Random Thoughts

Are we OK...Theek Hai...?

The Indian Prime Minister's "Theek hai...?" ("Is it OK...?") after his minute-long address to the nation on 24 December 2012 asking people to maintain peace after Sunday's violence during the protests in Delhi against gang rape of a 23-year old paramedical student, drew sniggers on all the media platforms...The best comment according to me was from Anupam Kher who said that the manner in which the PM asked his staff or the TV crew whether everything was allright "was d most Candid  & natural expression I have EVER seen from him".  The unfortunate (was it intended - no one would know...) non-editing of the PM's  "Theek Hai...?" at the end of his address is perhaps the general attitude when politically correct statements are flying left, right and centre while the victim of the brutal gang rape is battling for her life in a government hospital at Delhi...

Whenever something untoward happens, the people who are accountable, often check if what they say or do is "Theek Hai...?" as they do not wish to be accountable and face the consequences - this includes the politicians (the so called law makers..), the police, the media, the doctors treating the victim etc.etc. All those who are accountable for the increasing crime rate in our country especially crimes against women and children, usually come up with "Theek Hai...?" statements because to them their being "Theek"(OK) and saving their collective skins are paramount - often the main issue gets drowned in the blame game...

I guess, it's human nature to evade accountability and shift blame...I've seen this happen in the banking industry too of which I was a part for over three decades...! The buck for a loan gone bad often stops wth the most vulnerable - the lower most officer who might have prepared the note (usually on the instructions of his higher ups...)

PM's office (PMO) had commissioned Door Darshan (The national television channel of India)  and ANI a TV news agency for the live telecast of the PM's address. As Door Darshan officials were delayed, PM's address was telecast  live by ANI ("Theek Hai..?" et el...!  The telecast should have stopped when the PM concluded his address but it continued even after he paused and then asked "Theek Hai..?") and  picked up by other channels..

Five officials of Door Darshan have been suspended for being late for an important telecast like the PM's address to the nation...! I won't be surprized if conspiracy theories start floating around soon about this...the Opposition is already having a field day sniggering away at the PM's bloomer whose  'Theek Hai..?" might have been just an innocuous query to enquire if the telecast went off well...but it has provided  grist for so much nit-picking...

The common people who have spontaneously come together to protest may not be able to sustain the onslaught of police actions against them and also cutting off of  vital transport lines by the Delhi Police...Also they have to go about their daily lives - jobs, livelihoods etc. Politicians continue to indulge in rhetorics - one of them in Andhra Pradesh (like others in the past) went on to blame the woman for daring to set out alone at night and then retracted his statement... Police will carry out investigations in their routine, insensitive manner having the additional burden of crowd management (of protesters) all over the city... for it is their unenviable task to ensure a "theek thaak" law and order in the Capital of India... to avoid being blamed later...

Amidst all this, the victim of gang rape continues to be critical and is going through terrible sufferings and pain...She has exhibited exemplary courage and resilience in her battle to survive - a battle she seems to be losing....How can then anything be Theek Hai...?


More by :  Padmaja Iyengar-Paddy

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