India is still not independent. I still call it under rule! This time it is not Moguls, nor Britishers. It is under seize and rulers are we Indian ourselves. The characteristics of our rulers who continue to exploit the common masses are:
1. They are not foreigners, hence look very much like common Indians. Of course, they will wear ties and suits (which are of no relevance at Indian soil where temperatures soar to 40s and 50s. Or, they just wear white kurta pajama and shamelessly denigrate Gandhi ji.
2. Political leadership: They are either elected by voters in polls where voters have limited options ( have no choice to reject them). In the electoral process that we have, these candidates exercise all means to get elected: by hook or crook. The parties have more or less no ideology. The only standard they look up to is victory. Once we keep our political affiliation aside, we will realize that they just want to come into power, means are not important, end is what they are targeting at.
3. Bureaucracy: The babus are selected by merit or by bribery. Either way, the end result is same for the most: educated and intellectual class they constitute, but sooner than later, become self-serving. They are the guardians of rules, but let the political class bend them instead of confronting them. They are eager to become appease their bosses, start focussing on promotions and filling their own coffers and wallets.
Tell me honestly, why there is so much craze among Indian families to see their wards become IAS, IPS officers and SDMs? To serve the country: no, that is not the first reason. If my son becomes an IAS, IPS: kothi, gaddi, naukar, fat dowry and life long aaraam! These are the considerations thta we aim for.
It is a common knowledge that in HCS (Harayana Civil Service), the seats are for sale. If I have to pay 20 lakhs for my son to become an HCS officer, shall he serve the state: it is easy to guess the answer.
4. Police: Unrestrained is the best term for pur police forces. The training does not translate in this simple message: you are here to bring culprit to the book.Instead what happens is: bullying commoners, extracting money and distorting evidence to their suitability. In UP, recently we came across the news of a 6 year old girl beaten mercilessly by police at the police station. That one incidence is not an exception. It represents the real mindset of our police forces.
5. Judiciary: Slow and lethargic. Jutstice delayed is justice denied. Corruption at lower level is well known.
6. Media: Has not matured into a socially responsible media. The lust for making money has made distanced it from reality. Do we know of any code of conduct that the media seem to follow. The unashamed beaming of Mumbai terrorist events has exposed the real character of our media. This does not mean there is dearth of professional journalists in our country. But the lack of self-regulation, ethics has driven the current media into a bazaar.
7. Public: Feels helpless. Has resigned to the fate of bribery, corruption, nepotism. Over-populated hence every chore seems to be a competition. So, what we have become: aapna ghar pahle, samaaj baad mein. Self-conceited, self- centered we have become. Do not take me wrong, majority of people still want to live with conscience, but the monster of unregulated democracy seems unsurmountable, hence selfishness is the first trait that creeps in.
Those who are away from the country (Indians abroad): they too seem to be wary of the the way our Indian system works. As one of my friends Dr Vidya put it: }The charity in India is highly unregulated, no one knows where your hard-earned money will go! If you donate here (USA), you know that where your money is being used.”
So, what are the solutions?
The fight against foreigners was not easy, but it was easier to define an enemy, a looter! It was easy to descriptively conclude who our enemy was: The one who invaded us. It made sense to the people!
Today, the enemy is from within us. That is a big problem! It is not easy to convince all that what is wrong, who is doing wrong to us.
The good news is that we are not at the mercy of some individuals (Kings or queens or senators or MPs sitting in a different country in a buidling – call it Parliament- and decide our fate by their whims or whishes). But the democracy that was bestowed upon us almost 6 decades ago has not been able to fulfil our needs. It did not bring in corrections and fixes as the time passed on” rather the changes were not incorporated by our political leadership!
1. Hence our democracy needs updates. Bring in the needed reforms to make our system really workable. Not just toothless democracy.
2. We must- each must- think what we are doing for our society and nation. We need patriotic individuals who are there to serve and not extract. To be patriotic, we do not have to wear a Gandhi cap, or leave our job or business! To do the things with sincerity and conscience: that alone will help us a long way.