India & its Indians!

The ordeal we are going through is unwarranted for but isn’t it truly due to our own doing?
I state this because we (India) have in the past exhibited our forbearance capacity (1993 blasts) so high that to shake us, these anti social elements were forced to strike again with something bigger!
These terrorist attacks have proved a few facts to us & they are: 

  • how vulnerable, complacent & corrupt we are as a country, a state, a city, a society & as an individual
  • how laid back & tolerant we have been as a citizen
  • how short our memory is

Are these words in bold the right terminology to use for ourselves? 
Vulnerable, Complacent & Corrupt

As an MBA student, we have always learned that a set of Values endorsed by the Leader trickles down in the Management, then the Organisation & when Customers come in contact with it – they sense it; and eventually the System has it! No Organisation or any Government is exempted from this phenomenon & what we see today is the result of the same.
Do you think our Government, with all the intelligence reports could have done better? Do you feel that with tips from other intelligence agencies; our specialised forces failed to draw the bigger picture?
We are so ironically Vulnerable that a few days prior to the 26th of Nov’ 08 we read about how our Navy helped save another cargo ship from the pirates but we couldn’t keep a bunch of terrorists from stepping on our soil through the same mode of transport - water.
The article about the VIP security at the cost of Citizens dated 3rd December’ 08 is an eye opener. You bet there will be many more avenues where money is laundered, wasted & siphoned off. The highlight is that 

  • Rs. 180 Crore (cost of security) for the PM & the Gandhi family & only Rs. 158 Crore for a billion Indians.
  • 60% of the NSG forces are on VIP duty.
  • 10,000 personnel for security of 422 VIP’s.
  • 14,200 personnel for security of VIP’s in Delhi alone. 

We keep a day to day tab on our expense & always try not overspending – so isn’t it our obligation to also check upon how are tax money is spent by the Government? Surely every individual would be feeling that he/she have paid their taxes & it is no more their accountability!
Isn’t this Complacency that our hard earned money is being frivolously spent on our inept Politicians, their travel, their escapades, their dramatic parliament meetings etc?

  • Why do we pay a vendor an extra Rs. 2 for serving a cold-drink (1 litre bottle) cold when it’s clearly mentioned – “To be Serve Chilled”?
  • Why do we always land up paying Rs. 10 for a parking ticket which actually costs only Rs. 8?
  • Why do we always feel the need for smaller denominations when we are driving?
  • Why do not honk at taxis/cars standing at turns instead of changing our lanes?
  • Why do buses stop in the middle off the road for their stops instead of their designated spots & yet we are unable to do anything about it?
  • Why do the police expect chai-pani for doing more than just penning down an FIR? And how do they also know who the probable muggers are?
  • Why is child labour prevalent?
  • Why is electricity being wasted in malls when others face load shedding? 

Isn’t this also Complacency?
During a terror attack if any of our politicians are trapped; then why do they get our best security to accompany them out of the crisis first?
Even during peak traffic hours, we see their cars being escorted with armed police & they have the privilege to jump signals – why? Why do we need to make way for them by going out of our way?
Why do they have special parking stickers?
Why are their cars allowed to pullover by the roadside; stand in the no parking zone while we would get a ticket for the same?
Don’t we also have the same rights as them? Aren’t we the ones who voted for them? Aren’t our lives equally significant?
Isn’t this also Complacency?
Have you ever thought:

  • Why we don’t report a small crime?
  • Why we prefer out of court settlement?
  • Why the roads get appalling soon after they are done up?
  • Why some good economic reforms loose out to favored ones?
  • Why we commit a crime & are not nervous about the outcome?
  • Why some cars get towed even after they were parked in the right spot?
  • Why a pizza reaches faster than the Police or Ambulance or Fire Brigade?
  • Why we find the traffic cop behind a tree after a signal rather that at the signal?
  • Why do we need to pay extra for transferring an ownership of property in a Society when the official fees for the same is only Rs. 25, 000?

At one point in time the Mumbai Police were ranked second in the world. The first was Scotland Yard but this fact in my view is incorrect. Our Police was & always will be Numero Uno in their intelligence & Corruption as they know before hand about the crimes that will be committed – the fact is that their bellies are kept heavy enough for them to not move prompt enough!
For an example let’s look at Dubai, UAE because their lockups & penitentiary go empty for months. Why?

Under Islamic Sharia law, the penalty after conviction for:

  • Adultery can range from flogging to stoning to death
  • Robbery is amputations of hands
  • Rape is 100 lashes
  • Murder is 100 lashes & life imprisonment
  • A terrorist is crucified in the middle of the street & the civilians are provided with stones to pelt

At the same time their laws for starting any business is so simple; it only takes a day to establish/commence a company, factory, restaurant but with the right paperwork.
I am sure they are so clear with their laws & its implementation that no one would like to mess around.

  • Can we have the same clarity here as well?
  • Can we set straight forward examples for the sinners?
  • Can we make our society feel the terror of the law?
  • Can we make our environment more conducive for work?
  • Can we not eliminate the harassing between departments? 

In India unfortunately even after we buy land which is allotted for industrial use; we yet have to get a NOC from various departments (pollution, water, fire, gram Panchayat etc) before we can commence our work. Its industrial land then shouldn’t they come with the respective clearances?
The answer is simple; if that happens then how will the mullahs be made!
Laid back & Tolerant:

We have been targets earlier & have also experienced terrorism, yet the heat fails to seep through our fat skins. It’s only a week or two of hyper activeness & then things just fizzle out – why?
Is it because it’s the common man which is in the line of fire & their life is so cheap that it’s not even worth a weep?
Compensating a life with money is a sweet way of saying ‘SHUT UP’! And to top it an Olympic Gold Medalist (with all due respect to Mr. Bindra & his achievements) is paid Rs. 3 Crore for his feat & a Jawan only Rs. 5 Lakh for giving up his life in the line of duty – astonishing!
Why do the families of victims get even when compensated with money? Was the victim’s life so cheap? And has anyone thought from where that compensation money comes from? Tax payer’s of course!
Had any prominent Politician lost his life like a commoner; do you think things would have yet been handled the same way?
There are Special Forces for specific acts of vandalism & they should be acting according to their capacities. Then why do we put up with the blame game?
Why & how is the Government so effortlessly able to shift focus & run away from its responsibilities?
Isn’t it merely because of our Laid back attitude & our Tolerance levels being so high?
Short Term Memory

Mumbai is known to ‘bounce back’ into usual or ‘swing back’ into action or ‘moves on’ or ‘Mumbai never sleeps’ but have you ever considered why?
Why things get back to normal so fast so quickly – as if nothing had happened?
I strongly believe that the above phrases (in inverted commas) are purely to hide the reality of life. The verity is that Mumbai is incapable of empathizing, has deficiency of the aptitude & is insensitive towards another life!
The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer & the middle class is too busy trying to make both ends meet. Where has one got the time to divert time towards other aspects of life? Mumbaikar’s are more bothered of loosing a day’s income for lives lost due to a strike in effect of a terror attack.
Short Term memory; this is also another phrase which we use for our selves.
Do you remember Sunil Atmaram More & the crime he committed on 28th of April 2005?Do you remember if justice was done? Do you recollect what happened to the unfortunate teenager there after?
He was the constable who had raped a college girl on Marine Drive; in broad day light & that too in a Police Station!
The truth remains that for any incident to become a long term memory, one has to feel the pain, intuit the misery & think hard enough off it for it to leave a lasting imprint. The question is that does one have the time, energy & inclination to do so?
Trivia Question

What is the similarity between our Politicians & the British rule?
Both staunchly believe in the “Divide & Rule” policy.

The British divided us by castes & our Politicians are dividing by states.

  • Does it really matter whether you are a Maharashtrian or a Punjabi or a Bengali or a Tamilian or …?
  • Does it really matter whether you are a Mumbaikar or Bombaite or any ‘kar/ite’?
  • Does it really matter if I shout ‘Aamchi Mumbai’ or ‘Jai Maharashtra’?
  • Do Mumbaikar’s have special privileges for residing in ‘Bombay’?

Then why do we allow Politicians to pin us down with the name game … after all we are all Indians speaking a regional language with our mother tongue being ‘Hindi’; we are all part of one Country with the same constitutional rights, abide by the same laws & follow one Leader – the Prime Minister.
It is unfortunate that interiors of most states don’t speak our mother tongue as it is not preached for solely to preserve their vote banks.
Have you ever experienced driving when ever the Prime Minister or the President or the Chief Minister etc are visiting the city?

  • The traffic is stupendously regulated – why?
  • Streamlined without any signals – why?
  • Bottleneck areas feel like 4 lane highways – why?
  • Double parking simply vanishes away – why?
  • Taxis are no more scattered on the turns or by the road sides – why?
  • Buses seem to be docking at the right spots – why?

If the traffic can be synchronized for a day then why can’t it be done during peak hours every day?
We have the personnel. All we need to do is pay them the right salaries & motivate them to stop citizens from breaking the law than to wait for them to break the law.
Have you ever imagined the amount of money that would be stashed in the Swiss Banks by Indians alone? I am sure the Indian Government would be able to write off its debt with the same. They should try exercising their power & bring back most of its stolen wealth.
And if we get an opportunity like this, do you think we would capitalise on it?
After all, it would expose most of our politicians!
What do we need to improve our state of affairs?

What we need is Righteousness & that the right course of action to be taken against the accused. Is it so difficult just rendering justice (1993 Blasts trial is yet on)? Is it necessary to provide the terrorists with their human rights? After all what they did was insanely inhuman – wasn’t it?

  • Why people have to spend months to wait for fairness?
  • Why is getting another date so easy?
  • Why there are so many pending cases that they out number our judges & courts?

Severe Action

What we need is Severe Action – an action so stern that these anti social elements think a zillion times before even think of committing a crime on our soil. Life Imprisonment & death would mean ‘Pardon’ for me. Being committed to a suicide mission, death would only further aid their death. Life imprisonment means keeping these bastards on our soil – feed them our water/food & wait for their group to attack us again to exchange them for our innocent lives.
Death should be granted to them but through torture – should afflict so much pain that they feel the death of every life they have taken. And as a democratic country, we shouldn’t bother with what the world will comment or feel or infer about us; this is our country & our safety is of imperative importance. The penalty for messing in our country should be clear one & to all.
Social Security Number (SSN)

What is a SSN? It is an identity given to every individual – like in the US of A. Or why don’t we make use of the PAN Card & make it an effective means of tracking as well?
This according to me has benefits such as:

  • Keeping a tab on the movement of our residents inland & abroad
  • Disallow rights to vote, travel & purchase etc
  • Forbid the right to take up a job
  • Permit us a population count at all times
  • Prohibit infiltration from other countries & significantly assist us in isolating / repatriating them

Connectivity in India has advanced drastically. Even for a remote interior there is a Gram Panchayat & our Politicians do visit these areas during duress so isn’t it possible to account every birth/death in India today? After all we are a nation with a population over a billion; bestowing us with more than sufficient manpower to assist the same.
Then do you think its right to put in use the Social Security Number or the PAN Card? 
Military Training  

I tenaciously feel it should be made compulsory for every individual (between 18 to 25 years) as it readies us with the capacity to

  • Engage in Combat during attacks
  • Allows us to learn the usage of basic weapons & most importantly
  • Develop a Sense of Patriotism 

It should be a part of our curriculum; without which one is denied a formal degree.
Salary Structure

  • Why are there deals under the table?
  • Why do officials throw their weight around?
  • Why is it so difficult starting a business in India?
  • Why obtaining a driving license below the stipulated age is so easy?
  • Why & how are taxes (Income tax/Octroi/Excise etc) being evaded?
  • Why & how is electricity being stolen? (37% or more is unaccounted for)
  • Why the entire process of gaining justice through police & courts so challenging?

All for the money!
Why can’t we have our officials really well remunerated so that they just refuse bribes? Won’t their salaries feel like petty cash for our treasurer once 37% of our electricity is accountable & if they shut all the loop holes to elude taxes?
For information; our Prime Minister withdraws a salary of Rs. 1.5 Lakhs/month. Do you think Rs. 18 Lakhs/year is justified to some one who is heading the world’s biggest economy?
Right Leaders

Most of today’s Politicians are not educated or have criminal records or lack dynamism or are too aged. I am sure you might be thinking that even Late Sri Dhirubhai Ambani wasn’t educated; so what?
The difference is that he harbored a vision; had the capacity to work hard to create something from dust & stand against all odds.
Why can’t we have constitutional amendments stating that the minimum qualification to run our Nation has to be an MBA or an Engineer, or a LLB; principally someone who has spent times with books, is well read & has the ability to administer our Country?
Do you think a prominent Industrialist might be the right leader for India? Or why can’t we have a panel of these outstanding industrialists at the helm of the affairs?
They certainly:

  • Are effective leaders
  • Have strong tenets
  • Are disciplined
  • Are visionaries but most importantly
  • Have a lot of money at their disposal so it’s not about making money.

Or do you think India needs a Dictator? Something on the lines of the Chinese or Singaporean Government? One cannot say a word against them; but then they don’t give their citizens a chance to complain as well. Even if they are corrupt it would be only on top levels; the common man is not oppressed, is least affected by corruption, is provided with the best infrastructure & has a great environment to work in.
In that case can we look up to someone like Sri Balasaheb Thackeray or Sri Narendra Modi; who are individualistic in their approach, aggressive in their functioning & are keen for the growth of the state – but will have to work for the nation this time!
Maximum 2 terms in office

I am bored of seeing a bunch of men fighting for the chair & incongruously one has to watch them for our entire life span. We sometimes wish the other party to come into force but the chronicle always remains the same – same leaders – same politics – same promises & at the end same unproductive results.
Can we work towards having this law of Maximum 2 terms in office implemented? That way we ensure:

  • New & hopefully young blood of leaders
  • New views & thoughts for the country
  • New economic reforms
  • Fresh ways of functioning & restructuring
  • Enforcing retirement

The turnout at the Gateway of India on the 4th of Dec’ 08 was very promising. But again, it was just like a bottle of an aerated drink; the fizz is just momentary.
Let’s raise our voices, think for the better, suggest, implement & hope for the best for our very own Nation! 


More by :  Rishabh Kumar

Top | Society

Views: 3478      Comments: 2

Comment Dear Shalini,

The recent bomb blasts in Mumbai (13th July'11) is only seconding the above writing!

We need to be proactive towards our society & specially towards our thinking. Im glad I have provoked your thoughts & can only hope it has of the other readers as well.

Kindly do share this article with your circle to bring awareness!

God Bless us all!

28-Jul-2011 12:18 PM

Comment Vvv true , extremely thought provoking !

21-Jul-2011 14:18 PM

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