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Hope in the Horizons . . .
|by Ananya S Guha|
Despite all the dirty politics in the country today, despite animosity within caste, community and religion and despite all the murkiness surrounding the country today, the venality the filthy corruption, the politics of muscle power and money, there is more than a ray of hope, to use a cliche. There are individuals who can rise above pettiness, who can silently labour for a personal love of the community and the society, who transcend these categories of hate and abomination.
In Bangalore after the recent crisis in North East India which took the proportions of almost a civil war minority communities assured each other of the proclamation of love and help. Muslim communities reached out to the communities from North East India who had gone to the southern parts of the country to study or to eke out a living.
Who were these people? They were helpless, perhaps even poor people, most of them doing menial jobs and who suddenly felt threatened and because of insecurity left their places of work in a hurry, or were traumatized into shutting themselves up in their rooms. In such a situation different communities of a city like Bangalore, both majority and minority did their best to reached out to the people of North East India and assure them of their help, and the fact that there was no reason to worry or feel insecure.
The behaviour of the Chief Minister of the state and his Home Minister were exemplary. I have never seen this kind of interest that a Chief Minister of a state did to reach out to his citizens, assuring them that they would be safe till they reached their homes. The Home Minister did further; he even went to the Railway Station! Such examples of exemplary, sympathetic behaviour should never be forgotten and the people of our country owe such people a big gratitude.
Concern is something as exemplified by the above, but moral guts is also something else. That this is there in plenty in the country have been proved again and again by stalwarts who do not call themselves activists, but who have the most sensitive kind of empathy for the people; are proven by such stalwarts such as Baba Amte, Medha Patkar, Arundhati Roy, Binayak Sen, Asghar Ali Engineer, Teesta Setalwad etc. These are people who are endowed with a plenitude of moral guts, but they not only mouth it but, act it out in every walk of their lives. Yet people like Arundhati Roy and Binayak Sen or for that matter Kobal Ghandhy have been accused of being imposters and also sedition.
What happens to people who feel for their downtrodden country men? After all the Maoists are only asking for a better life to lead. How many people understand hunger, and if these people do so why are they charged with traitorous activities. Also, in this category we have people like Irom Sharmila from Manipur, who has been suffering silently, but for a cause.
Then again there is the recent episode of the CAG team of the Government of India pointing out how millions and billions of dollars, which means hundreds of crores of rupees have been siphoned by multinationals, with abject contempt for the rules and the regulations, and laws of the land. Anyone working in any government office knows the procedure of inviting tenders for supply of goods or equipments which cross a minimum stipulated amount of money. But in abrogating these rules the government has shown scant respect for its own rules and regulations! This is not only an irony and paradox; it is cheating of the highest order. It is cheating the people of India out of their senses and their wits. But here the CAG had the greatest gumption to do so, without batting an eyelid and have stuck to their guns ever since. Bravo to them! Like the judiciary of the country they have shown the greatest impartiality and independence, and have refused to be brow beaten by the political muscle power. So, there is still hope for the country. There are individuals, and there will be individuals who will rise above partisan and dirty politics.
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