This goes out to all educated and intellectually inclined Indians, who live in India today.
I have been out of India for the last 10 years, left for Africa in 2003, came back for a few month in early 2011 and then went o the US to get my second MBA degree. When I came back to India in October 2012, I came back with starry dreams of a vastly improved nation , a mature democracy far removed from the country that I left in early 2003.
Since 2003 and till date that I have been out of the country, I have been perhaps the biggest champion of our country, its democratic institutions and its future and true stature in the league of nations.
BUT ever since I have returned, I have been severely disappointed, not only with the reality of decay and rot that has set in , BUT most of all with the feeling of being a willing co-conspirator with those who are singularly responsible for the rot and decay that has very obviously set in this nation of ours.
I consider myself as a co-conspirator , because I was simply blind sighted with a false sense of nationalism , being away from my beloved motherland, that I bought into the story of a “rising” nation, a “great democracy” that was doled out to me by the international media over these last 10 years. NOW in hindsight I am of the firm belief that I would not have been this naive and a collaborator, had I been closer to the truth; ie back home and seen and sensed the reality of the so-called greatness of my country.
I came back , to witness politicians brandish guns at toll collectors for daring to ask him for his fare! and then to see the same politician, pot belly, 3 days beard and all, nonchalant in his denial of the episode and accusing the toll collector of abusing him!!
I came back to see a fledgling political outfit expose a sitting member of our parliament of graft and using his NGO as a front to launder $ 125,000 of public money, AND to see the member of parliament take to the streets like an ordinary thug, and openly threaten the accuser in national media!! AND to add insult to injury, to see his colleague in our parliament, scoff at the idea of siphoning of $ 125,000 as a joke, since he believed that a man of his stature should have been investigated if it was a case of siphoning off of an amount of $ 1,000,000 or more!!
I came back to see the son in law of the President of the ruling political party of the country, accused of colluding with the land mafia and making windfall profit through this nexus between crony capitalists, crooked politicians, equally crooked bureaucrats, and saw before my own eyes and honest bureaucrat being shunted out of his job, because he dared to blow the whistle on this fraud!!
I came back to see a young woman and her friend picked from the streets of our capital on one dark cold night, raped by 6 excuses for men, assaulted , bruised and left naked by the road side. I had to bear the trauma of seeing this young woman fight for her life, till she was consumed by fate and departed to a better place, leaving an entire nation, including myself in anguish at the state of our women, of this brave heart, which embodied the real state of our country today.
The youth were on the streets for all of 2 weeks- till they were beaten back successfully with a crafty strategy of Machiavellian proportions, scripted by the political class, and especially the current ruling class.The strategy comprised of state sponsored terror unleashed on its own people in stage 1 , marked police brutality and clampdown on protesters, stage – 2 comprised, dividing the protesters by inviting some to “discuss” way forward, stage-3, setting up a judicial commission under a well known panel of judges, and convincing the protesters to go back home, stage -4, paying lip service to the report submitted by the judicial commission, stage-5, cobbling together a weak ordinance based on the perceptions and inputs of criminals and rapists in their ranks, and sending that to the rubber stamp President of our country, with no courage of conviction, to sign off.
Their ploy is simple- as soon as the ordinance is signed these slimy politicians and the entire political class will pompously declare how they have delivered to the people!! There will be much back slapping on a job well done…many congratulations,….and the case will have been deemed to be closed!
In essence as a nation we will be back to square one and there will have been no REAL CHANGE!!
As I witness all this unfold , I am taken back to my last 10 years as the champion of brand India, and I feel like a cheap traveling salesman, peddling lies to all and sundry..I feel ashamed at what I have been doing for the last 10 years, because of the reality of our “greatness” as I have seen over the last 3 months.
Publicly I try to enlighten friends, old and new ones that I have made upon my return, and try to have a balances debate on the myth of our greatness that is being perpetrated by our political class, and an objective comparative between forms of government that I have seen in Africa and the US.
It pains me to repeat, that as I compare what I see in India, and what I have seen in Africa, we are just a tad better than a “BANANA REPUBLIC”, and which owes its so called growth story, NOT to the visionary leadership of its rulers ( not leaders-please note), but to divine intervention and pure chance. Even in terms of feeling secure, it may come as a surprise to you, BUT I felt safer in Africa, than I do in the streets of the capital, where I reside today!! What need I say more to establish the sorry state of our country today……
As I have tried to share the reality of other forms of government and governance with that in my country with friends and folk, the common underlying sense I often get is this….to live in this country, being ruled ( not lead) by this political class, is our lot in life….and to me this is shocking , because this is being repeated by people who I would consider as intellectually enlightened and capable of analysis!! BUT NO…here they are, accepting this political class, and their brand of mediocrity as great governance, as their lot in life! Instead of comparing and analyzing between 2 or more countries and deciding rationally between right and wrong, here is an entire generation that is willing to live under this yoke of graft, non accountability, non culpability, non governance, dynastic politics, crony capitalism and any other evil that you could possible think of!!
So, if this is you lot in life, do you have any right to complain when a scam involving YOUR TAX CONTRIBUTION is brought to light? No ..you have no right to complain because you have become like a beast of burden who accepts his lot in life and therefore you deserve to be treated like one by your rulers, the political class!! Thats logical….
You are therefore willingly incarcerated in this prison, you call your motherland, willingly.
You accept every diktat passed by the parliament meekly. You do not raise your voice , when ever you see injustice and non performance by anyone, including your elected representatives – and when you do raise you voices, you cannot sustain your initiative, because you are so gullible, that each and every time you buy easily into the assurances of the political class, and give them opportunity after endless opportunity to lie to you and to slip away from your clutches!! You do not even realize , that you, the urban, educated , aware class of people do not even matter in the game of numbers and votes- because the real numbers lie numb in India’s rural hinterland, un-educated, illiterate, intellectually crippled and incapable of logical analysis through a sustained strategy of keeping them in this state of stasis for 65 years, so that they can be exploited by the political class to come back to power, over and over again, with out any accountability to you, who have the capacity to be a real nuisance, but are easily managed, because you are a very minuscule minority, who dont really matter !!
Its time you, those who are educated, have the capacity to think and analyse, look at your alternatives – between staying put in your prison, your beloved motherland, or moving to better and safer pastures elsewhere.
Kamal Hassan recently became emotional and broke down, and said that he would want to give up his citizenship of this country and live in another country….I think he will understand and empathize with the contents of this blog. He understands and knows that he too is incarcerated willingly in this country, and his decision to leave this country for another would perhaps be the only way he will have his salvation.
I will wish him all the best in case he decides to go away from his prison.