India: A Mirror Into Our Hearts; An Analysis Of The Common Citizen

7 cases... diverse in their nature, different in the appearance, varying in their causes - and yet, each connected in some way with 2 aspects that are common: The Indian Society, and the Rulers of India. Each connects with a different aspect of the microcosm of India - ranging from an unknown Indian to the mafia to the honest police to the top echelons and classes of India... Each is unique in its own way, and each a truth. And yet, somehow, each are saying the same reality: something, somewhere is wrong...

We say the politicians are bad, We say the babus are corrupt. We say the police is inefficient and bad apart from being corrupt. But  baar baar meer zehen mein ek hi baat aati hai... iska kaaran kyaa hai? Aisaa kyun ho rahaa hai? Aakhir pareshaani kahaan hai? Yeh bharatvarsh kaa sundar sapnaa itnaa kaalaa kyun dikhai de rahaa hai? Aur kyaa waakai itnaa kaalaa hai? Humne kahaan galti ki hai? Where have we gone wrong?

A collection of news items from older posts on my blog.. .a mirror of our nation...

( One man - who tried to protect his sister - was stabbed; the police first wrote the report and then took him to the hospital! The poor man died... )

("Consider this: when asked if dishonesty was acceptable for success, 70% said yes. The response to whether it is fine to cheat one friend for another was split almost midway — 43% said 'yes' or 'sometimes', while 43% said 'no'. The rest were unsure")

3. Nirbhay...

"Satyendra Kumar Dubey could have chosen to keep quiet, like the majority of young professionals of this country. He could have continued doing his job as a deputy general manager in the Centre’s National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and shut his eyes to the variegated ways in which a prestigious project - Instead Dubey opted to do the right thing by alerting the PMO to these developments because he believed the project was of “unparalleled importance to the nation”. He paid with his life for having done so”  - Indian Express "

An Article by a former CBI Director... Article titled Honesty can get you killed! This is by a CBI Director... further note: This is the tragedy of the Indian State. There are no signs of any major stir of emotions among those in the executive and the bureaucracy who matter and are capable of stemming the rot. Many of them are sulking because of the might of those arrayed against them.

A man gets run over by a train - these things happen, unfortunately. What doesn't happen is people gather around him - but no one helps him. A second train comes by and runs him over...  Police has been informed - turns up late. Ditto Ambulance. But no one helps this poor guy - and he dies... stomach turning!

AMRI Hospital Fire...


Be it corruption, or be it police atrocities - inefficiencies - whatever, or be it the bad politician, or be it the misgovernment - we are supposed to be at the receiving end. We complain loudly against all of the above, and when things get a bit too much to bear, take to the streets in protest. Paradoxically, among us, the protesters, are those same people who are paying a bribe, or glancing at ladies, or tolerating atrocities, or going on to become police officers. The very same man on the streets in protest is also the individual who has likely paid a bribe for his driving licence. This is a dichotomy, and the key to the entire affair.

And it is this fundamental dichotomy that lies at the core of our existence that needs to be tackled and understood. We can safely assume that most of us - in fact, nearly all - love India. As proof, you only have to look to the support to the Armed Forces during the Kargill War, or during Indo-Pak matches, or the scale of the lokpal protests, or the intense pride in our nationhood. And yet, the very same proud Indian indulges in frankly reprehensible behaviour. The same proud Indian is the first to give a bribe, for example. Why? The same man who will highlight a problem through media will pay up hush money for a driving licence. This represents dichotomous behaviour!

Why is this obviously proud, decent Indian behaving in such a manner? Why is he not stopping to help Nirbhay - and others like her- on the road? 

  • Unfortunately, one of the reasons for this is the fear  that they will be harassed by the police forces and the government. The police approach in such cases is frankly most unfriendly. The helper has a fear he will be victimised. The police station does not come across as a place where a normal citizen can obtain any help. The perception as well as the experience is extremely negative. 
  • Another reason for this is the need to attend courts, or waste time by going repeatedly for tasks like driving licence etc. Again, the interface between the people and the babus is not exactly welcoming. It feels as though we are imposing on them!  
  • Yet another reason for this is the need to provide for family and self - putting self above the nation. In dire circumstances, this is excusable - but when this happens as a matter of course, it is a cause of worry. But then, frequently, if you dont pay up : your work gets stalled. You miss that train, or the Cooking Gas does not come home, or... thus leading to bribing etc undesirable behaviour. 
  • Then you have the genuine fear that you may have to pay physically - or even with your life. So best keep quiet and keep moving. Dont give any attention to anything. 
Now look at the cases above: and spot these reasons in play from each and every case including the Nirbhay case...

Does this excuse the normal citizen? Except for the 4th reason, to my mind, it does not. But yes, I have to accept that there are genuine issues in the mind of the common man that will need to be addressed for him to become more forthcoming. And each and every one of these issues come right back to the Police, The Bureaucracy and The Politician. 

And that is where, that is the only place, where we have gone wrong... we have not been conscious enough of what is happening to our nation. We have not elected the right people, we have not questioned them and held them accountable. This is in itself not very surprising, given the educational levels, the sceptre of casteism, and the diversity in our nation.  But the educated class - rather than try to set things right, began to partake of the forbidden fruit. This points to a 5th problem: a lack of community feeling, and the placing of self above the nation  for the explicit purpose of personal benefit (as opposed to doing it to get something for family). 

We can overlook the point where we elected the wrong people; democracy, after all, involves the majority. But what of the 5th reason for our pusillanimous behaviour? Can anyone find any excuse? Is it pardonable? No. Certainly not, it is not excusable. This behaviour is becoming increasingly acceptable in Indian Society, as shown in the newspaper survey where 70% find it ok to cheat. This is pointing to a skewed moral compass of society. And this is what is evident in every aspect: police behaviour (they are humans, and from within us), corruption, eve-teasing, etc. And to that, I have no answers, only questions... 

Our moral compass is in dire need of correction... The moot question is that now that an increasing number of Indians are realising the errors of our ways and of our society, what will we do about it?

In conclusion, I can only remember this song of Kishoreda:

Jaag Sonewaalon, Suno Meri Kahaani

Yeh oonch neech duniyaa ke beech aakhir yeh kyun bolo koi.. job hai bhalaa woh kyun buraa hum toh naa samjhe yeh baat!


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