Sunday, 8 November 2009


A comment on my post ‘India’ had me rather disturbed. How will we progress if such people think it’s “mean to Indians” when you say something that’s blatant truth. The comment went like this:
“My are being so mean to all Indians here. Its a system that needs improvement, I totally agree. But who is going to take the first step. Do donation(or influence to enter)to good colleges and schools come under corruption? If you sit and say I will not do it, its not right,its your child's future you are playing with. We make tough choices everyday as it is. If everyone in India is striving to sustain themselves so be it. I think everyone everywhere does that. Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, I am going to do something for my country today.Just make sure that you don't do anything to harm it. And things will change and there is hope.

I also would like to know why u haven't given suggestions for these rats to improve!!!! The post is incomplete without them...”

I would like to tell her that it’s not the system that needs change. India has perfect SYSTEM. We are a population of over 1 billion and that’s huge population. India is also the 7 th largest country in the world. Such a big, diverse country needs time to change. But isn’t, “India needs time” a BIG EXCUSE?
We are huge, no doubt about it, but we are a federal state. That means we are divided into 28 states and 7 union territories based on linguistics and culture. And these states are further divided into districts which are further divided into taluks, tehsils, panchayats..etc, for the sole purpose of administration. A domain Panchayat is no more than few kilometers across and has a president who has representative powers. Isn’t that the greatest SYSTEM we have in place? Then what system  are we cribbing about?

Then what’s wrong with India? I strongly believe it’s the People and the people alone. We complain about the leaders, corrupt politicians, bureaucrats etc…but who elects them?
And we are a population of over 1 billion, which is over a 1000 million in exponential terms, and we just have few like Arundhati roy , Medha patkar, Mahasweta Devi, Dr. Binayak Sen who cry about the state of affairs of India. Imagine if out of 1000 million, just 1 million were to blog about the negative state of affairs in India and bring awareness. I feel it would be revolutionary.
I believe India needs strong social (writer) critics like Charles Dickens, Judith Butler or more of writers like Aravind adiga.The first time I read “The white Tiger”, I was angry at the portrayal of poverty in India. Or even the movie SlumDog millionaire did the same thing to me. But over time I have realized that these are the facts and we should stop living in a utopian state of wellbeing.

Who will take the first step in changing India? I think we all should. Perhaps, this is my first step. The first step can be writing a blog about what you see negative in India: Or bringing a corrupt practice in our society into public light. I think that’s the first step. We don’t have to join politics or jump into some Bolshevik-like revolution. In fact, such revolution has even more degraded the society as the case with USSR was. I believe we just need to change ourselves. If out of 1000 million population, just 1 million change themselves and become more aware or communicative about the problems of the society, the society would change.

Do donation(or influence to enter)to good colleges and schools come under corruption? If you sit and say I will not do it, its not right,its your child's future you are playing with.- I think that’s the greatest mistake we do. We think that that’s the way things work. We think we don’t have options and we have to go on with what’s happening. Yes, such donations are corruptions and I will not be part of it. I will not let my daughter join such college, but I will not come in her way of her future. I will look for alternatives. If no such college exists in India I will send her Abroad, Even if I have to mortgage my house for it.

And people say things are changing. Definitely things are changing, India has more international standard stadiums, Shopping malls, Business schools or 5 star hospitals, but poor have become poorer and rich have become richer. There are more cars on the road and we can see many more airports, but still half of the population is under poverty.

I also would like to know why u haven't given suggestions for these rats to improve!!!! The post is incomplete without them...” First of all the person hasn’t read the post or understood it. I had mentioned India as a ‘metaphor’ of a timeless fortress. Rats and rodents are part of a fortress, like people are to a nation.

Suggestions to Improve: No one has to jump into active social activism, and we can’t afford to do that. We have families to look after and responsibilities. We as citizens has to lead by example.
But we can still do to improve the country. We can be responsible citizens and keep our premise clean. We can take part in elections and vote for the deserving candidate. We can help by educating our children and not show prejudice to sons over daughters. We can help by investing in our country and provide employment. We can help by being entrepreneurs. We can help by being broad minded and not be part of caste-ism or classism. We can help by being religiously tolerant. We can help by investing in Govt. agencies like LIC or SBI. We can help by helping our neighbors in time of need. We can help by not crowding hospitals or public places. We can help by being clean and health conscious. We can help by knowing our culture and help preserve it(like Japanese). We can help by welcoming foreign tourists and make India more tourist friendly. We can help by not carving “I LOVE PRIYANKA CHOPRA” on public places and historical monuments. We can help by conserving energy and resources. We can help by not supporting political parties who support BANDH and HARTALS. We can help by not encouraging beggars. We can help by questioning public authorities and wrong practices.
We make tough choices everyday as it is. If everyone in India is striving to sustain themselves so be it. : Who are “WE”, not definitely the person who commented this. OK, half of India is under poverty and have to make tough choices every day, but not the rest. I think we all fall under the rest. We aren’t fighting to sustain ourselves, are we? Come-on, we are much better offs. We can make better choices.

And most importantly, do not pay bribes or DONATIONS. I remember how my uncle was forcing me to pay Rs.500 to the corporation clerk to get my marriage certificate in time for my wife’s visa. I refused and I was looked as STUPID and unrealistic. I feel 90% of Indians are like my uncle. If we bring that 90 % to less that 20%, imagine the change in India. Imagine out of 1000 million, 10 million decide to be entrepreneurs; we will have industries to match the best in the world.

The last thing we need is a Revolution. I think we just need smart, intelligent people, which we basically are.

P.S: Please read this post of kaddu for further reading. She has summed up pretty correctly. Thanks kaddu.


ScarletTd1ar1es said...

hey. um i totally agree with u zb, the people r wrong, atleast some of them. but arent v being 2 lazy 2?
if sumthin needs 2 b done, it has 2 b a joint effort of a billion rather than a handful but then how do v get those hands on deck?

n as 4 being smart, we r educated yes, most of us atleast but not smart.

Kaddu said...

Loved it! The suggestions were totally cool and so, soooooo practical!

I would like to add 1 more point here... abt population control. Maybe we need to demand some new Act from the Govn. now, like China, to make it illegal to have more than 1 child. We can never curb poverty if the poor keep reproducing like mice! most females living at/below poverty line have 5 kids (4 of whom will be girls again!) by the time they are 30. Perhaps their eldest 2 daughters would have also had a baby each by then! Whereas in the educated population, u'll find this figure averaging to just 1 child by the age of 30. Ratio of 1:7 at least. How can we ever dream of beating these numbers without some really strict measures?

Dhanya said...

Then what’s wrong with India? I strongly believe it’s the People and the people alone. << Hear hear!

We ourselves are responsible for everything... including electing corrupt politicians!

Neha said...

loved the know, quite a few points that you have mentioned here, I have been including them while commenting on BK Chowla's posts, and on few other bloggers' is so very important that people learn to be aware about their responsibility towards nation...all we need is awareness, understanding our legal and constitutional rights, vote and vote sensibly, STOP GIVING BRIBE - this is the only way we can fight against corruption..

another very important thing - observation..whenever one is out, walking, travelling, or just waiting for somebody, one should observe things and ppl around..this can help in avoiding many incidences like 11/7 and 26/11...

thank u once again for this post ZB..

BK Chowla said...

I would say that our politicians have evolved a corrupt system which is vice strong and we,the people, are a bunch of silent spectators,spineless class and so self centred that the corrupt find it easy to walk away free.
Keep following Kodacase and you will agree with me in next few weeks.

Gymnast said...

I agree ZB.

And it should be absolutely mandatory that all proffesionals follow their code of conduct.

And corporates remember their social responsibility.

And like you said,

Individuals retain their civic sense.

The Panorama said...

I'll say I just agree with everyone here. However, I feel the problem is more complex than people just saying that ok I won't bribe/donate to get things done. I think the real problem is illetracy, poverty and over population. But you are right that it all starts with "oneself."
This is very good post, ZB.

Mustaf said...

*** Don't publish this comment***


I have lot to say on this, so will come back later & let you know my opinion. On vacation nowm, will back tomorrow :)

Few days back, I wrote a similar post when I tried to look into whether the diversity that India has is its problem or not, would like to know your opinion on that.

Mustaf said...


Finally got time to come back here:)

I would not agree that by writing blogs or writing about the negatives of India does much help, because we all know where the corruption happens, everyday we face many of them. So, if that does not wake us up, i doubt any blog would do that. The problem is as long as any problem does not affect us directly, we feel comfortable that why should we bothered.We are so self centered.

Now, I would not agree with that person with most of his/her opinions. But he/she deserves a bravo for at least admitting it publicly, I doubt how many of us do that, no matter whatever we write.

And I also don't like donations. I could not get admissions to one of the famous school in Kolkata for 12+, so one of my relative told me that we could get admission because he knew some secretory of some minister. I just said NO as soon as I heard because I just thought how would i face my other friends in that school where I know I did not deserve it but I was still there. And today, without studying there, I don't think I have lost anything. But frankly, I don't know what would I do when it comes to my children. Whoever is talented,excellent, would carve their way out. But the problems are with the mediocre. If I see a friend of my son (having the same caliber as my son has) getting admission to a good school because his father donated big money, what shall I do. I am yet to find an answer for that...