Candid, not Candied

Friday, 12 December 2008

People... Co-operate!

The blasts happened... hijacks happened... and not until the recent Mumbai massacres happened, have people so closely experienced terrorism. Comman man feels naked at the hands of terrorism, so much so that a single firecracker sends chills down his spine.

The media harangued the so called leaders for their failure to protect the junta. People came on streets to condemn this act of terrorism, candles were lighted to pray for the departed souls. The indifference of politicians had the whole country gaping at them in mere shock. Accusations were hurled at each and everyone. Some said Intelligence failed, others said coastguards did, finally it is said that the governement failed to provide for the protection of the martyrs.... Blames are just too many and people like me and you are bumping into each other trying to find the reason for the failure and the solution for all this, like blind people in a closed room!!!

Agreed that we cannot turn back the time and start all over again. But can't we make a beginning? Why don't we try and be a responsible citizens? I'm in no way defending our present governement, nor am I impressed at the way they are handling the situation at hand... but do we co-operate? Hear me out...

Just repeating "Jai Hind" or "Let's stay united" is not patriotism. Our act determines how we define our patriotism. A small act goes a long way.

When at city malls, there are security checks, do we happily hand over our bags for checking? No, we crib!
At airports, if we are asked to open our luggage that is secured by a lock, because the X ray machine showed something suspicious, do we open it readily?? No, not without cursing the officer for even thinking that I may be a terrorist!
At signals, when the traffic policeman signals for us to stop and check our vehicles, don't we just speed by and hope that he hasn't noted our number? We do!
Similarly, now after this incident if the hotels insist on checking the baggage of the customers, I'm sure there shall be "I pay so much for one stay... why should I be made to go through this inconvinience?"
Why do we complain so much? Don't we realise that it is for our own safety? Won't it be more safe then if we know that people who have come in are NOT terrorists???

This isn't all. What happened to the "Helmet rule?" and the "seat belt" rule??? "10 pm deadline rule" during festivals??? Who follows them? Rules are made and we walk all over them.

Secondly, how many of us vote? Civics textbooks say voting is our right... Absolutely INCORRECT! It is our DUTY to vote. If we vote, then we have the right to complain against the governement we have choosen. If not, you have no right to voice you opinion about how bad the roads are or how inconvinient is the transport system. You just cannot, because you chose NOT to carry out your duty. What is the difference between the ministers and us if we do not vote? They don't do their duty as choosen representatives and we don't do our duty as citizens. Each vote counts, each one makes a difference... I appeal to the youth, basically every one who's above 18 to make a choice... to decide for ourselves. If we cannot go and fight for our country on the border, atleast let's do our jobs back home, that can ensure our own safety, our own well-being.

Remember it is not just the governement that is to be blamed, we are culprits too. "Govt hasn't made roads.... govt announced load shedding.... No water, what is the govt doing..." and many such complaints, but when govt makes foothpaths, we will walk on roads, when there are pedestrian crossing, we'll cross from where it is convinient for us to cross.... when there are subways, we'll still use the busy roads to walk across, die under a city transport bus and point fingers at the bus driver, since he's a govt employee... BUT we will not change our ways.

Stop taking things lightly, stop taking life for granted. I know, i have lectured heavily as if I do everything of the above... i plead guilty. I will take steps towards changing my way.

Things I already do :
1. Vote
2. use foothpaths and subways.
3. Throw garbage at the nearest garbage can. If none is available, I put it in my own bag.

Things that I will change :
1. Pay a fine if I do not follow traffic rules.
2. Not make a face if am asked to produce an identity proof.
3. Not crib before letting authorities check my car/ luggage.

I'm not insensitive....I'm angry, I cried while seeing the funerals of our brave martyrs, I fear for my and my loved ones' lives, I'm feeling helpless, just like every other Indian living in our country. Everyone has realised the fact that there is no one to protect us, or no one is even bothered if anything happens to us... it's each one for self! We don't have to take steps to change the whole nation, let's change our own self for the betterment of our society.


  1. A very well written post :

    You missed one thing though..

    Stop bribing!! Stop being corrupt!!

    We have reached a stage where we have taken corruption as a way of life. It has almost become a sort of routine for us to bribe the government officials. Lets stop doing this!!!!

  2. exactly!!!! We (includes all of us - u, me, every1)are so gud at pointing fingers... all we can do is sit and blame others..!
    Very well said Purnima!
    but if i were to vote, i wud rather put a blank vote! i dont like any of them!!!

  3. totally with u.
    things i do:
    a. do NOT crib when my bags are asked to be checked. or when i have to take off my knee high boots for chkng. living in & traveling from the US, i am now used to it.
    b. i do NOT litter. i empty my handbag once every week in the garbage bin at home, if it comes to that. but i can't litter. and this, since i was a kid.
    c. i use footpaths & subways.
    d. i pay my taxes.

    things i need to do:
    a. vote. been two years since i've been in india. don't know if i can vote and how. but will figure it out.
    b. stop bribing. yes, i am extremely ashamed to admit it, but if i need to pay my way out of something, i do. it may not be large-scale.. but last time i was in india, i did bribe the peon in order to get my dad's death certificate before i was due to leave. and excuses like "i didn't want mom to do it" are legit. but still, it's bribing. and i shouldn't support it.

    gosh! that's a long comment. once again, wonderful post.

  4. @ TE,

    Thats one thing I have missed writing, which is very core of our entire system. It is said that in western countries, you need to bribe to get illegal jobs to be done, here we have to bribe for legal jobs too!!

    @ Shaili,
    Email forwards are doing rounds now-a-days stating 49-O part of our constitution, wherein, you go to the polling booth and announce that u vote for no one... i don't know how far it is true. I tried checking it up online... nothing to prove so. so I dunno if tis an option for us.

    @ Rayshma,
    as i said, sometimes out of helplessness, we give in to bribing. I just hope next time we have the courage to put our foot down and insist on not offering a bribe. Though I'm seriously clueless as to whether all this will be possible?!
    and the collecting litter in my bag thing, is what I used to do even in college. collect my friends' chocolate wrappers too, so that they don't litter.

  5. Just read this post... I understand your indignance and agree to your points... We need to co-operate... we need to do fulfil our duties...

    I do this:
    1- Not crib... be it when I need to get my bag/car checked or when I need to check in at office after I reach home... this is for our security...
    2- Trash: Garbage bin/my bag -> Dustbin at home
    3- Vote
    4- Pay taxes
    5- Try to use footpaths most of the times


Go on, say it! I will not sue you... pinky promise!


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