We Are All Criminals Now…

We have seen the mobs at the gates, baying for the blood of the rapists and the corrupt. We have heard their slogans of how the leaders are 6-letter words. And we have seen them cheer when they see a messiah on TV who reminds them of the real Mr. India – Gandhi. And we call these mobs our new hope – the dawn of a new nation, a new chapter in the crooked chronicles of our recent history.

Excuse me, but am I the only one who is scared? Who are we trying to fool?? And pray, how are these misguided missiles supposed to be heralding the new dawn???

I agree the nation is being looted by our political class. I agree that we have moved away from the ideals of our constitution – if not in letter, than at least in spirit. But if you are looking towards who is to be blamed for these, you only have to look in the mirror.

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We cheered for Anna. We cheered for the youth who rioted in the citadels of power. We all lost faith in democracy. We all consequently lost faith in our constitution. We are all Naxal. We are all criminals.

Remember the last time you leched at the girl in the mall? Ogled at all those western-dress wearing girls in college?? Or maybe you are the Manmohan Singh type – who did not do all these, but then did not stop your friend(s) either. All this was in good jest of course. After all you are the one who draws the lines of morality in the society. So it is ok to lech, pass lewd comments, ogle – totally harmless. But anything more than that – the punishment, as demanded by you, my friends should be hanging. We are all guilty as charged. We are all criminals.

So Naxals are bad – they killed CRPF soldiers in Dantewada. They rigged the bodies of soldiers with explosives. Such dastardly acts they committed – acts worth condemning on Facebook and Twitter. But has anyone given a thought as to what those soldiers were doing in “Maoist infested” areas? They were in the warzone. They were fighting the war for the state – against people whose voice the state decided to muzzle so that the power plant could come up or the mine could be operationalized. The power generated was supposed to light up your homes and power your computers – so that you can post your comments on Facebook. Forget the few hundred Crore bribes, that was coincidental – FOCUS. They were fighting a goddamn war. And Wars are not like what Burkha Dutt shows on TV. Wars do not come with Hollywood-sized special effects and Sunny Deol style heroism. Wars are ugly, barbaric and gruesome. And if you cannot accept this gruesomeness, you can either put an end to the war, or switch off your idiot box.

We look forward to a mass-murderer leading our nation. We think it is his approach to development that is guiding our judgment. A few thousand odd people dead are coincidental. So what, if the man’s flaws are all brushed aside with the broom of Right wing’s rants. By choosing him – we are endorsing a communal dictatorial leader. Even if the choices are limited to corrupt buffoons or goons, we still rationalize well by saying it is his developmental plans that are impressive. We are all complicit in the mass murder. We are all communal. We are all criminals.

We demand an investigation into the war crimes perpetuated on Tamils by the Lankan army. A noble demand. How about an impartial UN investigation in the human rights violations in Kashmir? Do I hear “What Human Rights?”, “Sovereignty”, “Propaganda”? I rest my case. And pay attention to the political correctness of the words. “Indian Tamils” are protesting. “Indian Muslims are protesting”. Am I the only one who feels that it should be “Tamil Indians” and “Muslim Indians”? Is national identity only brought to the fore during IPL (remember Mumbai Indians” huh)? And where were the same people who are fasting for a probe, when the crimes were being committed?  We are all seditious. And we are all criminals.

We cry ourselves hoarse when an industrialist builds a 39 story hideous looking apartment on prime piece of real estate and gifts it to his wife. How can he do this when there are millions starving? Last I checked, we had given up on socialism and embraced capitalism. I mean it is ok to build a 30 story apartment. No?  Or is 20 enough?? Who decides?? Whiners, who will never be able to build a similar structure, never generate a single job, but will happily buy their groceries from his Retail stores. We all share the socialist- naxalite ideology. And we are all criminals.

You know, how I concluded that the Indian youth as a solution is worse than the problem on hand. I switched on MTV. And I saw Roadies. And I saw the auditions. And then I saw IPL. And then I saw people going “Dil Jumping Japang”. And then I was reassured that I am not the craziest person in this country.

“It is never too late to do the right thing. But do we know what the right thing is?”

P.S. Don’t be serious. You and I know that you are right. I am just playing with your heads. Next post will make you laugh “Pinky Promise”!!!

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8 thoughts on “We Are All Criminals Now…

  1. Well written. However, I would like to point a few technicalities which you may have missed in your arguments.
    The naxal movement may have started off with the intention of bringing about development but it seldom continues to be so. The villagers who do not collude with the naxal movement, are banished from the villages or are forced in some way to join the movement. How do you justify that? How do you justify sabotaging railway lines when a railway line is supposed to bring development to the region. Who is supplying weapons and why? Who is funding the movement and why? If you are genuinely popular, why don’t you contest elections and bring about the change you want to see? There are a lot of questions which needs to be answered before sympathesizing with them.
    Regarding the communal issue, poverty is a curse. The number of people who die due to poverty (be it because they can’t afford food or healthcare) is certainly more than the people who lost their lives in the unfortunate riots. Is their lives less valuable? Who takes responsibility for such deaths? Isn’t it the moral responsibility of the government? If development can alleviate the condition of the poor, then why not give it a chance. We only talk about the unfortunate riot but what about setting ablaze a train coach which led to the riot? It does not justify the massacre but it was a consequence of the action that preceded it. I would say he is communal if his development programs benefitted only a certain section of the society. Development hasn’t been brought about through reservation/free-distribution schemes that target only a section of the society (which assumes the needy belong to only a particular section and shuns others). I do not favour a particular politician nor am I asking those guilty of rioting (or even instigating it) to be let free. But, we cannot and should not allow the loot to continue.
    Totally agree on the rest of the points. On watching Roadies, even I’d wondered if people featured on it were genuinely so or were they doctored for the show?

    PS: In my opinion, the note at the bottom of the blog killed the spirit it had set.

  2. Why did you have to put that note at the bottom? You had written such a great article. And then that came up! It spoiled the mood.

    Don’t be afraid to voice strong opinions, or offending people. This was a brilliant article. There are clear rights and wrongs in society, and some gray areas. The Rights are ultimately decided by who comes out the winner in history!
    And I agree with most points. The political class is destroying us. And even though we do live in a semi-capitalistic society, we cannot ignore the millions of under-previleged. After all emotions are bound to spill over, whether they be right or wrong.

    Great article. Thank you for an amazing read!

  3. Thank You for your patience Sandeep. When there is a war going on in the central hinterlands of India, is damaging railroads is a perfectly acceptable response to the rapes, cultural pilferage and atrocities committed on the Tribals by the forces of the state. And what the naxalites do to their traitors, Indian Govt. does do its own traitors – encounter deaths, imprisonment under sedition, and so on. The weapons are supplied by parties who are pure capitalists – who want the world to burn, so that they can earn. There is no ideology among the arms suppliers. Even the states which supply arms to Indian Govt. do not really care why you are buying them. In Kashmir, the separatists stood in the elections in 1987 and the elections saw widespread rigging. And I do not now about you, but can an entire religion accept a man who could not protect the minorities of his state, who presided over it. Are we so bankrupt of leaders, that we have to turn towards a communal murderer with bloodied hands to save us from Congress. I guess I was right, when I said, we are all communal !!
    As for the P.S in the ending, I realized that I was rambling too much. These views are not my own. And they only are intended to provide you with a different perspective. I want people to smile and be happy, not wear a frown when reading my posts. I had said that at the outset, when I started out blogging. I never meant my blog to have the spirit which you were looking for in the first place. Cho-lee 😛
    And yes, Thank you for the patience once again, means a lot to me.

    • The issues you touched upon were sensitive and was well-written. So the pleasure was mine to read it. As mentioned earlier, I do agree with you on most points except for a few. As for the naxalite movement, I still do not support them for their means are not justified.
      “Are we so bankrupt of leaders, that we have to turn towards a communal murderer with bloodied hands to save us from Congress. I guess I was right, when I said, we are all communal !!” – I see two distinct statements here. “Are we bankrupt of leaders?” – Yes, we are and we (our generation and probably our previous generation too) are at fault for this. “We are communal” – Yes, we are. Lets accept it, India is secular only as per the constitution. In practice, the government does not maintain an equal distance from all the religions. Nor does it favour all the religions equally. I can give numerous examples for it. Therefore, the present govt cannot be praised for being truly secular. Now, a leader who is considered (not found guilty after a series of investigations) communal only because he let the population in his state seek revenge for an unprovoked act of violence (and remember at that time, the crowd would not have listened to anyone), can change the lives of people for good, then why not give him a chance to do so. The road widening efforts in Gujarat has led to destruction of a lot of small temples that had lined the previously narrow roads. That was never highlighted. Probably, tearing down religious structures of minorities is considered communal whereas doing the same for the majority is secular!!
      The truth is that harmony exists where there is prosperity. I side with prosperity since I realize poverty is a curse. Had UPA-II shown the same progress as UPA-I, I would have preferred them but unfortunately, that is not the case. The manufacturing sector and the telecom sector is in a bad shape; health-care, education and infrastructure which should have been the responsibility of the govt. has become profit making enterprises for private institutions. Hence, it is essential that we make some progress, really quickly to avoid further disharmony. There are certainly better leaders with spotless reputation but unfortunately they are not in the fray.

  4. This is a damn good article, Tushar. I agreed with most of it except for the Naxalite movement part. I don’t think it is as simple a problem as you make it to be. Decades of political blunders and policy paralysis gives rise to wounds like Naxalites and Kashmir. It is only over simplification to blame one side. What the Indian Government has done to the Tamil mass murders issue is more or less a revenge for the brutal assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by LTTE. They looked away for decades and let the massacres continue. They did the same thing in Kashmir. It is almost forgotten how Nehru stole Kashmir and mounted an unprovoked assault but history (written by victors) says that The king of kashmir had summoned the Indian Goverment’s help.

    And before this comment becomes a post, if the mass murdered indeed comes to power, this will be a historical blunder committed by the people of India. Loved this post.

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