Townhall E01: What is wrong with India?
Okay. I’ve had it. It has been enough with the wave of unrest that is around us. The suffocative aura of religionism, misogyny, intolerance and hate that is there. Maybe, this is not new. Maybe, it has been there all along and I realized it now. Call me a fool but I have had it with the frightening news that I see everyday. I am appalled by the spite that is consuming us from within, just like dementors from Harry Potter. I am scared by the comments and reactions I read on the internet and at times, I am creeped out by the reasons and deranged logic of even my friends.
Do you feel it too?
Do you also scroll your timeline and feel a bit sad about the way things are?
Our most beloved former president, Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam shared his vision about India in his book, in which he said “A developed India by 2020, or even earlier, is not a dream. It need not be a mere vision in the minds of many Indians. It is a mission we can all take up and succeed.” This is what the great man imagined this country to be. Now that he is not here among us, it is our responsibility to work for that vision.
India is changing for sure, but not the way you’d want it to. No, I am not talking about GDP or other metrics that judge countries’ economic growth. I am talking about us, you and me. Back me up on this? Do you really feel that the country you are living in is the same country you grew up in?
I know, nothing remains the same, and change is the only constant thing but look at your younger siblings if you have one. Look at your son, your daughter, your brother & sister’s kid, and tell me, Are they as happy as you were when you were their age? Are they satisfied as you when you were their age? You’ll find the answer. India, as a nation has been going through a lot lately, and it is us, who subconsciously are making the one we call our mother bleed to paralysis.
Yes, you and me.
I am as responsible for the chaos around you as you are for the chaos around me. Don’t believe me? Let me walk you through everything that has been going on in our country, right in front of our eyes and yes we do feel sad but alas, do nothing.
The Polarization of Mentality
Do you have those friends in your circle who are so-attached to a belief that they irritate you and other people in the group? 3-4 years back, when I was 20- news and what was going on with the world interested me, thanks to social media. And with that, I started developing a perception about things.
At some point in your life, I’m sure you did too. So now, I am a guy with my own reasons of characterizing things as right or wrong. I believe it helps you grow as a person and substantiates your personality. But in the race of taking interest in the world and developing a perception, i figured, I got somehow got left behind others.
I now have friends and colleagues who are so obsessed with their belief, be it religion, be it an ideology or their sense of nationalism, that according to them everything apart from their set of beliefs are wrong and misguiding. People who did not care with whom they shared their lunch are now discriminating others.
People whom I have seen playing together with their mohalle wale dost are now claiming how a particular religion is the root cause of terrorism. It doesn’t have to be this way. It was never supposed to be this way but somehow it is.
The Misogynist Society
Till the time when we don’t learn to respect women, we cannot and shall not claim to respect our mothers and sisters. I am not just talking about the news of Rape, molestation and groping that we hear every day. Instead, I am talking about the lame jokes we crack when we check out women and videos that we tactfully whatsapp forward to our college groups which is often right next to that family group we rarely visit.
You might be thinking that sending that joke and checking out that woman is totally harmless and it, in no way encourages misogyny or rape culture.
What according to you, does goes inside a mind of rapists? Got my point?
It is our basic nature and our perception towards women that needs to be changed for them to feel and be safer. The responsibility to keep everybody safe in a society, is of the society.
The Misinterpreted Feminism
I am a big of Emma Watson and I respect the work she is doing (HeForShe) for women all over the world. However, I don’t like how the term Feminism has been branded and promoted. Somehow, it has also led to the same polarized mentality that we are trying to eradicate so badly. But since, the term is new and the belief is still in the process of being a cult, I feel we should take our time to acknowledge what Feminism is all about.
As per the website dosomething.org, Feminism is defined as the belief in social, political and economic quality of the sexes. The website put a list of 11 pillars of Feminism to make people aware about the injustice that women face every day, everywhere. So, the next time you call yourself a feminist, make sure you know all the principles of the popular culture.
The Race to Government Jobs
I want to address all the parents under this issue. Your child is brave and (s)he has what it takes to make an impact on the world in his/her own way. (S)He has also figured out what (s)he wants to do in life but is struggling with the How. (S)He could talk to you, but you want to make him/her a gazetted officer so badly that it scares the bone out your kid.
With all the investment that you have done on him till this day haunts him and he fears that you might consider him a bad business if he shares his dream and passion with you. I know you don’t think this way, you would support him no matter what the consequences.
For this message to reach, the communication gap that you have with your son and daughter needs to be fixed in order to keep both the parties know about the love and respect you have for each other. And if deep inside you are scared about his falling down- Don’t feel guilty, be with him/her, he will rise again. He is your god damn kid after all.
Plain dumb statements and their acceptance
With a population of 1.3 billion, we sure are going to hear absurd and dumb statements every day from at least one person. But when that one person is whom we have entrusted with an important position of holding a ministry, it hurts. There have been multiple instances by the elected people when they lost their sanity and said something that made the whole nation ask only one question! How the hell did we elect him? Here’s a link to every tweet, statement and allegations made by our politicians over the years. Feel free be mad at them.
Recently, a news went viral about a Bus Driver who saved lives of pilgrims in the Amarnath terror attack. Now, it was an act of humanity. It was something you would at least try to do if you were in his position. It is something that comes from within, to care for and help people. While the whole country was applauding the good deed of the driver who happened to be a Muslim and realizing that religion is secondary to humanity, I got into an argument with a guy who believed that Islam was the root cause of Terrorism and that there were only 10% of Indian Muslims who were really patriotic and the rest were Pakistan loving something (I don’t want to say the word).
The guy was same age as me and I don’t consider myself that a big religious. And there was this guy who had grown himself beyond his love for his own religion, his love for the country and transformed it into hatred for other religion.
That is some big leap!
This transformation in such a short span could be outcome of only two things. Either he is misinformed or he likes the rebellious attitude of being an intolerant, which really bothered me. That is what is wrong with our country, we are impatient judgmental indifferent assholes and we need to stop being that for our country to follow the vision of Chacha Kalam.
The Forced Nationalism
Do I have to love my house and not my parents to be eligible to live in my home? Think about it! That’s what new age nationalists want us to do. Not love Indians and still love India. I cannot possibly think of a single way to do that. It is us (Indians) with the constitution that make India.
It is us, the Indians that make India. In fact, we are India. The moment you feel hatred towards a fellow Indian is the moment you are loving your country a little less. Doesn’t it seem logical. Yes, I respect my country and its national anthem. But enlighten me, Shouldn’t I stand up to the anthem for my respect to my nation or to make you feel less doubtful about my nationalism.
I don’t mind Government’s decision to make National Anthem mandatory in movie opening credits but I do mind the person next to me asking me to stand up, just to satisfy his hunger for nationalism, to satisfy his unfulfilling need to make everyone nationalist.
If you are have read till here, then you must agree with everything that our country is going through. I wanted to write this post for some time but something or other came up and the article got delayed. But finally, that I have reached to the bottom of this post, I feel happy that I did something for the nation instead of looking at my laptop screen, feeling sad and doing nothing about it.
Note: We are millennials, we are the future that is going to be. We are the tomorrow that will be. And we get to decide the India we want. We get to choose from right and wrong. We get to make our stand clear about everything. Either we continue to kill India from the inside with our hatred for each other. Or, we can build it to be a better India and make our parents and ourselves proud of it.