Most sane Indians are outraged these days. Quite understandably so. We’re outraged about our rape culture, the lacerations in our social fabric, the disgusting attitude and actions or apathy of a elected representatives, the state of the economy, the sexism, the decaying or lack of infrastructure around us, and even the very air we breathe.
This outrage will dissipate. We know it will because it has happened before. It happens every time. Every fucking time. And everyone knows it. The politicians, the bureaucrats, and media folks know it. In fact, they have perfected the art of monetising it.
We have a choice. Or choices. Maybe this time we can make our outrage count.
To do that, we must first digest an obvious truth: In India we survive or flourish not because of the government (any government), but despite it. The generation at the helm in 1947 figured this out and so should we – for our own sobriety. Once we accept this to be a given fact, we will be forced to turn to folks who can actually do stuff to make a difference: ourselves. Yes, ‘We, the outraged lot.’ It’s really up to us. And here are three things we can tangibly do:
Adopt a girl child’s education.
There are several organisations that are doing stellar work in this area. Find one that you think you’d like to associate with.
Use technology to strengthen your community.
There is an area in Mumbai where the majority of residents have formed a group on WhatsApp to discuss how they can improve their neighbourhood. They get things done. The last I heard, an elected representative joined this group because, well, votes count after all. Maybe this model can be adopted in other hoods and communities.
Switch off the TV, switch on communication.
It’s called the idiot box because there are nothing but idiots on it, and idiocy is contagious. You might find your time better spent on engaging with like-minded folks, or better, people with a differing point of view.
Today, all of us have broadcasting tools in our pockets. We can use them to keep broadcasting our outrage, or we could broadcast how we made an iota of difference. The choice is ours.