Skip to main content

India 2050

elections 2009 india 2050Aah, it is that time of year again. When roads are laid, flyovers get completed, the garbage actually gets collected and storm drains get cleaned. Just what exactly is the magic that causes all of this to happen? No, it is not the road pixies or the garbage troll, it is the humble Election Fairy. That magical, mystical and maybe soon to be mythical creature that ensures we have a democracy, ostensibly of course. 

Quite apart from all the election perks that we get to enjoy, which ironically enough is what we rightly deserve throughout the year, these elections got me thinking. And before you ask - no the Apocalypse isn't just around the corner, this just happens to me sometimes. I try not to let it interfere with my life as I know it, but this is one of those times. So just bear with me all right!

Now what was I saying? Oh yeah, the elections got me thinking. Just for this achievement they deserve a medal, but I digress. With all the election posturing on TV and other media going on, this quote just popped into my head (another nasty habit of mine, says RS)
Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve. - George Bernard Shaw
So, I asked myself is this what we deserve? Politicians making hate speeches, pitting one group against the other on whatever flimsy grounds their fertile imagination can come up with, promising all the things that we do not want or need but just because it is what they think we need, oh and the list goes on. 

As if the divisions of religion, caste, class, sex, education et al that we had before weren't enough, they come up with new ones all the  time. Now we can look forward to hating each other on the lines of state, language, dress, why even on the basis of the urban vs. suburban vs. rural. Kind of makes me wonder, what next? Maybe the smart vs. the stupid, the honest vs. the dishonest (wait, don't we already have that in the form of the public vs. the political class?). I have full faith in my political leaders that they can come with even better ones or worse ones depending on how you look at it, of course.

If this is how far we have come in the last 50 odd years, I shudder to think what's in store for us in the next 50. Exactly at the time when we all need to work together in the face of innumerable global crises (environmental degradation, economic instability, water scarcity are a few that come to mind), we still continue to bicker like little children. 

Right from the international arena where we cannot even reach a conclusion on agricultural subsidies, within countries where states cannot share water resources peacefully, within states whose people want yet another state, to neighbors who cannot share a boundary wall without dispute, we still continue to view the world as a perpetual war of us vs. them. Never mind who falls within the ambit of us or them, because we need a them against whom we can define an us (just like god needed the devil).

To be continued...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Arranged Versus Love Marriage

This post originally appeared in Women's Web:  Arranged Versus Love Marriage: Here's Why Things Are Changing In 21st-century India, change is so rapid that we barely have time to get used to something before some new trend is on the horizon. And I'm not just talking about technology here. Whether it is human behavior, relationships, societal or cultural norms, Indian society – along with the rest of the world – today is hardly recognizable to my parents or their parents. It's not a surprise that the institution of marriage and the process of finding a life partner is also undergoing a metamorphosis. Perhaps this is one of the areas where the gap between generations is the most obvious. Almost every day, there is a TV show or media report or blog post talking about arranged vs. love marriages. So I figured I would present my take on it as well! Whenever anyone talks about arranged versus love marriages - I don't know why they are always portrayed as opposing

Why Don’t We Raise Our Sons like We Do Our Daughters?

This post originally appeard in Women's Web: Why Don’t We Raise Our Sons like We Do Our Daughters? One of the hot button topics right now in Indian media is the safety of women – or rather how our country doesn't really care about half its population. From rape, sexual assault, harassment (in streets, public transport, nearly every public place) to violence perpetrated on women, Indians are finally getting around to discussing taboo topics. One refrain that caught my eye throughout these debates – both online and off – is the fact that the reaction of the majority of Indians is the same: girls should stay at home, not go out after dark, dress appropriately and so on if they want to stay safe. No one seems to bat an eyelid when laying down these precautions for women. Except that the reality is women would be far safer if all the men simply DID NOT RAPE or HARASS any person that looks remotely female. No one has to stay at home and become a hermit! That got me th

Education and Learning

Fourteen years of school. Three - four years of undergraduate college. Two years for a graduate degree. Start working or making babies. Sound familiar? It should, it’s what the majority of lives in this country look like. Ten years ago, I was headed down the same street. Engineering, MBA and then on to a fat pay check, like countless other teenagers, products of a system seemingly obsessed with stability and an extreme aversion to risk and failure. While I did end up getting 2 degrees and the pay check (with a stable, GOI company no less!) I also realized I hated it. Going to work from 9 to 7, doing the same endless, mind numbing, repetitive tasks, sitting in the same chair for ten odd years before getting promoted and dodging responsibility in order to retire with a pension suddenly seemed a lot less attractive when I was looking at it from the wrong end of 35 years! And history shall say I quit. But now what? I did what any sane person without a job and all the time in the w