winner but that certainly is not the case when it comes to realty. The false propaganda that our brains force use to imagine; the idea of accomplishment that we want to convince ourselves the very next moment we press the like button or Tweeted an aggrieved text is nothing but cinematic. In reality it achieves nothing. This solid affinity of individuals to galore the virtual to bring that false sense of Dejavu of accomplishing something has a cascading effect on what one possibly could have done to bring some difference. We remain so preoccupied and contained with our theatric countenance that we seldom realize that we could have done way lot better than just Tweeting or liking one thing or the other and searching for Sunny Leone’s nude pictures the very next second.
That’s why precisely I feel we are a nation of onlookers. Not because we don’t do anything to set things right which for sure we know are wrong but because we think the Tweeting and pressing the like button is the best and most welcomed thing that we can offer, given the situation. That is not only scary but a matter of great concern since we have limited ourselves inside the boundary of social networks. When it comes to doing a big show off on someone else’s apathy, we have largely five major categories of people. The ones who keep fighting their war for justice on the social platforms and there is another lot who readily venture out with burning candles in their hands for every damn thing. There could possibly be a third section who would be doing both. That is laughable. To round all these, there is a fourth section who always are busy defining their own existence and nothing matters to them until someone blows their asses to pieces. These are the kind of species who would remain bystanders and enjoy a good show doing nothing and scratch their balls later on dreaming what they could or should have done. There is another set that are outright nonsense. The set which are nothing short of wannabe superheroes and claim they could have done one thing or the other, had they been present in that moment. But in reality, it is only that big mouthing that goes viral every time something spicy like the Guwahati episode comes up and full time engagement in garnering some brownie points becomes the general motto.
Look at the people of Mumbai and the 26/11 in particular. Lot of outrage was there and very rightly so. When a state fails in its primary duty of protecting its citizens then we have to outrage. We have to do every bit to expose the incompetency of the state, the government and the people in power and drag people out of their comfort zone to answer uncomfortable questions. We should be unforgivable towards everyone who has a direct or indirect hand in allowing an unfortunate thing like 26/11 to happen. But what we did instead? We talked for hours on TV debates and Tweeted nonstop during the incident. We kept on exhibiting our dissatisfaction on the state of the affairs and our paralyzed security apparatus. Bravo! Even we came up with revolutionary statements like ‘Enough Is Enough’. We disgraced politicians who were sitting pretty under the soothing cover of their Z+ security and dared them to come out of their cocoon and face the real world once, which we common populace face every day. As if the icing on the cake was missing we topped it with a massive and Guinness Book entry worthy sized Candle march. All is commendable and appreciated, but how many of those who were outraging did vote during the general elections that followed a week later? Questioning the intent of all those who form our authority circle is where we as a nation are pioneer but when it comes to teach them a lesson of their non-functioning we shed ourselves away from the thick of the things and sleep well into the afternoon on voting days. Noted so called celebrities like Sobha De who were head over heels in criticizing the government of their failure were nowhere seen near the polling booths later. A golden opportunity to teach the scoundrels a lesson was lost and it’s no surprise that the same set of buffoons are back at the helm.
Even our reaction in the Ruchika Gerhotra case is shoddy. While we thought we have scared the culprit after burning tons of wax in various candle light marches of ours; in realty we achieved next to naught. The idiot is free from jail and going on a purchasing spree of luxury vehicles while we have already forgotten the story since we believe we have already done our bit once we Tweeted on it and burnt a candle. I am no advocate of violence but I feel the man who attacked Rathor with a sickle is way saner than us guys who just got our blood boiled after reading few scribes in the newspaper or hearing a TV debate on this. At least the sickle has left a scar for the thug to ponder for the rest of his life while our jingoisms were as effective as Mamta Banarjee for Indian Railways.
From Gurgaon to Guwahati, it is absolute jokers that fill our society. That also includes me. We have already turned ourselves to a huge block of laughing stock for reasons known to none. For everything the best that we can or prefer to do is boil our blood quite unnecessarily without achieving anything and get indulge in a lot of show off at the howling of the wolf. Be it burning a candle or running around with a bunch of flowers, we are all over the place with our tweets and Like buttons while when it comes to some real action we conveniently show our middle finger and go on a hibernation. Aren’t we in real sense a nation of onlookers?