By Dev Arbikshe:
A simple google search of 15 August and 1947 would show clippings of newspapers with headlines such as ‘ Birth of India’s Freedom’, ‘Nation Wakes To New Life’, etc. There is no doubt that it was a historic day for this country but was it true freedom? We are told that invaders ransacked the country, exploited the natives, discriminated against the people on the basis of colour and inflicted many atrocities on innocent people. But aren’t the majority of people being exploited even today? It was easy to identify Britishers as they were outsiders and remained outsiders. But how do we identify our ‘own’ people who are working against us? Are they even our ‘own’ people? Do they see us as fellow citizens or just as numbers to be exploited? When some of them sit in the Parliament, do they understand the responsibility of their position or are they just interested in abusing power? Aren’t they violating the fundamental Right to Equality by getting excessive preferential treatment as VIPs?
I get so amazed when I see people fighting and abusing each other, or even strangers, just because they have a different opinion. But I wonder how is it that they fail to see that it hardly matters which party is in power because it is the public which bears the brunt of policies geared to suit certain vested interests. When people are fed up of one government because of corruption, they vote for another party. But what they fail to realise is that if policies are geared to exploit the general public and poor people, that could also be termed corruption. But just because it is passed as law, it is tacitly deemed acceptable. For instance, there are practices in the Indian Parliament even today which are discriminatory and despite the issue being raised by multiple channels, nothing is being done to stop it. There are separate VIP entrance gates for so called ‘VIPs’ but for everyone else there is a small narrow gate where they are frisked roughly and everything they bring is put under the scanner. There is nothing wrong in putting security measures in place but why is it selective and why aren’t these so called ‘VIPs’ frisked?
Is it possible that those who discriminate and take advantage of the VIP culture think of their country before themselves? How is it possible? I am shocked that instead of asking the right questions, people follow such ‘leaders’ blindly and fail to see that it is the rotten system that has held back the country.
How would the society find solutions to its problems unless it refuses to identify them in the first place? I understand that it is not only politicians and the government officials who are answerable but also the general public as there is a huge chunk of the population which doesn’t think about the country at all. When one witnesses someone spitting on the road, taking bribes, abusing others or showing lack of respect, it is so evident that this is the excuse that people in power use to continue the status quo by saying that these people can only be disciplined by brute force and not by a civilised administration.
Ultimately, we need to ask one question. Is this the kind of society we want or do we actually want to develop? Till when will we go on ignoring things? “Ye India hai, yahan aise hi hota hai, kuch nahi ho sakta, kuch nahi badlega!” (This is India, that’s how it happens here, nothing can happen, nothing will change!) Till when will we keep on saying this? Aren’t Indians humans? Isn’t it our responsibility to contribute to the growth of the country? Is it too much to ask to behave respectfully and follow traffic rules, not litter, urinate or spit on the roads? Is it too much to think for yourself and not follow people blindly? When will we focus on things that matter? When will we learn to speak up and speak the truth? When will we realise that democracy means responsibility and not abusing the freedom we get?
The day we become aware and responsible, maybe then we will realise that VIP culture needs to go and it should start from the top .