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About concerns

 
1500 children have died in Ashram schools in last decade in Maharashtra. 
Out of the countless atrocities, 16 brave women came forward to tell harrowing tales of sexual exploitation by state sponsored terrorists.

These are two of the news stories that appeared in media yesterday. I got to know of them, because I recently put a Google Alert to 'adivasi'. (Because mainstream media simply does not 'cover' their lives) Otherwise, I would have not known about them as well. What if the 1500 children were not adivasis in remote Maharashtra - what if they were from affluent households in south Mumbai. How big the news event would have been then?

We are as primitive in our worldviews, if not more, as our manu time ancestors and their patriarchal power games. We have not evolved one bit. Time in its passing throws up one revolutionary after another - Phule, Ambedkar - but even these giants can't illuminate the apathetic darkness of humanity's soul for long. All that can be achieved is to shame people into behaving in more humane manner for a while. Once the spotlight of shame is off of them though, the game is over. People revert back to their petty privileges and narrow worldviews. Rich-poor, all are united in their apathy and narrow mindedness.
The poor have the power structure and institutionalized lobotomy of reason (in the form of shoddy school system and culture of unquestioning, 'yes sir') to blame for their ignorance. What is your excuse?

About ready made point of views about Trump and other aliens

I see quite a few people, who I know are Indian citizen and have lived here since birth, are sharing posts about Trump not being 'my president'. About supporting Bernie. Or supporting victims of the latest US/ Berlin/ France terror/ gun violence.
Well, Trump actually is not your president.Your support to Bernie matters little, unless you leave for US and do something along with his team for the next four years. And, while gun violence and terror attacks are deplorable, how come the empathy bubbles out selectively for rich white aliens instead of dark poor aliens who live among us. So many of you employ underage girls as domestic help who come from Chattisgarh and other poorer areas of India. They are running away from far bigger tragedies ending up at your home. Yet, you don't know their stories. You don't care. But you do care for images of people from white rich countries. It's the classic case of 'problems I wish I had'.

The problem is - even critical thought is being outsourced to 4-min videos and listicles online. Even intelligent people from elite schools do not want to trouble themselves with actual critical thought of their own. And most intelligently produced content like this is centered around USA. So what ends up happening is, people are far more clued in about happenings in US than about their own neighborhood. I am guilty of this too to an extent. But I do dig for news that matters to me beyond the easy snack of feel-smart content on social media.

A sign of intelligence is to put two plus two together and think of the implication it has on our lives and of lives of people who matter to us. At least. 
Shouldn't any reasonably intelligent person be concerned about their surroundings, the people around them - at least their own people from their own community? There are so many things affecting our lives. Even if we stick to urban issues - there is pollution, water woes, climate change, civic corruption, overwhelming poverty, sanitation and as if it was not enough Modi invented one more tragedy - Demonetisation. How come we are unconcerned about these until an opinion piece comes along whose sharing makes us feel smarter about ourselves?

Even if someone shares an 'opinion piece' about these things (and it is always opinions, never facts from which they formed an opinion.), they share the opinions verbatim, not their reading of it.

Sigh. How can we get the smartest of Indian people to think critically and act logically in their own interests? In interest of people around them?What will goad them out of their social-media induced stupor?

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Withdrawal symptoms

Ctrl-tab
Ctrl-tab...
Scroll Scroll Scoll..
Alt-tab
Alt-tab...
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.

Ahh. That was good. I am feeling good about myself. The sentence makes sense. …