I enjoy the privilege of a stable society with millions of fellow Indians in this seemingly exciting era of scientific advancement, sporting achievements, economic progress & political (well no comment on this one) developments.
As a denizen of a bustling city struggling to find its place between its rustic old world charm, the distinction of being called a pensioner's paradise and Garden City et all to one of India's biggest metropolis, suffocating traffic, maddening pace of life and dizzying heights of economic and infrastructure growth. Yes! as a Bangalorean by birth and by heart, I have had the luxury of a very calm, protective and relatively less exciting life so far.
Bangalore was never in its 400 years witness to any extraordinary event. There were no wars, agitations for freedom from oppression under the British Raj, any significant event involving the whole demography of the city (the cauvery riots and the unnecessary display of heightened emotions after the kidnap & subsequent death of Kannada thespian Dr. Rajkumar are incidents Bangaloreans wish to forget).
So no doubt, the natives of Bangalore were all the while averse to issues of power struggle, red tapism, bureaucratic high handedness, the ill effects of graft just until 10 - 12 years ago.
As a city too self involved and taking toddler steps into the big mean world, its children were never exposed to the harsh realities that their brothers and sisters from other parts of the country were facing in their foetal phase itself.
The last 10 - 15 years has been a decade and a half of immense amendments in the political outlook, economic reforms, focus on earlier neglected issues (such as female foeticide, Right to Information, Right to Education, Employment Guarantee scheme, disinvestment & privatisation, FDI, FII etcetera etcetera).
Whereas in the same last 10 - 15 years, there has been a strong force growing silently in the hinterland and the far lands. Too silent that it was scary to think about its far reaching and deeply maiming consequences.
India has never really been a free country. Its children were always bound in chains of terror since time immemorial. Whilst the kings & emperors ruled overtly over huge swathes of land and water, upper castes ruled over the "lesser" ones by clouding minds and depriving essential knowledge and conniving with the devil Himself.
The British rule though brought in some semblance of modernisation & scientific view point for the country's people, the former's intentions for depriving Self rule and other normal privileges to the natives was a deal breaker. The Indians then realised that enough was enough and we shall not be screwed anymore by these "phirangs". Well a new India minus West and East Pakistan was born on the 15th Aug 1947.
As a nation obsessed with observing planetary alignments and observing tell tales from distant stars, one should have consulted some well known astrologer about the correct time to announce our country's "Independence" from foreign rule, cos I strongly believe that the time of Nehru's declaration of Independence was totally screwed up.
60 years later we are still on the path to recovery and though it seems that we have succeeded in the mission, it is hardly the truth. We are still not free in the true sense of the word.
India is the world's largest "democracy"!! Indians are so easily exalted by fancy titles which bring in no additional benefit. No wonder the British ruled over India by simply calling chieftains and big zamindars "Sir" and "Rai Bahadur".
Democracy is a form of Government involving the people obviously. But has ever democracy been anything that people can benefit from? Its just a sure shot way for anarchy to rule and leads the meek to the slaughterhouses and the strong have a grand feast. Democracy is good, but the Indian version of it is just like a Hollywood suspense thriller - unpredictable till the end!
There have been separatist movements even before the formation of this grand nation. Millions lost their lives in Operation Direct Action and Pakistan was torn out of Mother India's chest. Then there are the movements in the North East for Bodoland, Greater Nagaland etcetera etcetera.
These are extremely sensitive issues and it is not right to take sides especially when you are on neutral land. My worry is for the integrity of my country which I love as I would my own self. The country is grinning a million dollar smile to the rest of the world while it is being pricked by a thousand needles every moment.
Why is it that the elected Government fails to understand its own people or why is it that some people do not want any role in the country's growth?
The latest article on the front pages of all newspapers and hogging the "breaking news" section of these media hounds is the Balwant Singh Rajoana case. The supreme court has thankfully stayed his hanging by considering the clemency plea of the Punjab Government. But, it is painful when one understands the chaotic mind of this man who confessed to plotting the assassination of Beant Singh in 1995 when the latter was Punjab's Chief Minister and the Khalistan movement was in full force for a separate state (read independent).
Apparently Rajoana, who was a serving Punjab Police Constable couldn't bear to witness the horrors of State led atrocities against his people. Took the law into his own hands without realising that Beant Singh was not the entire system but only a part of the system. The uprising was later crushed and Punjab as we all know is now a peaceful state and an epitome of India's vibrant culture.
It is very painful for me to see that millions of Indians are deprived their rights by the very state that is sworn in to protect them from harm's way. While it is the responsibility of the state to take care of its people as a Good Shepherd would mind his flock, it is also the responsibility of the people to follow a path of righteousness and be the good flock that the shepherd would not mind rearing only for its wool and not for its flesh.
I am too small a person to comment on issues of National integration. But looking at the present political scenario where there is a severe trust deficit in the Government both Centre and State, I only hope there is something good around the corner.
India is a big nation and has a grand heritage. We are part of the World's oldest civilisations and probably life on earth started on this holy land.
I have encapsulated my thoughts before it drifts away and is occupied by another "breaking news".
I am a die hard optimist and look forward to an Utopia where everyone is good and everything is perfect.