Friday, July 10, 2009

Mera Bharat Baiman

The most melancholy thing about human nature, is,
that a man may guide others into the path of salvation,
without walking in it himself;
that he may be a pilot, and yet a castaway.
~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

What is it about us that makes us always seem so morally right? It seems as if this ubiquitous feeling of self righteousness is ingrained in the the DNA of every Indian. We always want to show the world the ideal way. Thinking of ourselves as the most pious saints preaching the ideals of integrity, faith and democracy to the world. But in reality do we really believe in all these judgments?

Most of the time we come across as self righteous bigots who only want to speak without actually following what we are saying. Take the case of democracy. We call our self the biggest democracy in the world. But traditionally we have always been close the autocratic regimes. The Communist Russia and the socialist block till the 80's to name a few. We have traditionally always preferred military dictator in Pakistan than a democratic government ( here I do agree this is a plain generalization with many reasons for this feeling of mistrust). Or not supporting the struggle for democracy in Burma. We have always been mum and in a lot of way encouraged the Junta government there instead of supporting Aung San Suu Kyi ( An activist who incidentally studied in our very own Lady Shri Ram College ) . We have apparently never made any noises about the dictators in Africa or the recent political unrest in Iran.

Moving away from democracy, there is finally an issue which has united the fore bearers of our culture finally. The infamous section 377 of the IPC. To me personally whatever a person does in the confines of his or her own bedroom is his/her own prerogative until and unless he/she forces somebody against their will. But not so with the octogenarians guarding the "piousness and the purity" of the Indian culture. Never before can I remember this sought of consensus being their in the powerful elite of the country. While prevention of crime against women and children,subjugation of women to the point where are no more than articles in the house by the misinterpretation of their religion does not illicit any reaction from them, this does. They claim it would corrupt the society and spread HIV like an endemic , I fail to understand how?Everyday there is a story of rape, dowry death and polygamy. Incidentally everybody seems mum on it. Somehow letting the perpetrators of these crimes go scott free does not corrupt the society.

We have had terrorist attacks which have killed hundreds. Shattered the belief in our secutiry setup and ruling elite. Yet till now not a single person has ever been convicted of his crimes. There are people who have been given death sentence by the highest court in the country and no step has been taken. Yet recently the government indeed took a step regarding national security of the country. It banned the erotic voyuer site Savita Bhabi. The sites moral issues aside. I fail to understand how it affected the national security of the country. Even considering for the sake of argument it does? Why was it the only one such site of its kind banned. Is it not like the dictatorships in banana republics which impose their own ideology on people?

It is indeed sad that the so called upholders of moral principles are at times ( as we have seen from the innumerable sting operations ) the worse offenders of their own code. This self righteousness kept us alienated from the world of most part of our free existence. If we don't take steps to accept the follies now..... It make go on for an equally long time.

PS: Having written so much negative about us on top, I have to add that this is one of the few countries in the world which allows this sort of criticism and still gives me full rights. And this is the reason why I love this country.

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