Last couple of months the news headlines has been showing the naxal attacks in the eastern parts of India. This news feature has been regular but without much notice taken by most Indians. The Naxals have been attacking government administrators, Policemen, CRPF jawans and civilians. This morning when I saw the news of Maoists’ blasting the train tracks and causing the derailment of the train which resulted in loss of innocent lives and hundreds of injured passengers. I was shaken to see the site on the news channel; the naxals have gone one step further in butchering the lives of innocent civilians. Although the railway Minister & the West Bengal Police chief had different versions of stories to tell about the cause of blast. However, the state Chief Minister has displayed relatively a calm gesture and assured the citizens of some firm action. We have been seeing & hearing the firmness of action against the naxals, even from the Home Minister & Prime Minister of India in last few months, but less to the delight of the civilian life and more friendly towards the agenda of Naxals.
Today the nation is busy watching “Indian Idol, Bidaai, Dance India Dance, Boggie Woggie and other soap operas on television and the breaking news just passes off their channel browsing. I don’t even hear people speak about such incidents now days, offfcourse they do speak about “Three Idiots and how Rakesh Roshan should have directed Kites to make it a hit”. When I discuss these issues with some people in our community and the ineffectiveness of government to curb the naxalite menace, they call me cynical or say “Hey buddy don’t bother about it the army will deal with it”.
I sit in my garden having tea late in the afternoon because we have power failure for almost 10-12 hours a day. Perhaps I shouldn’t call it power failure; in India they call it as “Load Shedding”. Whatever, load shedding or power cut or electricity failure, my dad who suffers from cancer has a tough time this summer because our inverter back up batteries won’t run the one fan & one tube light more than few hours? I don’t know what must be happening to older people, new born, children studying and extremely sick people who don’t have inverter battery back up to support the power failures. Guess what? Our town is just 15kms away from the financial capital of India (Mumbai), if this is this case here then I don’t know about the rest of the villages in India. People are mum about this issue and they have even stopped complaining about the power failure issue. They have probably started to live with it, possibly that’s how we were living few hundred years ago, where was electricity. Indeed India was not even that hot and humid those days. The cities of India have been rated as one of the most polluted cities in the world; I am still not talking about the crowd. There is not even single Indian city which is not the world’s most polluted list. The civic authorities in such cities regularly call for strike for less salary and better working conditions. The workers are always ending on a winning note against the government and get their demands fulfilled. Maybe some people don’t know but even the sweeper in Mumbai Municipal Corporation gets higher pay than the Computer Engineer working for a private company, plus the sweeper works less or hardly works get full perks, benefits and retirement pensions.
That’s why now days I tell the youngsters that after the completion of education they should only opt for government jobs as that would ensure their security and get after retirement tensions eased.
I visited the Department of Agriculture to renew my family business chemical license. I did see many desks & chairs in the office of DOA but very people at their desks. With great difficulty one staff there agreed to speak to me and give me some information about the clerk I had to meet to renew the license. I thought probably I am an Alien, that’s why the staff is speaking to me that way. I had to wait for hour and half before the desired clerk approached his desk. He was already showing signs of frustration on his face, as if he was suffering from constipation. He called the office boy (Peon) in a sentence which started with a bad word and ended with much more worse bad word. I guess he wanted to order tea. I went towards the desk of that clerk and asked him if his name was Mr. Y, he didn’t reply, and then I decided that I must sit in the chair opposite to his desk. I sat down, the clerk raised his head towards me a gave me a dirty look and then he started to run through his papers on his desk. He was talking to himself, “When this work load will get over” I wish if he ever started that work on his desk, so I don’t think that was ever supposed to get over. Then he asked me why am I here, I responded that I wanted to renew the chemical business license. He took the file from my hand without asking me. It was ok with me, that atleast he took that file. He turned some pages in that file and was nodding his head. He said that it can’t be don’t, the file is incomplete. Isn’t it funny that a running business file is incomplete for license renewal, which has already been earlier renewed thrice? I said “What can be done sir”, in mean time the office boy returned with the tea for that clerk. The clerk looked at the office boy and was discussing about my file. The office boy asked me to come with him; I did walk with the office boy some distance in the corridors of that building. He said if I paid about Rs. 15000 then all the paper work would be done today and the license will get renewed. But in replied “That’s not fair I am already having the license and its just renewal”. He replied “Ok forget it you will never have your license renewed”. I apologized to him and agreed to pay him. Finally we bargained for Rs. 4000 and I got my license renewed the same day. This is not surprising as this is the scenario at all government offices in India. No work can be done without overwhelming and bribing your way through these bureaucrats. However, the scene was not that bad few decades ago but now it’s just a working mechanism which the citizens of India have got used too. I wonder if this is what exactly our freedom fighters had dreamed of India becoming a red tape nation after independence.
Well after so many years away from India and now I am back, all I do is trying to fit myself in the system. For the first few days when I returned here, I was complaining about the traffic, bad roads, no street lights, no proper water supply, no law and order, pollution, etc etc….now I stopped complaining, just trying to push my way as if I am getting into a Mumbai local train.
What I had seen India as a teenager was much better than how its now. Today its criminalization of India. Although many Indians living here would disagree with me as they have been totally absorbed into the corrupt system and the influence of politics. In July 2008 The Washington Post reported that nearly a fourth of the 540 Indian Parliament members faced criminal charges, “including human trafficking, immigration rackets, embezzlement, rape and even murder”. At state level, things are often worse. In Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2002, candidates with criminal records won the majority of seats. Gone are those days when people would patriotically support the political parties which had national agendas, this was when the parties were less as compared to today. I observed the local civic polls here in our district that there are many parties or perhaps many larger parties have broken down into smaller ones. The party workers who participate during the election campaigns are not really interested in the agenda of the political party, although there are few hardcore criminal elements within the party supporting the cause. Otherwise the party has to pay the supporters/workers on daily basis in order to do the campaigning. There was a period few decades ago when gangsters were to be feared but now the time has evolved gangsters have interlinked with politics. In the modern day India the citizens are scared of politicians, because this breed is more dreadful then the gangsters of past. Animosity with the politician could end up a person and also his entire family.
I am not sure if the current India can be termed as Democracy but I will rather call it “Idiocracy”. That’s what has become of people within India today, intelligent people are full of doubts and idiots are damn sure about themselves. What the nation needs today a total revolution, something which will only replace the present government mechanism with much more liberal and leaders who are educated and not criminals. The leaders who will lead the nation just like the big conglomerate company is lead by a CEO or COO. Everyone in serving in the government administration has to be qualified i.e. Graduate, IPS, IIT,IAS etc so why not the politicians. They are currently the only lot who are tarnishing and destroying the society of India. A surge in such attitude of politics will only cause total mess in future for a great nation like India. What we need today is not some singing or dancing Indian Idol but a real Indian Idol who will lead the nation into an era which the world will only follow as example.