An Appeal to my Indi Bloggers Friends





It was just another evening dampener for me it seems. Tired as a hell, i retreated back to my home, it was drizzling outside and paining inside, the body was aching like anything, the trains were late as usual, herds and herds of men and women cramped inside the compartments carried similar looks like me. It seems the government does almost next to nothing to improve the plight of common city commuters, may be the broad based thinking behind this apathy is that the commons must remain common and not feel that they deserve more, for the more they get the more they will demand 😦

As i reached the cool comforts of my home and tried to resume my composure i did almost the most incorrect thing in the world. I switched on the television and that too went straight to news channel to get updated of things around me. It has been this way always, whenever alone I am glued either to documentary channels or news channels, for other times my kid and my wife hijack my right to watch the television and the regular endless tales of “saas & bahus” occupy the centrestage.

The news were typical, the political drama over Coalgate Scandal, the drama over the Reservation Policy for SC/ST, then in the Sports Section some Cricket “Experts” debated unabated as to why Sachin Tendulkar should retire, how his reflexes have dropped, how he was clean bowled in three consecutive innings. How can Failure in three innings overshadow so magnanimous achievement of a demi-god of cricket. I switched channels as the host urged not to do so, promising more enthralling programmes on the other side of the break. I switched on to the regional channels and the tales of Two warring Brothers (two politicians) coming together and how this could affect the political space in Maharashtra was debated. The Media debated in same veins when they departed and now when they are coming together the same debates. Why can’t we live without these tales.

In the last segment one story however, disturbed a lot. A young mother of three kids (she must be less than 25 yrs old muslim lady), was thrown out of her house by her husband. Having nowhere to go and with no relatives to lean back to or any other source of income, the lady was lured by an agent to sell off one of her kid who was just one month old baby. The lady and her kids were hungry for a couple of days, and the lady had no option but to accede to the offer. She later realized that one NGO had laid a trap and caught the deal between the lady and the human trafficker red handed. The police took away the lady, separated her kids and placed them in child care. Now the conditions of our Child Care centres are known to the everyone. God help those kids. The sight of the weeping lady, her innocent kids looking at their mothers face, the expressions on the face of the kids were telling. They were not understanding what exactly was happening, they were not knowing the reason why their mother was wailing. They were just shocked to see their mother weeping. I was very hurt to see this news. I feel very sad to say the least.

Are we going down the drains as a nation came the first question to me. Yes, we are came the answer almost the next breathe. The glaring tales of successes in various fields are just exceptions, the riches are not reaching the masses. The political class and the bureaucracy lives in some other world disconnected from the problems of the common man altogether. The proof being the innovative idea of the Government to provide mobile phones to the poor. Who will provide them with the money to recharge ? Who will provide them with the electricity to recharge the handset ?? This is the disconnect which i am talking about.

Many a times, for a change, i agree with Anna Hazare, when he says that the Black English (Britishers) have replaced the Whites. The attitude their apathy, their insensitivity is having a telling blow on the lives of common people.

When a mother decided to sell off her one month old new born, it does not only reflects her helplessness, it reflects directly on the systemic failure of our polity to protect the underprivileged. No mother will do such a heinous crime unless she is left with no other options. Is’nt it a cruel joke played by our Government, when our Foodgrain storages are bountiful with supplies that can feed all the population for around two three years. When the government is pestered with the question as to where to store the excess foodgrain and the foodgrains are rotting in our godowns, the poor are left to live and die with hunger. More Lucky are those rodents in those Godowns. The Supreme Court of this Country directed the Government to provide free foodgrain to the underprivileged, people who cannot afford to buy. What did the Government do. Just nothing. The Agriculture ministry sat on the order and ensured that the directions were not followed. The idea behind all this is that the foodgrains should rot and then it will be auctioned off as “waste” to Breweries and Distilleries and millions can be raked by these Black Britishers. Sometimes I feel very helpless and frustrated to witness such chaos everywhere. Just nobody is bothered.

The Government, hand-in-gloves with the opposition parties ensure that all the concerned gets the pie and nobody is left hungry. Just everything looks “fixed”.

The only question remains is that how many more days and months and years are we going to lead this kind of life? Will the people not rise against ? Don’t the poor have right to live, live in dignity? Can’t they dream high ?

Friends, Have we become so insensitive ? We just keep on blaming the government and the polity and complete our part. Do we ever care to atleast affect a small change in the life of atleast one person around ? No, most of us do not. We expect others to do so. We have either become insensitive to the core, or are selfish. We must not forget that one day for sure this attitude and behaviour of ours will ensure that we too are caught in the fire. We may not be very rich or well off, but it takes very little to feed someone, dress someone or provide help to someone. I have worked for one NGO and worked in the inner parts of Maharashtra and saw that the poor kids were so delighted even to receive a small packets of Glucose Biscuits, which our city kids never even touch. The basic things we provided like notebooks, pencil, sharpners, erasers etc were like novelty items for them. The old used clothes that we collected from the “haves” were taken by these poor kids with same level of joy. The happiness of giving gave tremendous inner satisfaction atleast to me. The smile on the faces of those numerous kids was more than the formal “thank you”.

Come one come all friends, we all are good writers over here, we are organising meets and get togethers, why can’t we all come together and do something that will change lives of atleast some, bring back that much needed smile on the faces of our brethren. Let’s not keep the job pending with the government, for myself being in government service, can assure you that the job will never be done.





Where are we going ??

The images of twenty years ago, when i was still a young college going boy, lurked in front of eyes when i saw this news on television. It was a news documentary on the Great Indian Economic Reforms and the completion of twenty years of it.

The flashback of 20 years reeled the horrifying images of India’s poor economic conditions. I still remember, the then Prime Minister, Mr Chandrashekar, in his publicized television addressed, appealed to all Indians to conserve petrol and oil as much as they can, as India was awfully short of foreign exchange reserve and the reserve then present could only satiate nation’s one week’s thirst. The situation was really grim and on one such night the government mortgaged a plane full of gold to beef up foreign exchange a bit. The shameful images of a country mortgaging its gold for sake of few dollars were splashed all over the frontpages of newspapers the next day.

Under such circumstances the change in government took place and an economist in the new Prime Minister Narsimha Rao and his Finance Minister Manmohan Singh, had their job cut out. They charted a new way out for reviving our economy. A way dictated mostly by IMF and World Bank. The was was of globalisation and liberalization. That signalled the end of Licence Raj and the end of Nehruvian mixed socialism that India embraced for so many decades.  The protectionism that the government offered to its industry, businesses and to the poor people was now going to reduce and the economy was going to open up for health competition.

The first signs of liberalization that we as kids then saw was influx of foreign TV channels, the idiot box was now abuzz with channels, the dominance of Doordarshan, the state owned television ended and ended the good old days of television serials. The new avatar television was more flashy and spoke of new found prosperity.

Soon you could see the influx of many unseen and unheard businesses. The roads were soon full with brand new cars, the dominance of local car companies ended.  The Electronic industry was set on fire with introduction of newer models of TVs, Refrigerators and what not.

But, all this gave birth to consumerism, people started spending too much and at many a times bought goods just to show off their riches. This consumerism however,  brought with it, tensions and expectations, tensions to earn more to get these gizmos. Frustration creeped in people like never before. People led much easier a life, before this liberalization took place, life afterall was more settled and subdued when apple and blackberries were just fruits and not phones.

There was this class of people, who were dissatisfied and frustrated  lot, dissatisfied that they were rich, but not rich enough to get what they wanted.

Then there was another class of people, a more dominant ones, were were left out of this mad race. A good 80-85% of  India even today live a life totally different. Their mad race is only to meet the ends. In this country of 100 billion plus people, more than 85% people even today find it hard to earn a daily stable income of more than 1$. Meeting ends remain their only existential question, forget about the fruits of so called liberalisation..

If the nation does not benefits from this liberalisation, then what is the use of such a policy. Only handful of people and scamsters are today smiling their way to the banks. In the last two decades we have created a huge huge desert of disparity, where people helplessly see selected few enjoying all the pleasures of life and the remaining bystanders.

Will this huge disparity between the rich and the poor not affect the total unity of this country, is the question that regularly lingers in my mind. For how many more years will the have not’s only curse their fate and not take law into their hands to grab the share of the booty that others are enjoying. Will that not create a situation like  that we see in some African nations ? The rise in crime graphs in urban areas is this not indicative for what lies for the future.

The last twenty years have only created two India’s, India of handful of super rich people and the India of the others. Others who don’t matter much to the government and to the policy makers, other than the time of election. The first half never votes, the other votes the band of people (of all hues, inertly same), who draft policies and schemes only for the handful of rich people.

Yes the last twenty years have only made India Rich!!! But have left Indians Poor !! What do you feel ??