Today I digress from writing on techie matters to matters that determine where lie [...]
Today I digress from writing on techie matters to matters that determine where lie our ethics and values that determine who we are today – are we a nation that is in pursuit of progress at the cost of our own values and ethics? Treat it as a rant and rave, but no matter what, your opinion is solicited!
India today is known to stand shoulder to shoulder with developed nations and we have surpassed the title “developing nation”, or haven’t we? We see the signs of progress everywhere, but we also see signs of poverty and unhygienic conditions, corruption, and, apathy by the people. We take pride in our past glory, our traditions, our heritage and “our culture” (which itself is divided into various terms – Hindu culture, Indian culture, each community has its own “culture”, religious culture, etc). Though, we abhor poverty we rarely perform any philanthropic work, except when it is related to a religious event, we abhor unhygienic conditions but have no qualms when we throw a plastic bottle when on a trip into a forest in the hope that someone will pick up what we have left behind, or feel free to piddle on the streets and we hate it when dogs do the same, and yes the dirty word, corruption, that has recently reared its ugly head – we can rant and rave about the very politicians that we vote for!
We are the apathetic people of India, who like herds of cattle and goats and sheep, herd ourselves into packs and together can stand and scream and shout at rallies. But when it comes to standing firm, and suffering a little in terms of time and effort, we readily find excuses for our faults when we break a red light, or not wear a helmet, or not wear that seat belt, all “mandated” for our own safety! Why cannot we stand firm against the person who is never at his desk, who has posters staring at you not to accept bribe, but keeps his drawer open for you to drop that Rs. 50/- without which, the stamping device cannot be found, or the ink has dried up??? I know for a fact that I had to go back several times from the Customs and Excise department because I had worded the letter wrongly, even though it was an exact copy of another company whose letter had been accepted, but because one would not give that “payment”, the letter was not accepted? Who can you take such a complaint to?? One man, stood up and decided to fight our battles for us. The people in the capital rallied around him, but when it came to the place where it mattered most, people dithered, or did they not care? Various reasons were given why the place chosen was the wrong place, why people felt the man had gone to far, but were those the real reasons? When we ourselves pay agents to get our work done, we are still paying that bribe. But yes, we have to go to work and our employer will not understand why we had to take a day off to just get a file pushed. We have no qualms in trying to negotiate with a policeman to let us off lightly by sweet talking our way out of a situation.
We Indians just don’t care or give a damn anymore! We wear anti corruption badges but ride and block the streets with no thought of the daily wage worker, we blame inept politicians present, past and future, but we ourselves are totally clueless of what we want! Everybody wants money, and when we think of the tax amount on the bill, we wave it aside. But can’t we demand to know how that tax money was spent? We have the means, but have no time to use it, because my dear fellow Indians we have become Selfish to the core. We think more for our own comfort rather than how others can benefit, and that is why today we have what is called corruption, reservation, and apathy. It is not the government or inept politician, but we need to look within ourselves before we point that finger. And yes, we can make it right, we can make it worthwhile, if we fight a clean fight, if we can defeat the politicians from grabbing the lands and creating chaotic cities with no planning, no gardens, no pedestrian paths, put a stop to investing in a house you don’t plan to live in but invest in a school or books for kids who cannot afford them, and let us use the knowledge of technology to create the transparency in getting our work done without the middlemen or under the table dealings. E-governance, is the answer, which does away with file pushers and document stampers! It took more than a month for a father to just get a postmortem done for his murdered son and who had to move around from one department to another – and why hasn’t it made front page??? It is the common man who needs to make the front page and not the politicians who change their allegiance like they change their clothes!
Our ethics and values do not lie in us beating our chests with pride about our culture or traditions, but in our civic sense, in our philanthropy towards the less unfortunate, the less privileged, in our principles to not let them fall into the path of short cuts. Our ethics, values and morals will stand firm when they genuinely appear in small actions – stand patiently in line till your turn comes, be polite even in the most hopeless of situations, own up for one’s fault, give way with patience and humility, and many such actions, only then can we uphold with pride our glorious 2000 years of culture!
Let us unbind Prometheus with the key that we have lost in the mists of time – Free Will, to use it well and wisely to benefit one and all!