Last week I wrote about why I am ashamed to be Indian and even more ashamed to be from Delhi/NCR. It drew a lot of controversies. Some strongly supported it, some strongly opposed. Some called it realistic, some called it pessimistic. I am glad that the piece made its own humble contribution in stirring emotions and being one more straw to increase weight of the growing protests against treatment of women in this country.
The fact that many youths now view this and related incidents as challenging their notion of patriotism and self-image, brought them to streets and join in a protest that has never been seen before in such cases. Many repented the fact that they have contributed to this menace by being eve-teasers themselves in past. Others berated the fact that they have themselves been using vulgar abuses related to mother and sister and hence being party to this crime. That many youth are now willing to reform themselves and others is indeed a welcome news.
This gave me a sense of satisfaction that weight of my shame of being an Indian is getting lighter. But soon I realized I was wrong. New dimensions of my country’s shamelessness were revealed that make me even more ashamed to be an Indian.
This relates to a subtler but more sinister aspect of Indians and specially those closer to the epicenter of power aka Delhi. This is ARROGANCE.
Arrogance devoid of any solid foundation or merit, based purely on unethical immoral proximity to seats of power. It is not just an arrogance of being anti-woman in an uneducated uncultured male dominated society, as discussed in previous post.
It is much more widespread and based on presumption that “I have right to be arrogant and shameless because I have zero merit in me and still I can dominate through corrupt means and connections.”
This is the reason why Delhi is among the most hated places in world. And because Delhi is the capital of India, it represents India and hence makes entire India even more ashamed. And more someone is closer to seats of power, more he or she contributes to SHAME for entire India.
Thus I am ashamed of everybody who proudly showcase their links and contacts in bureaucratic and political circles.
I am ashamed of government officials like police and authorities who blatantly misuse their powers to persecute the aam-aadmi and have no compunction for their own gross derelictions.
I am even more ashamed of those who are politicians themselves and expect red-carpet treatment.
I am much more ashamed of my government that considers arrogance as its birthright.
That this arrogant, self-obsessed, elitist, insensitive government represents me globally and decides rules and regulations that I and you must follow, leaves no scope for me to feel proud.
And since government in a democratic country represents the average mentality of the population, I am still more ashamed to be Indian.
I have remained apolitical throughout and did not write anything in support or opposition of government even during the peak of anti-corruption movement. Because for me, that is just tip of iceberg and does not represent true and complete picture. But with the attitude that the government has shown towards the protesters against rape-case in Delhi leaves no room for doubt:
“We have chosen a most arrogant, self-obsessed, power-hungry, elitist, insensitive incompetent set of people to rule us and decide our fate.”
And hence we should be ashamed.
Let me explain each of the terms I used for the government:
1. It is very clear that rape incident happened on streets of capital city because the police was incompetent. The same police force will find most obscure places next to a road turning to catch a traffic breach off-guard and earn some black money. It does not matter to them if the red-signal was hidden behind a tree or the U turn board was hanging upside down. Each day, Delhi police earns millions of black-money through this proactive action to catch petty offenders. After all they are divinely ordained to loot the aam-aadmi. But the same police did not dare stop a single bus ever that has black glasses on windows despite clear instructions from High Court years ago. The reason is simple: Catching these buses don’t fetch you great money. Afterall the drivers are not the owners of the vehicles. Further, most of these buses (White Line or Chartered Buses in Delhi lingo) belong to either politicians or someone close to politicians. So why invite uninvited nuisance.
The government of Delhi and Center as well put blind eye to all this for very same reasons. After all politics is all about money and links and contacts!
If not, then why they were silent?
Either they were self-obsessed, power-hungry or they were simply incompetent.
In either case, they are cause of SHAME.
2. Just look at the way government dealt with protesters. Lathicharge, Tear-Gas! What a shame! This was near repeat of what happened on Ramlila Ground few months ago. The same police which is culprit for allowing this rape to happen by its misplaced priorities is now beating up people because they demand safety and dignity of women!
There is not one single person of character and personality right from highest position in country to the average constable who could have addressed the anger of protesters in a mature, honest and compassionate manner.
How can there be! Every position of power – right from President – is filled not based on competencies, but simply on basis of affinity to echelons of power. How can we expect, except through a random rare chance of luck, that a statesman can breed in this political setup that is mathematically flawed and by its very organizational nature gives rises to corrupt arrogance of incompetence.
Recently the news flashed that the Unofficial Prince of India – progeny of an ex-Prime Minister who became Prime Minister because he was son of an ex-Prime Minister and so on… – reprimanded the protesters that they should be ‘rational’.
Look who is talking! And to whom!
If he expects family of rape victim to be ‘rational’, it shows how ‘rational’ he himself is. Or does he mean that the youth should not consider rape victim to be their own family?
And after the talks broke down, their is another lathicharge and tear-gas shelling.
Either the government is elitist and insensitive or a bunch of psychopaths.
Either ways, they are a cause of SHAME.
3. They say all accused have been caught. But that does not suffice for any sensible person. Why is there a reluctance from government to accept this as its own failure to provide security to citizens? What steps the government has announced to punish that state machinery which allowed breach of High Court order to happen openly for years. And why should not the Home Minister resign for this gross failure? If the government prefers to lathicharge protesters instead of answering these relevant questions with facts and sensitivity, then either they are arrogant and self-obsessed or they have been incompetent throughout without any intentions to improve.
Either ways, they are a cause of SHAME.
4. Recently I was in airport and noticed something very startling. At Security Check, there was a list of VVIPs who are exempt from security check. They included President of India, Vice President, Chief Ministers etc. And surprisingly, at the end there was name of Sri Robert Vadra. Now is he the official son-in-law of the nation? Why is Sri Robert Vadra more special than the aam-aadmi?
Recently there was an allegation on his source of income. (I don’t care much about that because most politicians and associates in sin-capital of India seem to have questionable sources of income given that they don’t spend even a second on anything except nation-welfare. Either they have a magic wand to generate money without investing time, or are simply corrupt. The third case is that all faculty in MBA courses should resign and let these politicians teach how to make millions and billions without spending a second.)
But the sad part was that this arrogant VVIP treatment at expense of aad-aadmi did not even come into highlight. Even his detractors did not raise this point prominently because they perhaps accept this VVIP syndrome as acceptable part of our culture.
For someone like me, this would be bigger issue than allegations on financial corruption. And hence I am even more ashamed.
Now why do I talk of Robert Vadra on issue of crime against women?
Simple, if my government can officially and openly patronize such non-entities because they are relatives of some family of their party-leader(s), why should I not assume that such unethical favoritism is rampant at all levels and domains that the government can influence?
Why should I not assume that
– Admissions in police force happens through nepotism (bhai-bhatijavad and jugaad)?
– Criminals are left scot-free because of their connections?
– Rampant violation of High Court directives was done to protect interests of some influential people?
– Protestors are being tortured because some influential family-members dislike them?
– The recent gang-rape and many such crimes happening every few minute are a culmination of the incompetencies and callouness arising due to such nepotism happening everywhere in the system that is supposed to be ‘servants’ os aam aadmi.
In general, why should I not believe that I am living as a slave under a pseudo-independence where I have freedom only within my tiny shell? And beyond that, for all major issues and matters, it is a cartel that is ruling me.
Slavery is never a sign of pride.
Hence I am still more ashamed.
Wait wait wait….
We cannot simply offload the blame on government and escape.
It is We, the people, who have elected this cartel.
Who sell our votes for some bucks to choose any Tom, Dick and Harry.
Who will easily vote for anyone who promises a liquor shop to our family or a job to our worthless son.
Who thrive on vote-bank politics.
Who vote on factors of caste and religion.
Who even gift away votes for daaru and dhamal.
Bitter but true. Bulk of nation votes in this manner.
And hence, the government we gift to ourselves represents what the average Indian deserves. For last 65 years we have been proving ourselves that we deserve corruption, failures, poverty, nepotism and miseries. These are not what I can proudly aspire for. Hence I am ASHAMED.
Last time, I wrote that I am ASHAMED to belong to a society that does not know why and how to respect a woman.
Now I am still more ASHAMED that I belong to a society that does not know why and how to choose what they want in life. And hence get beaten up by government for demanding respect for women.
Last time I appealed all to promise that:
My pride will be restored when a woman of any age can freely move in any part of country at any time in day (or night) with dignity.
Now I appeal to promise that:
My pride will be restored when we throw away a governance system that thrives on arrogance and unethical misuse of power. And beats up people because they now want respect for women.
Till that happens, I am STILL MORE ASHAMED to be Indian.