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.