Time to act responsibly

Prof Javed Mughal
Indian society has never been faced with the dearth of prolific brains. We need to have tons of ink and paper and thousands of fountain pens to list all the great intellectuals this pious soil produced down the years, decades and centuries. Ours was the soil richest in literature on this globe; sharpest in thinking and the bravest in action. Religion also flowered and blossomed in the best way possible in this country. It will not be out of place to say the religions in their pure form can be visualized and perceived in India. Even then this country suffered the most in the annals of the history. It was kept under intermittent invasions; it faced intra-national controversies and conflicts; it was marauded and spoliated by the foreigners; so much so that for many centuries together it did not breathe in its own style and fashion for the very simple reason that the talent and all other humanitarian qualities have ever been relegated to the background and the nation always agonized in the cruel hands of the those who did not have moral character and teleological approach. A few vultures pecked at the heart of this nation and looted it so ruthlessly that at the end of the day it dwindled from a gold-sparrow into a wooden-parrot. It has been the deplorable fate of this abode of saints and sages that the morals and ethics have ever stood hired and purchased by the money-lords at the rock-bottom-price, the character and conscience have always taken a lying down before the political power and pressure just for petty gains, the talent and scholarship always knocked at the doors of non-deserving lot of the set-up for its survival and above all the principles and the self-respect mattered nowhere when it came across the satanic mind-set. Sarswati has proved to be a mere dummy in front of the Lakhshmi. This country, from alpha to omega, has ever been ruled by the majority of incompetent and corrupt political faces and executed by the competent but dishonest and sycophant brains during the last three decades. Now we have stepped into 21st century where the entire scenario of society has undergone a cataclysmic change. The anti-exploitation murmurs are being audible off and on, although inadequately, yet something unexpected is now being anticipated by those who can feel but have ever been compelled to remain introvert. Even now the voices and slogans are influenced, hijacked and sometimes choked but now, we have either to be up in arms against moral, ethical and ideological anarchism or to keep on gulping down the bitter droughts of abject predicament at the blood-stained hands of these political and administrative leeches. We have to consecrate this nation of all the dirt and filth it is smeared with and undertake multi-dimensional protests and processions to oust the political demagogues from the podium of power and project the genuine faces to lead this nation. A nation has to be revamped out of this soil of India once again “where the mind is free and the head is held high: …………………….” Let us take on to the protest style where there is no bloodshed and lathi-charge but a silent struggle to create a deep-rooted abhorrence deep down in the hearts and minds of one and all against those who don’t deserve to be on the pedestal of power.
The Arab block has set a new worldwide trend with its recent spate of televised revolutions. There’re some who take on to the street while the rest watch the high voltage political drama live and an ideological synergy is created between the two. Governments feel scared not only of those thousands dancing and chanting in frenzy in front of the camera but of the dormant millions too who passively get indoctrinated. The mass protests in the Arab world and in India share something in common; they have not been put up by the rank and file of any political outfit. This mass upsurge in India including emotionally (more than rationally) charged men and women who feel corruption at high places and down the line has rendered them helpless and insecure. The civil society movement surely is a reflection of the growing disgust of the people against India’s political class which has systematically ruined the institutions, abused them to their advantage and have gone scot free.  On each issue of corruption from the appointment of the CVC to the CWG loot, 2G scam and black marketing of food stocks like sugar and pulses the nation was expecting a firm and strong message in the form of befitting action. But, it was too little, too late. Inept handling of a popular perception and intrinsically just demand obfuscated the whole process.
Now it has created a situation which also sends a message that howsoever just or unjust, protest by a group of people can render even our highest institutions including the parliament helpless. This is a scary situation looking at the diversity of interest groups in India who may also resort to similar pressure tactics in future. But in the face of an insensitive government and largely rotten political class can one hold such mass-movements responsible? It’s a strange crisis of sorts. If one can’t deny the need to have a strong legislation to check unabated corruption, one can’t even deny that parliament alone as the representative body of the people can legislate that. Sensitivity on the part of government and reasonable persuasion by people, both are required for the success of democracy. The nation, no doubt, needs a strong legislation to check the cult of corruption and other malpractices but it also needs a commitment from each one of us so that when it comes to the point of isolating the corrupt and the criminals, it rises above narrow sectarian affiliations. All the more important is to strengthen the inherent system of checks and balance in the polity which has gone topsy-turvy due to political interference and compulsions of vote bank and coalition politics in recent years. The compulsions should not override the authority vested in the administrative machinery and constitutional authorities. Most certainly the head of government should not feel helpless before such compulsions which, at times, he sadly admits. In his fight against the British, our freedom fighters adopted the method of pressure-compromise-pressure to make headway. That helped both the sides meet half way.
In the free and democratic India can the government and civil society take a lesson from our patriotic forefathers so that we bring the desired change in the system without creating any constitutional crisis by prolonged confrontation? Let’s not forget that the world is watching the developments in the largest democracy with keen interest. The ultimate power that lies in the people in a democratic structure is the power of voting in elections. Masses can vote anyone to power or vote one out. It shall not be out of place to say that we the citizens of this country are directly or indirectly responsible for placing the incompetents and unfair faces on the throne of authority. We are responsible for the poor and miasmic political system because it is we who have allowed it to raise its ugly head to belch out the comforts of the common masses. We must stand up and gird up our loins to shake the foundations of this system and replace it with a new one capable of thinking at length about the well being of all rank and files. Much we have lost but much more can be saved if we introspect and act responsibly.

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