Life... Predictably Unpredictable

Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere.

Location: Alexandria, VA, United States

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Balidaan Dega Kaun (Who will make the sacrifice?)

The heinousness of the rape incident that happened in Delhi is unbelievable. It definitely has taken the whole country by storm. Unfortunately, it's not the first incident of rape but it appears that the brutality of the incident has jolted the nation.  To me, that is a disturbing truth and extremely sad situation that someone had to go through such extreme torture to awaken 1.2B sleeping Indians. Nevertheless, we have candle light vigils, Amitabh Bachchan writing a poem, political leaders making hospital visits, public statements and many other things going on. But how effective is this going to be in the long run? There was a similar uproar during the Nov 2008 attacks in Mumbai and it lasted for a few months and not much has changed since then. The mumbaikars are lauded for their spirits and I fear that in the near future, this victim and many others will be remembered as unfortunate victims. It's evident that every single citizen in India wants to bring about change in the country. The intentions are good and while that's a start, is it really enough?

Having lived in the US for the last few years, I often on many situations find myself comparing US with India on pretty much everything. It varies from infrastructure, freedom, technology, corruption to anything under the sun. I can assume majority of my fellow Indian brethren are guilty of the same? But off late, I've started to realize it's like comparing apples and oranges. Everyone talks about the legal system and law enforcement in India. On paper, the constitution and legal system is pretty sound and robust but obviously that isn't enough! Due to the massive population, the ratio of law enforcement officials to the common man doesn't really help executing the nicely bound paperwork called the legal system. To top that, there is the corruption. We talk about corrupt politicians and officials but as much as they are at fault for taking the bribe, so is the common man for paying out the bribe. But it's natural and difficult to not have a sense of empathy for the commoner shelling out the bribe as what other choice does he have? It's a vicious recursive loop that will never have an opening for change. The way I look at it, it all boils down to who will take the first step, make the sacrifice so that some unrelated Indian down the line benefits from his action. Considering the population and every second commoner being a victim of corruption in some capacity, if each one of us make that personal sacrifice, it's not going to be too long before the fortunes of the country at least get set on the right path to permanent change.

I wish I knew how another "Amanat" is not created in India history but definitely the first step would be to develop a sense of fear in the hearts and minds of every individual (Indian or Immigrant) towards the Indian Constitution, law enforcement officers and judicial system. The average employee in the company has the fear of losing his/her job if he/she doesn't perform so why not have that fear towards the Society? I often wonder if democracy is really made for a country like India. Maybe some years of military rule overseeing the government may work? I don't know as it has it's own risks but the current structure isn't going to being about any more change at least not in the near future. Until then as much as the next "Nov 2008" or the birth of another "Amanat" is just waiting to happen and I say that with extreme shame and regret.

Before I sign off, I often look at the mirror and wonder if I even have the right to blog and voice my opinion sitting in a relatively secure environment in the US as I'm no different that the helpless vigil attendees or protest marchers. But I pray to god to give me the courage to change my mindset, make that personal sacrifice and be the change instead of waiting around for it to happen through someone else.


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