There is so much negativity, so much talk of corruption, so many theories of conspiracy flying around without anyone bothering to check the facts. Are we actually coming to the end of civilization; is everything actually wrong with India?
The mind is boggled. It is not as if corruption has become an issue for the first time in independent India. Almost at regular intervals people in high positions have been accused of corruption and they have been punished and disgraced publicly as is only appropriate. The democratic system has a mechanism which helps it to clean itself. That is the strength of democracy and it keeps pulsating with more energy after every purgation, unlike other systems that result in blood- letting.
But the kind of atmosphere that has been building up in the country in the last few years, ‘inspired’ by some civil society activists taking a high moral ground on every issue seems to be demoralizing an entire generation of politically unattached youth. This generation is unconcerned about the civilities, the dignities and the ethics of life. All it knows is Me, Me and Me. This dangerously poised mass of technically and otherwise equipped opinion makers just needs a pied piper to lead it astray. People like me have been watching with distress how all values, institutions and reputations built assiduously over the years are being disowned and looked down as if we were some sort of banana republic.
If die-hard journalists like me, who never let go of an opportunity not only to speak out against injustice but also to ensure that those who raise their voice to expose the high and mighty (now called whistle-blowers) are not targeted, even at the cost of our own jobs, are shell shocked. We have all been victims of office politics some time or the other in our life but to paint a picture that the entire democratic system in India is rotten and that there is nothing to be proud of, is diabolic and I would go so far as to say anti -national.
So far I imagined that I was the only one spreading copious tears over the collapse of the values we cherished but a comment from the redoubtable Kiran Bedi, one of the icons of our times– whatever her political opinions are- encouraged me to write my bleeding heart out. In a comment on a social networking site she said recently, ”Are v not exhausting Delhi and may b the country through mostly Delhi centric negativity? Do we not deserve positivity & change of wave-length?”
Kiran Bedi’s life, like most public figures, is an open book. Everyone who cares to do his homework (particularly supporters of Kejriwal and his band of supporters who have been posting abusive comments on her Facebook account ever since she decided to support Modi) can find out that her bosses were never happy with her. But she made a virtue of this by turning things around wherever she was posted by her positivism and with her zest for improving the quality of life for the people. If she is anguished and pained at the complete negativity engulfing the country, it means every right thinking person needs to sit up and notice the direction we are heading.
Even Hamlet whose father was killed by an uncle who not only married his mother but also usurped the throne, famously said ‘Something is rotten in the State of Denmark’. But the doomsters who are out to derail the entire democratic system in the country are going around telling the people that EVERYTHING is rotten in the State of Denmark.
I protest! So should you! So should all of us!
By Amitabh Srivastava