Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Muck Conundrum

It isn’t fashionable to write about patriotism these days. So drowned is my generation in cynicism that we’re immune to what it is to feel that our country needs us.

I say ‘my generation’ with a purpose. For the few of us born in the 80s, ‘change’ actually means change. I think that no matter what our backgrounds are, we have seen India change from a sleepy place to one that is buzzing with life. I won’t (and frankly have no patience to) reminisce about simpler, better times where mobiles and computers were luxury and photographs were in sepia. It is a new world thankfully and glory be to the fact that pubs, clubs and (the admittedly nerve wracking) SHOPPING became such a part of our lives. And we of the 80s are in the forefront when it comes to enjoying ourselves. IN CAPITALS.

All that’s well and good. But where this brand of cynicism and basic disdain for the country crept into our political landscape frankly escapes me. It is almost laughable now to even waste time wondering why we let people like the Mayawatis, the Rajas, anyone who’s anyone in UP, and successive Central Governments take us for a ride time and again. The why doesn’t matter anymore.

A regressive government remains regressive. Honesty isn’t enough anymore. What is needed is a genuine leader with some sort of vision for the country. And the time for party loyalties is long gone. A Manmohan Singh, while irreproachable personally is so devoid of any passion or initiative that occupying that post becomes redundant. And I say this as an unashamed Congressman. I did believe that they were the right party to govern but two terms of arrogant, corrupt, hostile and chicken hearted rule later- they’ve lost my vote.

What’s worse is that there isn’t an option in sight. We are a nation clamouring in the filth waiting for someone to lead. Someone who passionately believes. Not just in nuclear deals, but who has enough capability to think of all sections of society.

And I don’t just mean farmers. The coinage ‘real India’ has always bothered me. The assumption that urban aint real is narrow minded and quite frankly absurd. Our (as in urban, ‘westernised’, ‘spoilt’, the works) India is just as real as the rest, just as much in need of reform as theirs. Yes without doubt Indian agriculture needs reforms, the farmer’s downward spiral should be arrested- but that does not mean we ignore education, health, technology, research, infrastructure and other such ‘urban’ ideas.

Societal degeneration is frankly not ‘the in thing’ to talk about but I do get infuriated seeing an Afzal Guru or Kasab getting away with murder and nothing happening because of a pussy footed attempt at minority appeasement. And a TV show bringing out societal evils while the government sits on its overwhelmingly parkinsonian arse is not a reason to celebrate- it is a reason to bemoan the fact that sensitivity has to be taught. And that raising awareness, sometimes messing even that up qualifies film stars to be hailed as messaiahs. Or that foolish flip flop artists who blackmail the government by starving just demonstrates how we yearn for rebellion but can’t see another ineffectual visionless media hungry ‘leader’ prospering under our noses, because of us.

This may be a rant but the truth is we’ve become numb with helplessness. Nothing works, no one cares. Murder, rape, paedophilia can occur on the streets, the economy can slide, the next leader may be a parenthesis, farmers can kill themselves, urbanites can become cynics- but as long as Amitabh Bachchan is healthy what do we care?