Sunday, September 7, 2008

A nation in denial

" It's not denial... I am just selective about the reality I expect "
                          - Bill Watterson ( author Calvin and hobbes)

Well things couldn't be any great for India currently the nuclear isolation has ended, we will have a nuclear deal which will take care of our power needs soon, the jammu Kashmir deadlock has been resolved , Nano will most likely stay in Singur ..... and whats more crude has come down and today itself the stock market bounced 527 points.  Things are finally happening our way.

Thinking about the paragraph i just wrote above and Bill Watterson's quote i cannot help but think how true his words are.  We are a country which is selective in the reality we wish to know.  A major river changed its course after 400 years uprooting 12 districts , snatching livelihood and resources of 30 lakh people and the country wishes to keep quiet. A woman is burned alive in an orphanage she runs because of community clashes between two groups and nobody even cares to run the story at prime time. Every few weeks a farmer commits a suicide because of the loans he has taken and we play advertisements saying " Record paidavar ".

Have we become so insensitive to the issues that we don't even care what happens to our own country men ...... rather we are interested in what Palin said at republican convention? Is the allegation that India cares only about the rich and the poor don't have any say or any rights in the world's largest democracy true? 

Currently as i write half of northern Bihar is reeling under the wrath of Kosi. There are people still trapped  ( this is after 2 weeks of rescue operation ). Thousands of people have died , Lakhs are missing. Villages and towns are marooned . The Prime minister has declared it a national calamity. Is this how a nation responds to a national calamity? The prime ministers relief fund has just 30 crores. The chief ministers relief fund has 10 crores. This money wont even support a village leave apart the affected area. Nearly all the flooded land is feared to become barren where nothing can be grown for 20 years. Still most of the news channels don't find this interesting enough to bring to the people. They run statistics as if it was mental calculation contest and move to the next " More interesting news" . The food packets are not reaching properly, The able bodied keep on getting it again and again while the weak and the old are left to fend for themselves..... looking with sad dried eyes at the last morsel of food left for them to survive.

The last time I checked we were a Democratic secular Republic. Still there are live burnings of a Nun working in an orphanage. For what ? To avenge the death of a spiritual leader by her community. The two communities are currently baying for each others blood. Talks about anti conversion laws to be passed are on.  It  is alleged that the government knew about the  "actions" which the "majority" would be taking but still decided not to increase security. The news channels themselves decided to give it a passing mention. The tribals in Orrissa are allegedly "forced " to convert to christianity by missionary and some people have become their self styled defenders. The government has kept mum about all the violence.

It is said that if the above things had happened in some rich states like Punjab , TN .... etc.. the reactions would have been very different. But because it happened in poor states like Bihar and Orrissa ...... nobody cared. "Let the poor die ..... who cares ? " "We are a country of a billion a few thousand less wont harm. " "They must have done something that's why this happened ". Though not said ,.... it appears this is what how the country thinks.

Well enough of media bashing. But who are the real culprits? US ... yes it is we who get hold of the remote and switch the channel at the first sign of people crushing one another.  It is we who don't care about what happens thousands of kilometers away. And finally it is our perception what forced the media to show what they do.

Finally it is time to retrospect and ask " Is the really the country I feel proud about?" Is Mera Bharat truly mahaan.

Thousand of people are marooned in Bihar asking for your help contribute 
Help in any way by contributing to the :
Indian Red cross
Prime minister's relief Fund 
Chief minister's relief fund.