Monday, July 25, 2011

The Great Indian Conundrum

What makes India so interesting, is its sincere, hypocritical, self-righteous nature. Some of the things that makes one wonder, some great paradoxes that are unique to India as I know it, perhaps many other places too I am sure.

1) Most public servants behave like feudal lords when it comes to dealing with the aam public. Why are they called public servants? (Who serves whom?)

2) The most feared places in India are police stations, the most feared people are the cops. Why are they called the protectors of law? (For justice people go to the mafia!)

3) The biggest crimes against society are by those in power and most of these crimes are by commission, not be default or omission. Why are these people in power making laws for us/them? (They make and amend the laws that allow them to escape with murder, still we elect them).

4) The most heinous crimes are against the weakest - women, children, poor. Why do we claim that our scriptures urge us to treat women, children like gods?

5) The most sexually repressed society, where sex crimes are dime a dozen, where men are perpetually ogling away at women of all sizes, ages in the back of their minds. Why is it that we get so easily offended by nudity, kisses, western clothes, Valentine's Day celebrations? (Rape is justified by saying that 'she' asked for it, while going to a park calls for stringent measures by political parties)

6) The most insensitive as far as crimes that are committed in the name of religion, community. Why are we so easily offended, so sensitive to paintings, books, statements, movies, stories, music, poetry that mention certain cultures in their context? (We are offended by gaalis in 'Delhi Belly' and sue the filmmakers for offending us when the fact is that we use the same gaalis everyday in traffic).

7) The most intolerant in terms of understanding other cultures, people who look different, speak differently, people of certain birth. Why are we so upset about racism when we are the worst racists of all?

8) The most corrupt when we see an opportunity to bribe or get bribed get away without being caught, many times trying to bend the laws as a cartel to suit one's needs. Why are we so indignant about the 'corrupt system' as if we were not part of it?

9) Blind, deaf and mute to what is obvious - misuse, corruption, immorality, bribery, greed, lust - all around. Why are we so self-righteous, so judgmental, so cruel, so vicious when a petty, vulnerable target comes before us?

10) A society that is cheated and cheats day in and out, at every second transaction. Why are we so proud of being from the land of Gandhi?

11) The society from where everything began as they claim - yoga, ancient laws of science, philosophy etc etc. Why have we not been able to spread this knowledge among our own people for so many years while the west has been packaging it so well and selling it back to us?

(to be contd...)
On 26th July 2011

12) A society built on the premise that people elect their own, make considered choices about their leaders, their own laws - an ideal society, the largest democracy where the people govern themselves. Why then don't anyone of us understand how to live with dignity - why does one have to struggle to comprehend tax laws, traffic laws, basic rights one is eligible to as a much so that even the most educated have to bribe uneducated agents to do our work at the passport office, the police station, the tax man, the municipal man, the telephone man, the revenue man, the tax collector....?

13) We are anti-corruption, pro-poor, pro-progress, pro-secularism, pro-Indian. Why then is there such a hullaballoo about anyone who protests corruption? Why are the protestors being persecuted instead of being encouraged?

14) The clean, green country which encourages honesty, uprightness, initiative. Why then are honest officers harassed, transferred and sometimes murdered without protection? And why are the dishonest allowed to get away, protected by tax payers money and made to sit on our throats?

15) The society where leaders wear white to signify clean minds and initiatives. Why then are 90% of our leaders tainted with some scam or another? Why do we have ordinary thieves as leaders?

16) We do not want to pay bribes, we are anti-corruption. Why then is every single real estate transaction in two parts - block and white - every single one? Why do most doctors prefer to accept their remuneration by the side?

17) We are a great democracy, the world's largest. Why then do we have only one party in power all the time? Where is the opposition, what are the real alternatives? Where are the other parties?

18) We go to elections every five years, sometime sooner, and exercise our right to vote. Why do we do that when such a staggeringly high number of people vote for people they know nothing about? Not just in the villages, even the urban educated know next to nothing about the candidates they vote for. Why and who are we voting for?


Anonymous said...

Yeah hari, why??

What does the great wise philosopher, Koni the Wise, say about this article. I'd love to hear his thoughts on this .... again.


Vetirmagal said...

Oh.. How could you write everything so clearly. The words are like swords, echoing in my mind.

These questions keep coming to anyone who has seen it all. But you can put it so forcefully.

When will we get it right? few decades? few generations, or after all of us perish in this confusions?

Anonymous said...


Is there any way you can keep this article in the front of the blog and let readers add their additions in the comments. This article should not be allowed to fade away into the back pages as days go by.


Harimohan said...

Dear Vetrimagal,
I think we can get it right starting now - if we want to. The tragedy is that it is not something that has been inflicted on us by someone else (as in all such cases) - it is self-inflicted and we can choose to go with what is right and expand on that. The beginning I think happens now, and in our own space. First by each one of us individually accepting that it is not 'out there' but 'us' and then going about it in a manner that gently undoes the situation and brings it to peace.

Harimohan said...

Hi Madhav,
I don't know about that but I certainly want to add stuff to that list. Do send me some of such paradoxes - I think I missed many. In fact anyone who wants to can send it and I shall add to that list. Every 25. 50. 75 and 100 we shall repost it back on top. What say?

Anonymous said...

A society that prides itself on being so clean, why then is there so much filth everywhere.


Vetirmagal said...

Yes, We can and we are doing what we can. I am 61, and I have seen a lot . The right thinking right doing and right living people are becoming minority in front of my eyes. My own circle of friends, relatives and others, have slipped a lot. 'My family, my house and myself' rules everyone - from 70 to 7.

In this jungle of self centered lives,children who are brought up in value based and honest lifestyle are loners!

Only consolation, peace is there, at the end of the day, end of the year and end of life.

Harimohan said...

Dear Vetrimagal,
As they say, if there is peace in your heart, there is peace in the world. We can do that much for ourselves and the world.