IMPOTENCE - a mild word.

I start getting this eerie feeling again.
Anger is rising around me as the memory of our defeat at the hands of 10 terrorists surfaces in everybody's mind because the 1st Anniversary of the dreaded day last year is right here.
The Liberhan Report is leaked to certain sections of the media and all politicians on both sides do is to capitalize on the situation. The BJP going to the extent through media to make the Hindu sentiment rise again.
Images of the Rath Yatra and then the demolition of the Babri Masjid eighteen years ago flash in the mind and TV screens to fuel angst further and remind us of how impotent we are.
My friend Soni and I talk about a collective consciousness which is the need of the hour and then realize hopelessly that even the consciousness of Indians is divided, so fragmented that it is an impossibility to acheive a uniform approach in present times.
Meanwhile parts of India burn as bi elections come close in places where development is as remote as they are, and another kind of terrorism which threatens to break the nations back is slowly rising.
Whether it is imperialism we fear, or something else which I don't know, prosperity is elusive to this part of the world and it is heartbreaking that we are unable to get a handle on it, despite everything going in our favour since our Independence in 1947.
I remember last year, in the first week of December, a few of us, enraged like the rest in India, got into our cars, collected at the Gateway of India one very early morning, and left by road for New Delhi, to meet the Prime Minister of India, amidst much media and peoples support.
We were in three cars and had collected enough support and funds to take on the journey through states, cities, townships and villages to reach the house of the Prime Minister and meet him to give him a memorandum which made certain demands that the whole of India was crying out loud for.
While we got tremendous support from whichever place we went past, nobody joined our cavalcade as we had hoped, but wished us the very best for our effort.
We reached Jantar Mantar in New Delhi three days later around 3 pm, and were dwarfed by an entire media and huge numbers of supporters who were waiting for us and completely in support of our venture.
Before we took on the march to the PM's house, which is a 10 minutes walk from where we were, we were met by a bunch of officials from the PM's office who told us that they would like to take us to meet the Prime Minister and that only two or three of us could accompany them.
Making a flash decision, Alyque Padamsee, Aroona Bhat, one of the chief organizers with me, and myself, hopped into the vehicle shown to us by the officials, and found ourselves at first being taken for a 20 minute joy ride around the Rastrapati Bhawan and all.
Then when we asked them what was up, they took us to the PM's residence, where we were told by the security that we could leave our phone numbers at the gate and await a call from the office of the Prime Minister which would give us an appointment in a day or two, as he, himself, was in Srinagar at the time.
We were in state of shock.
Like lightning, the officials who had taken us to the residence of the Prime Minister of India, had dissapeared and the driver of the jeep which had carted us there, offered to drop us back from where he had brought us.
Another 40 minutes later when we got back to Jantar Mantar, where the rest of our gang and supporters were waiting for us on that cold winter evening, the crowds had waned and the media which was wanting to hear from us what had happened, was completely dissapointed, therefore dispersed.
Pratham, Priyanka, Asim, Junaid, Arco, Dev, Nutan, Suryaveer, Aroona and I as well as Alyque were stunned to silence. Left all alone within minutes as it started to turn cold and dark, we now had to figure out what to do next.
We had been had.
Some wanted to carry out a dharna until the PM met us, but some of us felt otherwise, as we had achieved our purpose, grabbed enough eyeballs for our mission and message, and understood that while we were on the road between Mumbai and Delhi, Rahul Gandhi and other young parliamentarians had taken centrestage and demanded action and reforms that the memorandum we were carrying to present to the PM also carried, and had impressed the country with their sincerity and resolve to lead India to modern times.

Were they just words?
There is no change visible in sight.
Things are only worse than they were, although we can see massive efforts to bring them under control which seem to be getting nowhere.
Security placed outside the Taj Hotel in Mumbai which was one of the places attacked and under seige for 60 hours that terrible time one year ago, is discovered squatting at the Gateway of India because the Police Administration hasn't thought about where to put up the Jawans hired by them.
So much for Police reforms.
The bullet proof jacket of Karkare is still missing and authorities are tight lipped about how and where such an important clue has dissappeared. Moreover, the file pertaining to the purchase of the jackets for those men who are to guard us, is also missing since then.
So much for weeding out corruption.
When asked by Barkha Dutt on her show last night, what he had to say about the squatters at Gateway of India, Ashok Chavan, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, was scary when he said that a big issue must not be made of such a small incident as authorities had now taken care of things.
So much for accountability.
YP Singh, the ex Chief Commissioner of Mumbai went hysterical on the same show saying that we are just lucky that there hasn't been another attack on us because the terrorists are too busy taking care of their backyard, not because our systems and security have improved or are in place.
So much for promises of advanced security systems.
UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Bengal, Assam, Orrisa and Andhra Pradesh are in turmoil and there is no solution in sight except for announcements of offensives against internal terrorism, which is obviously going to consume the lives of thousands of innocents without actually solving their problems for which they'll have unknowingly sacrificed their lives.
So much for the delivery and implementation of policy and services.
There are multitudes of people, millions in numbers, to whom education, health care and other basic rights are not even a dream.
I know the arguement for this is that we should look at the flip side and focus on what has been done instead of what has not been done, but it is unfortunate that while there is so much hard work, toil and exhaustive efforts being made to improve the quality of life in our country, problems seem to be compounding because of the fragmentation of intent and politcization of almost everything.
While the most important proceedings in the country, the case against Kasab, the lone captive, one of the horrific 10, goes on and makes him the clown in the circus cracking jokes to make us laugh, I say, so much for fast track judiciary!!!
And 17 years later, the most awaited report, the Liberhan Report, supposed to bring closure to the darkest phase India went through post independence, a politics which threatened to divide people worse than what the partition had done in 1947, gets leaked to a section of the press instead of getting tabled in Parliament. Finally when presented there is nothing but names of people who can be accused, because 18 years post the demolition of the Babri Masjid, there is still no way that those responsible for bringing India down to its knees in front of the world, will be made to pay for it.
So much for trust of the system we are governed by.


Anonymous said…
you seem to be a proactive person so why let a minor set back hamper your progress. who said this was easy? there is a degree of progress in reforms but perhaps not as much as we'd like to see. small steps. thats all one can ask for. if u let frustration get the better of you then all u will do is be bitter. to be proactive means u have to be positive too. You are already sounding defeatist.