Sunday, December 07, 2008

Why India is angry today?

Most corridor-conversations in recent weeks revolve around the recent Bombay terror attacks. Old-timers talk about the lack of resolve in the political world. The US is putting pressure on Pakistan. World opinion stacks up against the terrorists who arbitrated this henious crime. The whole country is furious. And about time too.

Never before in the history of the country has there been such public outcry against the politicians. These people in positions of power, running policy matters and saving their own fiefdom have never been bombarded by the wrath of public opinion. People hate politicians. People are asking answers from the powers-that-be. People in India are demanding accountability. There are public marches being staged in the heart of Mumbai city with people telling politicians never to come to Bombay city ever again. Indians are questioning politicians about where the tax money eventually goes? People are asking politicians about the merit of their z-security.

Adding fuel to fire, is the ridiculous and insensitive remarks made by the politicians. Some nerds had the nerve to say, "these sorts of bomb attacks happen in big cities". Good thing is, he was fired from his exalted position of Deputy Chief Minister & State Home Minister of Maharashtra, the next day. Another politician, a Chief Minister of a state at that, had the gall to tell the father of a martyr, who laid down his life in the fight against terror, that "even a dog would not come to your house". Good thing is, this Chief Minister faced public wrath and was summarily dismissed from the residence of the martyr's residence; hope he is fired soon, as well.

In all this, people are asking questions and taking things into their own hands. The phenomenal success of www.jaagore.com makes a lot more sense in the current times of terror. There are scores of people-driven initiatives happening in the country, such as assembling people in different localities together, getting things such as car pooling to beat traffic congestion and so on. Things which the politicians are supposed to provide the average citizen of India, is now slowly getting away from them, as poeple are taking things into their own hands.

Jaago India, jaago, indeed. To hell with politicians. I am more than confident that the Indian public is going to summarily screw political careers built over many decades, in the democratic elections in March 2009. What is refreshing in these times is that the new crop of politicians - the educated, well-travelled, forward-looking and extremely global set of intellectuals - are talking about a revolt against their seniors. Maybe, just maybe, these are the kinds of politicians that the youth of India will work for. And throw away the forts built by the 70 and 80 year olds, who can barely make a contribution anymore to the country.

There is hope, in this crisis too.

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