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On why there won't be a revolution in India

Tunisia woke up after a young man driven with frustration doused himself in fire. He cared for his dignity. People in Tunisia recognized that systematic stripping of dignity that the government was subjecting them to. Out of the flames arose the call for dignity so loud that it toppled several dictators.
The pre-shocks of the Tsunami were felt at a town square where a shopkeeper could not take the abuse from the police anymore. He took up a fight on street. Quickly the whole town was baying for blood of police. Dignity had been earned back.

However, Indians have given up on the very idea of dignity long back. Crimes against humanity get internalized by families as rules of the world. ('Its like that only') The idea of right and wrong is very unstable. For example, if a young couple gets hacked to death for daring to love even though being from different castes, the society will turn it into a tamasha where moral eyebrows would be raised about the character of the young couple. The vindication of crime is internalized. Imagine a family watching television news and Dad commenting 'they deserve it'. What would the children make of their notion of right and wrong?
By putting the notion of dignity on the head of imagined communities and castes instead of an individual, what is a child going to think when he gets confronted?

The dichotomy that defines Indians will never allow them to achieve the absolute dignity that sets people on the path of a righteous war.
Dignity,  a sense of self worth is vindicated by one's actions. If your everyday actions are contradictory then how will you ever trust yourself enough to do something that is right and courageous? The dichotomy, the two-facedness of Indians that I am talking about is that of instability of the sense of right and wrong. So while we feel unduly patriotic about Indian unity, we would still check for caste while dating/marrying. So while we pride ourselves about the pedestal that image of woman is put on, one is quick to blame the woman for being at the wrong place at the wrong time in perhaps the wrong attire when she gets teased/molested.
As a matter of fact, its pure amazing how urban Indians inflate with pride about imaginary notion of Indian-ness. Urban folks watch 'Slumdog Millionaire' and get angry about how somebody can dare to depict India as a country of slums. They believe that everyone else in the world too should put on the magic goggles that exclude the poverty around them from their vision.For them, the poverty is a problem that should be dusted under the urban carpet, even if that means human misery and total attack on right to life and livelihood. As long as we get our power, we do not mind the coal to come from blood fields where people have been evicted forcibly. We do not mind wasting water while it had been diverted from fields and rural areas. We do not mind raping earth and leaving an inhabitable place for the next generation to live in. As long as our homes remain clean, we do not mind throwing garbage on streets. (I would like to take this opportunity to raise my middle finger to the Indian middle class's collective false pride. Thank you.)
Delhi dilwaalonki apparently. of course. Kill and abuse women to your heart's content in the capital city. Do not worry, no citizen has the balls to intervene or even testify.
India dilwaalonka too. Corporates are raping India's natural resources and turning governance into private orgies. No bureaucrat, politician has the balls to intervene or testify against the political and corporate marauders.

In India, Indians are subjected to worse humiliation everyday. The absolute power of class/ police/ state/ landlords/ blind revolutionaries/ caste champions is killing, maiming, silencing, keeping weak the larger people of India. Every day Dalits are being killed by high caste champions for their impropriety of seeking a status of equal humans. State quashes democratic voice and Indian brethren from beyond Kashmir do not lend helping hand when the youth in Kashmir are pelting stones. We call our compatriots from North east with derogatory comments like 'chinki'. Suspicion defines relationship of majority with minorities like muslims, tribals and so on. Apathetic media only strengthens stereotypes and plays to gallery instead of asking uncomfortable questions that need asking. We still allow slavery to exist in our society. 

For a people united only under the imagined idea of a nation, but divided by so many stronger ideas of caste, class, sense of entitlement; there will always be enough fissures to not take up a cause collectively.

We are much too divided. We are not humans. We are brahmins and software engineers and cricket fans and growth-wallahs chasing GDP, but not humans. we have forgotten what it is to be human. The instinct to help someone in distress has deserted us. Now we first gauge our interest in matters before entering the fray.

Its about time we start stripping ourselves of these imagined ideas and respond to fellow human's call. Lend a stone to the youth in Kashmir. Lend courage to the poor laborer who would not dare step in the glitzy mall. Lets step up and side the underdog when you witness injustice next. Lets help apprehending the criminal by testifying when we can. And for god's sake, stop foaming at mouth at the idea of double digit GDP growth. It doesn't mean anything.  What means more is how many Indians lead their lives with dignity.

Let money not be our social currency. Let our dignity be the social currency; dignity based on right actions. Then there won't be a need for a revolution.

Comments

Anonymous said…
thank you. *hug*
Ajinkya said…
*hug back*
thank you. but why? :P
Anonymous said…
and let us stop having arguments/ discussions over dinner tables on how things are bad in India and something must be doe. lets do something and stop talking...
- Anonymous for kicks
Strider said…
Cant shed the guilt man. Cant get oput of the system which oppresses and the guilt keeps piling up. so rationalize or turn a blind eye. Thats what I end up doing. even if subconsciously.
cant stop receiving anything coming out of exploited labors or child labors.
cant help but "pay" the system "dues" which it demands..
Cant but feel helpless to a large extent...
you are right. there is no revolution coming.
Ajinkya said…
@anon
true. have been trying for last 2 months to get into some development project/agency or atl east writing gig which pays, but can't find any. hardly anyone even responds. If you know any doing good work and is hiring, i will love to join. let me know.

@ambya
ya. but at least we can change things for better in the smaller sphere of influence that we have. I don't give up on any opportunity to provoke people in thinking, doing what they feel right.change will come. and the best change is slow. quick change is never desirable. We should perhaps take cue from Binayak Sen than youth in J&K.
a-list said…
Well said. Very very well said. Especially about what does the child do when the dad says they deserved. the indian middle class is in the business of raising bigots.
Ajinkya said…
true. more than corporates and politicos, what ails India is the fucked up middle class mindsets. It is producing armies of unaffected, morally confused, non-empathetic idiots who can't see beyond small gains. parents don't teach to stick to the right thing, they teach to put blinds and concentrate on rat race.
Shadow Dweller said…
super like.... it should be inculcated as 3 year olds though... by 23 they are too grown to accept anything...

a pity!
Ajinkya said…
I know. We need better teachers in the classrooms. or at least the privileged lot like us, should start taking keen interest in the kids around us.
SUB said…
well written....you brought out the bitter truth...
Ajinkya said…
I know. We need better teachers in the classrooms. or at least the privileged lot like us, should start taking keen interest in the kids around us.
Ajinkya said…
*hug back*
thank you. but why? :P
Vishal said…
You have conveyed the message nicely. Perhaps, we as a society need to grow for a few decades before we can look forward to such social activism at regular intervals. We have just started toying with the idea. Long road to a revolution!

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Catch yourself slipping away.

Deep  breath. 

Close the browser. silence the mobile and turn it away.

Open an offline-real-paper diary. Stop your thighs from lolling impatiently. Stay still. 

Pick up a pen awkwardly. ahh, the fingers are stiff. It will take a  while for them to get used to holding a pen. Quick finger exercise - open the palm, stretch finger outwards, close into a fist, dig the fingers in. Repeat.
Ok now.. about to pick up the pen again, but eyes dart towards the screen. Tempted to check email.

Shut up. The last consequential email came two months ago. Nothing of consequence is online.

Pick up the pen. Don't fetishize the object now. Get on with it. Put it on paper, write a word and start it already. If I get to a sentence, perhaps I will get into a flow and won't have to look up from the paper at all. 

One sentence later.

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