We cannot be drowned out one day, blasted out the other.
It's been too little for too long.
We want to get as good as we give.
And we want it now...........
It was a little past Eight on the morning of Thursday, 20th July 2006. Sitting in the 7th floor apartment of a friend, a small group of colleagues-turned-friends, we had barely finished watching Ali-G keeping it real in the land of Her Majesty and Mr. Prime Minister.
A small column of the 1st page of the Times of India read the headline "Ignite the Change - Enough is Enough - Mumbai Petitions the Prime Minister. And just as the mind ignited the smallest of thoughts that the largest democracy in the world was finally preparing to head towards civilization that it missed out on, boldly splashed from end to end a 1.5" X 9" headline screamed "Centre Warns Mumbai of fresh attacks"
All this and a lot more happening at a time when the worst of enemies are united in their stand and determination to root out the 'axis of evil' and halt the menace of terrorism despite whatever noble cause that it may endorse. And then there is another theater heralding Israel's ssuperb retaliatory action against Lebanon and Syria.
Why then is Pakistan being considered or treated as a de facto exception? The answer lies in India's willinglessness more so in tandem with the spineless and unabashed superstructure of perhaps the worlds worst ever congregation of pathetically shameless community - The Indian political brass.
Although it was past Classic time on VH1 now leading to the breakfast slot of VH1 Cardio Video, I recollected the sober yet imposing voice of Louis Armstrong singing out "What a wonderful world" in commemoration (read condemnation) of America's catastrophic venture in Vietnam.
Probably, my rushed yet momentary optimism aided with the luxury of a cooler day could have been avoided had I read the more ominous 'headline' than the prospective 'idea' of culture change supported by the once again momentary anger blitz of people reflected in the business seeking jazz & drums of the print media which is becoming fast understanding of its role in shaping the future of the nation.
We, the billion plus strong diverse yet so called united Indian dispora, have once again found another plank of expressing our very best emotion in collective form - ENDURANCE
The average Indian is a hyperbuzzy for the most wrong reason. And, when we are expected to exhibit the traditionally age-old good etiquette of endurance, we fail to come any closer to being a tolerant lot. Regardless of a bunch of seriously infested predicaments that makes the average Indian lifestyle undoubtedly one of the worst possible disasters to happen to Humankind, we still devote all our fast-exhausting, subsidized resources in the dumbfounded misadventure of infighting in the name of politically motivated factors such as caste and class.
Coming back to Ali-G, a grab of the movie 'Restecp', shows how Ali drugs world leaders at a peace summit and brings about lasting peace and a show of extraordinary camaraderie, I wonder if that needs to be done to our bunch of so called front-benchers too!
The solution lies buried deep inside the motherland in the minds of all of us. Can you imagine how succesfully evolved the Indian mindset has come to be? We have very effectively established a truly global presence over the time and when we actually need to consolidate the same to reflect a strong sense of identity and strength across the planet, we are being riddled by forces one tenth our size highly potent to our democratic values and morals of existence. Must we not embark on a mission of Hot Pursuit? Yes Indeed, but as I told you before, endurance it seems is an unncessary virtue we have cultivated with extraordinary passion. It is for the very same reason that we have subjected ourselves to yet another millenia of ruling and oppression that continues to extract the very basic essentials of a million plus people who have yet to come to terms with life and are forced to declare contention with one square meal a day. While we shout endlesslessly making a vain effort to highlight every nothing that hardly ever matters to anyone's life, we are mute about the fact that we are deliberately and organizedly treated like sacrificial animals and mere commodities and the more it happens, the more louder we assure our compliance and cooperation. Our roads remain perpetually dilapidated and our water supply systems continue to gift a droplet a day to more than tens of thousands of households. Our electricity supply system hardly remains active and our infrastructure would have shamed any stone age australopithecus! Our social security apparatus is remarkably shamless and resorts to molest the very same people who it is entrusted to protect and our legal system is at loggerheads with gazillions of case instances that could take a 1000 years to address.
Nevertheless, the national capital and its showy political edifices boast departments and ministries with many fantastic names and titles. The result; A state of total and absolute unaccountability and irresponsibility with not the slightest possibility of punishment! This foolhardy state of ours will cease to change unless we ourselves (read every single one of us) unites in the mind to root out the evil within, and that means cleansing our very souls too. Will such a state of consensus ad idem ever present itself? No! Why? Simply because such a situation has to be arrived upon with time and effort........great effort. Remember Plato who once quipped "As the people, so the ruler." Sadly, the reverse cannot happen at all and those of us who are in anticipation of such a juncture will be rewarded with a never ending wait, at best!
Stop, Think & Proceed! Three words that make up for oft-displayed road signs which are abundantly scattered across the nation in all possible Indian languages. Unfortunately, these three words mean nothing to us despite its looming presence in our everyday lives. If only we stopped, thought and proceeded we would have succeeded as a nation of the best brains ever! The answer lies exactly in our will as much as it lies in our ability to change the world to be a better place. It is not a monolith task considering our diverse and strong population and commendable talent pool.
And then, there is also the need to realize who the biggest enemy is. Often, after a deep act of introspection, we come to know that the enemy lies within us. Thereafter, it is important to kill the menace within before dealing with an external threat. The need to obtain a collective and united political will is a very important precursor to any kind of action. In simple words "Don't let the uneducated, uncharacteristic, unashamed 'Babu' ruin your prospect of living a decent life.
The nation has been blessed with some of the finest overt and covert military personnel who should be commission to erase rouge states that promote cross-border terrorism with a religious ideologue. Any or all measures to eradicate all forms of living elements across the border should be conducted. The only manner of effectively tackling terrorism and radical religious fundamentalism is by exporting twice the amount of terror to the enemy itself and overwhelm it. To start with, the declaration of the Pakistan High Commissioner persona non grata and moving to the representation's expulsion could be seen as a sign of mild hope and resolve. Why would there be any necessity to engage in diplomatic relations with an entity that has declared a war on our soverignity? Remember the 1st Gulf war? When former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yaseen Ramadan refused to call off the probability of firing Scud missiles into Israel in the event of an American invasion, then Secretary of State James Baker simply replied "We'll nuke you out." Why cannot India echo such a voice? Why cannot our nation contemplate an extensive operation to eradicate the tens of terrorist training camps that systematically consign Indian lives to non-existence? The answer - The Will to do it does not exist.
I wish we could unite single-handedly to fight against this threat and depose a farce regime that rules us and replace it with one whose sense and sensibility is maturely established and well in place and ready to consider action at the least possible threat. But, I'm assured of the fact that I will not remain to see the dawn of that day.
However much, with anguish or disappointment or both, I have the following message for perhaps one of India's most educated Prime Ministers.
While I credit your remarkable ability to understand the intricacies of Indian finance and foreign trade, I take very strong exception to the fact that you have in a matter of days from the happening of a tragic act of terror and desperation, chosen to tone down your rhetoric against a rouge state whose sole mission it is to disintegrate the world's largest democracy.
I suggest that you relieve yourself from this prestigious yet unmistakenly tough assignment for something of this magnitude requires true courage and will.
I must quote to your eminence a line that I carry from school days which reads thus;
"Never do something unless you are very sure of yourself, however, never relinquish doing something because somebody else is not sure of you."
Failing me and the rest of India is equivalent to failing yourself a billion times over and over again.
How many times would we need to be hit on the head to merely realize that we are being hit?
Mr. Prime Minister, the job of protecting the nation along with many such others has been assigned to you in good faith and trust. All you require is the will and focus along with the wisdom to do it at best. And this you shall not find in any manifesto, and hardly in 10 Janpath