Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Where is my India going?

Introspection, debate, anger, and anguish. India has had plenty over the past 2 weeks. The recent violent rape has shaken us all. A lot of people say this is a turning point. Others contend that nothing would change. Some ask for retributive justice. Many want 'comprehensive' change without quite comprehending the extent of comprehensiveness. The nation cries for action.

Media personalities talk about the falling standards in public conduct. There is a debate whether the Indian movie and music industry should 'self regulate' when it comes to its depiction of the Indian woman. An article in New York Times the other day mentions how India calls certain acts of sexual harassment as 'eve teasing' as if it is a shade better.

Hearing regressive feudal voices feels like rubbing sandpaper on a blackboard. A member of Parliament wants to ban skirts in schools. A scientist questions why the rape victim was out at 10 PM. A khap panchayat leader opposes death penalty for rapists. If you have found yourself saying "things have gotten worse" and asking "where is my India going?", you are not alone.

But India, to me, is going somewhere, and definitely for the better. For a few years now, we have at least been acknowledging, talking and debating the issues of the day. At times, we have no answers. At other times, answers come aplenty. The journey over the past decade has been chaotic, noisy and frustrating.

But evolved we have. Urban India is no longer willing to put up with nonsense. Rural India is speaking up. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan's classic question "Are you better off today than you were a decade ago?", the answer is a resounding Yes. And adding fuel are today's 20-somethings who clamor for meaningful change. (Why ever not? This is a generation that grew up in the age of instant phone connections; if you tell them that things take time, they instantly ask why.)

The inept politician does not realize this yet. Nor does the feudal lord. They assume that these movements will fizzle out. That we will go back to 'chalta hai' times.

But we won't. From Jessica Lal & Nitish Katara to RTI & anti-corruption marches, the tolerance levels of the common man has changed. The demographic shift of the nation is steadily apparent and increasingly activist. India - both urban and rural - is rising. The rotten apples within the political class, law enforcement, judiciary, and business who choose to ignore this lesson do so at their own peril.

Yes - it will be a happier new year 2013.....

4 comments:

Dash..... said...

Interesting article. Puts things in perspective. " Are we better off today than a decade ago" is the way to take our focus out of our shoetops and look into the open - expanding our horizon.

Dash

smitha said...

Interesting, enlightening, well written. Sure do hope 2013 & beyond brings more changes for the better.

Arun Kumar said...

Thanks Dash. Shoe tops is a nice analogy....

Arun Kumar said...

Thanks Smitha. Yes, we all want forward moving positive change. And more the better.....