By Anshul Tewari:
In the past 3 years of Youth Ki Awaaz, we have all been watching the nation closely, publishing news, views, opinions, analysis, trends and much more. The past year was full on news that rocked India on a large scale, so much so, that the public sentiment started bursting out on the various social media networks. There was a time when things were different, our actions were subtle, people took to satyagraha, the public chose a leader, a leader in a true sense. Today, all it has come down to is abrupt actions, that often lead to no solutions, spur up like smoke and then vanish with just drops of water. Let us have a look at the following situations.
This year has been no less! Talking on the worldwide front, first Tunisia and now Egypt are facing what is probably the largest public outrage faced by a developing country in the last decade. Failed economies, corrupt ministers, crippled system, unemployment, crimes and frustration amongst the common man in these nations have led to a turmoil.
While many would agree that this outrage is further affecting the respective nations adversely, we cannot ignore the fact that this has been a result of the malpractices of the respective Governments.
The world has reached a state where the top level officials and the highest in the Government are involved in scams. Even though a group of whistle-blowers exposed what was the biggest diplomatic exposé – the superpower chose to let terrorism breed in Saudi Arabia and allow more 26/11s to happen.
In India, corruption now seems to be breeding at every level. More like an unsatisfied pest that just wants more. From the security guard at the passport office, who holds tremendous power – enough to make sure your documents are cleared (or not); to the cabinet ministers (and may be beyond).
Talking of the everyday citizen, our level of tolerance has vanished. Trust me, if tomorrow a bike touches your car in peak traffic, you would not hesitate in hurling the choicest of abuses at him, and may be furthering the debacle by making sure that the dent on your car resembles the one you will cause on the bikers head. Pathetic is the condition, in simple words.
You would prefer ignoring an accident, acting as if it never happened, than stopping and helping the ailing. The days are gone when we used to selflessly jump across the road and rush towards the stranger in need of help, irrespective of his caste, creed, colour, sex. Now we think thrice.
Such is the situation that we choose to shoot the person who mistakenly dropped the butter-chicken off our plate. We choose to stab that person who shouted at our arrogant kid who was refusing to move from the car parking. Did he not shout to make sure your kid was safe – and not playing where a car might have hit him? Pathetic is the condition.
A few swamis chose to join hands with an ex-cop and an RTI activist – and start an anti corruption drive – starting with a march at a number of places in India. Their statements made sure that the public feels cheated and participates.
Before the drive, one of the organizers chooses to go on air on a TV show and call the Prime Minister “nikamma”. Further making sure that the public starts hating the Govt.
In the same show, a veteran journalist very rightly asks him, “What after the march? What is the agenda? Do you have any call for action?” and the organizer seems flustered. Such is the campaign that we launch.
Very abruptly, we choose to go out on the street and conduct marches, vigils, protests and what not, but when it comes to joining the system (really) or expressing oneself as an independent individual (not a mob), we are no where to be found. We badmouth the Govt, but we don’t want to first think and then act. Similar has been the case in many riots India has had. We failed. Our protests failed. Our anti-corruption drives fail. Our initiatives fail. Why? Because the thought that must go behind it, the long term goal that we wish to fight for, the path that we need to take to achieve it – is something that we have not thought about. Because we failed to think before we acted.
All of us have revolutionaries hidden inside us. But the problem is, we do not realize that it took around 200 years for revolutionaries to overthrow a kingdom that was once the most powerful entity in the world. We do not realize that it takes time – it takes generations to propel the change.
What we have at hand right now is the power to skillfully and properly chalk out the path for the solution, build a base for change, enlighten our peers and try to generate the right kind of awareness. Many of us are so stubborn that we never wish to change our mindset. If we think that ABC is wrong then he is wrong. We do not wish to file an RTI and know the reality, and we certainly do not want to do a comprehensive research ourselves and then jump to the conclusion.
We are outraged – frustrated with our own lives. It takes seconds to launch us in a fight. But we are fragile, we break within seconds. This life is not enough to change the system, but it is surely enough to stir a revolution. It is in our hands to stir the right kind of revolution. We have the power of information at our disposal, but are we using it?