In a country where political discourse takes place in every nook and corner, where perpetual debates on television channels are undertaken to grab TRPs, and where important issues are sidelined so conveniently that even the most brutal rapes and the most heinous and ethically illicit ceasefire violations seem normal and a part of everyday news. Aren’t we becoming unsurprisingly complacent? Are we forgetting what entails humanity? Are we unable to draw the line between propaganda and serious legitimate content which needs immediate attention?
If you’ve been sitting in front of the ‘stupid box ‘, sipping early morning tea while commenting over the state of politics in India, lamenting over your current status of living, dexterously shifting the blame on fate or giving your bit to overrated discourses without offering a solution, then you are a part of mainstream India (congratulations though). But I’m not a part of this group, so this diverted black sheep wishes to make a point. Other than being the black sheep, I am an optimist, and I believe that things can change and that the world can fall into place, how? Let’s decipher.
So what the world is lacking, in my opinion, is really very simple. Even when everyone tells you that everything is fucked up and complicated, even after your brain feels like the world is full of negative and disturbing news, it’s not (a lot of disturbing news is, in fact, made up and the relevant news is trivialised). Life is pretty easy going, so the most important part is to perform your roles effectively.
Had the priests practised what they preach, there would have been no Kathua, had the bus conductor understood what is written in bold colourful letters behind vehicles, there would have been no Nirbhayas. Had teachers sank into what they taught from books, there had been less school dropouts and cases of absenteeism. Had the doctors realised that it’s health that’s the real treasure in life and not wealth, there would have been no Gorakhpur child killings, oops child deaths. Had the journalists believed in the ethics of journalism, there would have been no cases of fuelled, manipulated riots and controversies. Had the businessman understood the ‘aims of the enterprise’, there would have been no creation of haves and have-nots in the society.
So, instead of playing the blame game and pointing at the government for the apathy and nonchalant behaviour towards the issues in the society, one needs to look deeper and understand that it’s when all of us as individuals play our roles in the society in a responsive manner. Only then will we be able to eradicate all the menaces that surround this country.
But all of us consider ourselves relatively perfect, don’t we? Claiming to be helpless citizens of a nation who are so indulged in their personal lives to earn their daily bread and butter toiling harder every day for a better lifestyle. We give into materialistic baits and fall into temptations contributing our ‘insignificant’ bit towards the vicious circle of unethical behaviour and malpractices. We find ourselves completely comfortable in mortgaging our values for gains because hey, the corruption we indulge into is at a very very insignificant level and everybody else does it, politicians do it and they do it at a humongous level, massive business tycoons do it, they literally rob banks off, so what’s wrong if I do it too?
My only concern is to make each and everyone realise and take a little while to ponder that what if one fine day we decide to stop ranting about what’s wrong in our lives and the system and start acting? The very basic step is to DO YOUR PART RIGHT. When you see others falter, remind them that it would be pointless to later complain about scams, corruption.
If this article and that advice make at least 10 people realise what’s wrong and act, then I will be extremely gleeful to be a part of this drive. The change starts with you, that small wrapper you threw today will tempt others to dispose of their wastes, because only dirty places get dirtier. If today you jumped the red light and bragged about not being caught in front of your son, remember he will take it up as an act of pride, you’re are not being heroic or badass or practical while doing this but you’re spoiling a generation ahead of you, you’re making sure that your children inherit a world that’s driven by immoral acts, so make effective decisions.
And how did an 18-year-old come up with this? It is when people around me tell me to be smart and skip my duties, when people boast about they not performing their roles well and getting away with it with such pride that I fail to judge whether I am being a fool or they are being practical.
The incident which made me realise this was when my friend told me about her mother (a government school teacher) who took an eight-month leave in the name of maternity leave (even though she wasn’t pregnant) and kept missing classes, because who cares in government schools? Their teachers are non-existent, and you say policies for poor don’t materialise. Yes, they don’t, because you, yes you, distribute the funds provided by the government for books, mid-day meals and uniforms amongst yourselves and then sheepishly complain about the government not making enough schemes. You don’t let the schemes penetrate in the first place.
Teachers are said to be second parents, not money laundering agents who digest funds which are desperately needed for the education of underprivileged children. This incident was deeply disheartening, and I thought maybe I should make myself strong enough as this was just the start of the scams that were unmasked and unfolded when I got to hear some more incidences. For example, one where 21 out of 28 teachers were suspended in an MCD-managed school near the periphery of Delhi (including the principal) for absenteeism. Worse is the fact that the other seven who had a narrow escape were also not ‘teaching’ but were at least present unlike the other 21. This state of apathy and sheer negligence shows what is wrong these days and what needs to be taken care of.
I would like to again reinforce my appeal to anyone who wishes to change the scenario and contribute their bit, to only make a significant change in one’s outlook towards the ethics that guard the human race and their profession and everything else will eventually fall into place. It’s a gradual practice, but it will materialise if all of us want it to, let’s walk with slow but persistent steps like the tortoise and we will eventually lead the race.