By Mugdha Kiran:
Indians have a very profound apathy towards the affairs of the state, for which they have gained notoriety the world over. Through decades of experiencing in-efficacious administration & corrupt and hostile bureaucracy, the Indian multitude has cultivated a inclination towards keeping their heads down while laboring to eke out a living. To most of us engaging with mandarins is synonymous to creating nuisance for yourself. The perturbing fact is that this outlook is cooling the revolutionary hot blood of the youth of the country. And I am guilty of unknowingly having become integral to the mosaic of this morphing social trend.
Its very unfortunate that I couldn’t muster up the courage, the other day, for speaking up for the illiterate lady being swindled by a dishonest shop-owner or reasoning out with the inspector on behalf of a vagabond whose relative has been kept in unlawful custody since a couple of days. I am culpable to my conscience that though I am angry with the inordinate amount of time it takes for lending out a hand to the victim of any unfortunate accident, I rather myself would not be too willing to be the ‘help’. For saving ourselves the trouble of dealing with an intimidating police force, we would not be bothered to give a piece of clothing to a helpless bleeding rape victim lying by the road.
Though principally against reservation in any form to any strata of the society but the economically fragile and physically challenged, I would kowtow to it in an interview of a public sector job. A self proclaimed feminist, I find it difficult to bring up the subject of gender equality with my male chauvinist relatives or intervene when families in my village decide to educate a dumb son over a talented daughter. I do not succeed in instilling sense in them when they abort a female fetus or prevent them from taking dowry (read commercializing marriage).
‘Global Warming’ and the importance of conservation of environment is something I’ve been reading since primary school, yet it took me days to write to the editor of a local daily when life scale deforestation was pulled off in my vicinity. We loathe corruption but would not dare to speak up against someone in our social circle who has been indulging in unethical practices. Even the passage of the much hyped Jan Lokpal Bill has become a distant memory.(another quintessential example of the perceived short term memory of the public). We sympathize with the victims, be it of poverty or some natural calamity, seldom do we take the pains to find out what is being made of our charity in cash or kind.
We stand in solidarity with IAS officers like Mr. Ashok Khemka & Ms. Durga Shakti Nagpal, but we keep our cool when they are transferred or forced to apologize, for ostensibly no mistake of theirs. “Where speech is silver, silence is golden” is religiously followed by us while dealing with politicians who fanned Muzzfarnagar riots or those who fall foul of law for being victimized, like Shaheen Dhada.
Should we, the youth, not be the agents of the much needed change we want to see in our society? Its time the adults addresses this pertinent question before it’s too late. In the words of the Father of the nation:
“Be the change you want to see.”