They say its who we are that shapes where we are as a people. That every time we take decisions as a population, we determine the depth of the ditch or the height of the mountain we land ourselves at. I'm saying - wait a minute. Aren't we jumping the gun here, just a wee little bit?
Take the Commonwealth Games, for example. One moment we totally despise the idea of CWG 2010 happening in India, what with all the 'corruption, bad organisation, terrorist threats, potential to damage the country's reputation' baggage that it comes with - the country held the CWG as an embarrassment. So much so that CWG became a 'Trending Topic' on Twitter, Facebook, Google and myriad other popular formats of self-expression on public fora, only because there were those many people abusing the organizers. The very next - we were witness to a magnanimous Aerostat rise over a mammoth JNL Stadium, and suddenly Twitterati was totally tranformed in their opinion. CWG 2010 was still a trending topic, but because everybody wanted to 'right' their wrongs. CWG 2010 suddenly inspired 'National Pride', whatever that is.
VVS Laxman - I think he will call his autobiography 'Wagging With the Tail'. If you're a cricket fan, I'm sure you get my drift. The old warhorse has seen and heard the worst there is to hear about his cricket - he's been in the bad books of people more times than the number of legs on a millipede. But a match-winning, nail-biting innings later - suddenly everybody thinks he is 'Very Very Special'! Bollocks! Wait for the next time he scores a duck, and THEN let me know what you think.
What I'm driving at is, if there's one word to describe us as a nation - it ought to be 'FICKLE'. Unfortunately, fickle doesn't work in politics. If you thought Kalmadi was a great guy because he distributed food for free to the poor in your locality prior to elections, think again! If you thought your local MP would be the guy that would make a difference because of the one time he eloquently waxed on in your neighborhood, look around you - think again. The fact of the matter is, we as a people are so fickle, that we have no real clue of who it really is that we're voting for. Do a survey, and I'm confident 95% or more of the voting populace knows nothing about the manifesto or working principles of the party they voted for.
Oh, don't look outside for a solution; don't find a person to point the finger at. Kalmadi is your fault, he is my fault. It isn't really that unnatural to him to be corrupt. Its just our problem that we didn't do our research on him when it counted. That we never really knew the guy we pushed that button for. That all that waiting in queue for the blue mark on your finger - it was all one big waste. All you did was be a part of a huge, orchestrated national crime. And well, you've dug your grave deep enough right about now - INR 70,000 crore deep.
Its time we forced our politicians to come clean - to show us real change - to go farther than a 'Blueprint for Change'. Lets see some effective ground level work. Lets see some political accountability. Lets see some transparent feedback mechanisms in place. Lets see the public get informed first, and make a sensible decision based on fact, not fantasy. Lets see a government own up to its inadequacies, and look to the public for solutions. Lets see an 'informed democracy'.
And no, it does NOT start with the politicians - it starts with you and me. Lets ask some tough questions. Lets force the media to emulate what we do. Lets force the government to do what it was elected to do - or step aside to let more competent people do the work. And God only knows what a billion people, intent on an objective can do then. The Americas of the world can say goodbye to stardom, and hello to mutual respect then.
Lets make India a better place! Change, like charity, begins at home. Yours, Mine!