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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Time for Change is here


Everyone strives to live life on his own terms but is forced by circumstances to pick an opinion that is least detrimental to his comfort. Upheavals in life are as uncomfortable as is a daily ride on a bumpy road! One would choose a hovercraft instead of a car and wouldn’t be blamed for it.

People work more towards maintaining the status quo of ‘harmony’ and less towards trying to get to the bottom of the problem that makes them miserable. More often than not our priorities at any given moment define our reaction to an event. Does that make us a hypocrite?  Oh no, not the least.  We cannot practice everything we preach every single time. We humans do let prudence rule over emotions most of the time. We may believe in many things that are right but self preservation makes us do just the opposite when our interests are at stake.

It is not easy to stand up and protest against injustice, and if you do, chances are that you become the person who is accused of disturbing the harmony of the family/society.

To stand up and protest needs character.  It needs a firm conviction that tells you that you will settle for nothing less. It needs tremendous belief to work towards an end seen only by you. It could lead to an upheaval in the routine of life that we wrap around ourselves like a security blanket. Are you up to it? Most aren’t, I guess!

“We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history.” said Sonia Johnson, an American feminist activist. We have a great movement going on in India. A small group of activists, who have a vision of a corruption free India, are fighting a battle that has been aptly called ‘The Second Freedom Struggle’.

“Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict” says Saul Alinsky. This movement promises upheaval of giant proportions in lives of all Indians for we have got used to paying bribes and taking them too. A kickback to us Indians is just a kickback; we don’t care unless it’s our back that is being kicked! All this has to change. Old habits are hard to break but broken they must be. The giver of bribes is as much to be blamed as the taker. A giver prefers to go on with his life as if nothing else matters but his smooth movement through shark infected waters where feeding the sharks is the only way he moves on unhindered. It has become a game, and one-upmanship the only means up the social ladder. Where have all the morals gone? Has success and money become the only goal?

In my interactions with those around me, it has dawned on me that people perceive those who are not world-wise in the art of ‘give ‘n’ take’ as simpletons; and those who do, savvy role-models. The hype around politicians, businessmen, God-men and government employees, even though everyone knows them to be dishonest, is downright shameful. Have we become a nation that has forgotten to speak up against evil? This has to change for sure.

The change has to begin at home, in classrooms, on the streets and in the marketplace. The patriarchal hierarchy and the boss-chaila pseudo-mannerisms have eaten into our cultural behaviour so much so that people are wary of speaking their minds.

Children should be taught to stand up for what they believe, to speak-out without fear in front of people. Indian culture, with its emphasis on respect for those older, stronger or richer, has ingrained in most of us the etiquettes of a ‘nodding yes minister’. We appreciate a smart talking toddler but fall short of acknowledging a teenager with a mind of her/his own. We fail to see that a creative mind has a need to break free from the ‘rules for harmony’ society has set for itself.

We adults need to grow up. We need to grow with the times. We need to grow up for our children so that India of the future is full of dynamic freethinking assertive sensitive humane Indians, and not merely a collection of citizen who know how to follow instructions.

Time for Change is here whether you like it or not.


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7 COMMENTS:

Saras said...

So very true. We need a complete change. The values have deteriorated so much a complete turnaround is what is required.The best way is to begin from the younger minds.

S.R.Ayyangar said...

It takes hell of guts to stand up against wrong and more difficult to sustain it.
Hazare is there but where is Baba Ramdeo now? That makes the difference.

♥ Braja said...

Tried to click on your other blog, Nalini, and it says I don't have permission....!

Nalini Hebbar said...

Braja...it works now:)

Saras and Ayyangar...we do have a duty as members of the blogosphere to spread the message and reach out to as many people as we can
Baba Ramdev was a BJP propup...though I don't like what he and BJP stand for I think the cause is what we all need to fight for.

My Soul's Journey said...

I do agree with ur every single line. A very good read it was :)

Saras said...

Nalini, please read my post http://saraswathan.blogspot.com/2011/06/corruption.html. First step is for us to decide not to be a part of this pernicious evil in any way.

Puneetkumar Pattar said...

Hi, good to see your blog & your interest in the nation, politics & issues like corruption. I had been to Freedom Park, Bangalore to support the Anna Hazare team recently. I have shared my experience on my blog http://puneet3210.blogspot.com/2011/08/anna-hazare-freedom-park-bangalore.html . Do have a look. The same is shared on IndiBlogger also at http://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=72809 :) Puneet