Friday, November 02, 2007

Does Anybody Really Care?

This is a thought that has been worrying me for a few days now. Read any newspaper, watch any TV channel, hear any conversation, and the talk is all around the Stock Exchange, monies being made, etc. Great that the economy is booming, and a lot of people are making a lot of money. But what about the condition of our country and a majority of its citizens who are not positively affected by these developments?

I get the sense that 'we - the English speaking, urban Indian' feels that when it comes to equitable distribution of wealth, it is the governments / societys job. But when it comes to personal wealth creation, the government should not interfere. I agree, we should be in control of creating our wealth, but shouldn't we also take the lead in ensuring that the lives of our countrymen are also improved? How can we wash off our responsibility towards this crucial aspect?

And I say crucial, because we are sitting on top of a ticking time bomb. How many of us pay attention to the increasing restlessness of our less empowered countrymen? Naxalism is on the increase in over 20 % of our countrys' districts, fueled by the apathy shown by everyone concerned to the plight of the rural poor. On top of that, we go on stealing the only asset the rural poor have, in the guise of 'development (SEZ)'? What kind of development is this where we steal land from the poor and give it to the rich?

How many of us know that there was a march from Gwalior to Delhi where this silent, suffering majority decided to finally express itself? Thankfully, this was a peaceful protest. But as Nandigram continues to tell us, it can quickly cascade into a violent inferno, charring anyone in its path, and singing those who chose to stay on the sidelines. It is time we put away our blinkers, and face the harsh reality out there. We cannot afford to turn a blind eye / ear for much longer. 'Bharat' will awake, and India better watch out.

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