Saturday, January 28, 2006

Paint it Yellow

We Indians are the most indolent creatures around. We can talk about the despicable situations enveloping our society today; endlessly condemn the politicians, other countries, other communities, the “system”, but how about taking a look in the mirror? 59 years after Independence, we have scant regard for laws and choose apathy over activism. What will happen to us if we don’t take up arms against corruption, red-tapism, social evils (casteism, female foeticide, widow burning) and communalism? Will we rot till the end or can our generation make the difference? Someone I know very well thought he could make a difference too, when he was in college back in the 1970’s (reading Dad?:). He even joined the revolution started by Jai Prakash Narayan in Bihar, but despite being a successful administrator today and winning accolades in his field, I don’t know how much he has achieved by the way of “system change” all on his own… That’s because we need a revolution, a systematic de-rooting of all the weeds in our political/administrative system and no one person can achieve that. Our nation which prides itself in its culture and integrity needs to revolutionize these two very things.

I saw “Rang de Basanti” today, or as its being called in its Anglo version- “Paint it Yellow”. Yellow in my homeland is the color of sacrifice. It ignited the same feelings in me as “Yuva” did… maybe more intense this time. Made me wonder, what I’m doing here in the country which colonized and terrorized us for 300 years. The land of General Dyer, the land because of which a thousand people died in the Jallianwala Bagh (Amritsar was home for me for 2 years) and innumerable atrocities in the face of economic gains for England- I often kid that India funded the biggest event in the history- the “industrial revolution”. Maybe we did… We can’t hold the present generation responsible for the bygones, but how about some reparation? How dare they show off the ‘kohinoor” in the Tower of London? Shouldn’t they return what is rightfully ours?

The movie made me sit up and remember that before I’m me, before I’m Punjabi, before anything- I’m an Indian. What have I given back to the soil to which I belong? Its payback time and I refuse to join the countless, faceless countrymen who sit and hold everyone else responsible for their misery and disappear into the night unknown and unheard. The spark is their within, when will we all ignite it?

I’m going to do something substantive and will not be another part of the waste in the place our generation calls a “dump”… A big promise to myself.

Jai Hind..


Nitin Aggarwal said...

i used to think when u r talkin to girls one should put off his logic switch or the intelligence switch.
but i really liked the topic on which u chose to write ( full praises 4 u ) and it will be wonderful if each one of us awakens and understands the need of the hour. it is in the hand of the new generation to change the systems otherwise it is actually very easy to blame the system and next to impossible to change the system the roots of which have become unquestionably rotten.

the movie really provokes u to think.... this is actualy a debatable topic and i hope my frend keeps on writing on such nice relevant issues.

Anuj said...


Nice! RDB did leave a lot of questions open for us. But I guess it also answered quite a few.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I really liked your selection of topics and style of writing. Keep blogging.....

Varun said...

Excellent! I must say that it was quite pleasing to read an article written with so much passion.Its provoked a few thoughts and here goes…

I personally believe that irrespective of anything, one of the inherent problems with us Indians is that we get too emotional too quickly. For starters, it pained me equally when I looked at the Kohinoor Diamond at the Tower of London with a tag that said “Presented to Her Majesty the Queen by..” – But does it really matter now? Are we still expecting petty “reparation” from the British?

For how long are we going to blame the world for problems that face present India? I personally couldn’t care the least and the only thing that matters to me is how we as a nation correct our past mistakes and start performing.

For over 50 years now, India’s dominant revenue earning sector has been Agriculture, but why are we still not the leaders in this sector? Every nation has had its set of problems. Take Japan for example- the Hiroshima and Nagasaki episode and miseries of WW-II had crippled its economy 70 years ago. From being the largest importer of technology they are now the Leaders in Technology! Now how did they achieve it and why can’t we build on what we are good at? Recent years have seen India being a hot spot for ‘Services’. Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, and Gurgaon house companies like Infosys, Wipro, TCS and Satyam and have attracted thousands of global companies to offer services. As such, India has gained recognition for being a highly competent Service provider. Now, 5-10 years from now do we still want to be recognized as a Service Provider? When will our focus shift to products? We have to start thinking BIG and for that we need entrepreneurs…lots of them and the mantra of tomorrow must be ‘innovation’. The future generation must be encouraged and their ideas funded. This is precisely what’s not happening and for this reason though I come from Bangalore, I hate the fuckwits who brag out being testers at Microsoft or Yahoo.

As for politics, I could go on for ever. I guess it all started off with a series of hopeless decisions post Independence by Nehru and Indira Gandhi where most talented institutions like Banks and Industries were centralized and licensed. Vajpayee led NDA government at least set up a decentralization ministry headed by Arun Shourie but the Congress led UPA government under the influence of esteemed CPI(M) scrapped the entire ministry. We can see the benefits of decentralization and privatization here in England and likewise in most of the western countries. When will our government realize that P & D is for an efficient tomorrow!

In my opinion, one of the ways to move forward is to start building infrastructure in revenue earning cities and towns in every state. With these main cities earning the required revenue for the state, the government can start putting in money for all other economic and social programmes.

I guess in all, it’s important to take in good ideas from around the world and from people who have global exposure and outlook; at the same time it is also important to nurture the young talents in-house to be more commercially aware.

cheshire cat said...

50 years ago Ginsberg said -- America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.

50 years later,I only wish 'we the people' put our heart, mind, soul and shoulder into making a 'we the nation' of a wheel that moves ahead. :-)

Read argumentative indian?