Why Common Sense Is Not So Common

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The question, “Why Indians are so unconcerned/not bothered about the real issues which affect our day to day lives” has been pricking me since long. Indus valley civilization made philosophical, spiritual and intellectual ad­vances when others were living a barbaric life, fighting and killing each other. We be­came the torch bearers for the rest of the world by showing them the path of Satya, Ahimsa, Tolerance and Peace. Other im­portant point to consider here is that civi­lizations are not only made up of the kings or rulers but by its people too that play im­portant role in it. We survived all invasions and attacks through our tolerant and peace­ful ways of life.

As the time passed, and market econo­my took over the political and philosophi­cal basis of nation, a gradual decay in socio-political and moral fabric of India became a horrid reality. Market began dominat­ing the lives, open and naked competition turned non-violent people into rabid liars, who are ready to deceive, humiliate, steal or murder for petty benefits. Ideals of Satya, Ahimsa, Tolerance and Peace were shattered by market economy and never ending lust for material things.

The worldly desires took over the spiritual ones, the seekers of knowledge turned into gold diggers, and truth turned into an unwanted disturbing phenomenon. A rat race started where the aim was to earn as much as profit as one can, by us­ing all means. The civilization which was renowned for intellectual and spiritual pursuits gradually turned into buyers and sellers. Undermining the merit and elevat­ing fake and unqualified people for the posi­tions they do not deserve has strengthened the culture of sycophancy. These are the people who have failed to achieve status and honor due to their lack of competitive skills, are immoral to the core and are ready to go to any extreme to earn petty favors. Such people surround the elite, work as me­diators between the ruler and the ruled and make them believe that everything is great.

The idea of democracy which we are proud of and claim to be world’s largest democracy is going downwards. Demo­cratic institutions that depend on rational free will for survival have become an op­portunity to provide small time benefits to the stake holders. The tragic truth about it these days is that its Messiahs are too keen to wage war for its protection but not its practice. They cry their lungs out for the protection of Muslim women’s rights but remain silent when it comes to the rights of 51% of total population. They shout protec­tion for minorities in Pakistan but remain numb when it comes to atrocities taking place in the name of religion in India.

Veritable enforcement of the idea of na­tionalism in place of patriotism and daily declaration of list of anti-national citizens has put the question mark on the idea of de­mocracy itself. The ruling elite have psychol­ogy of a confused child, intolerant towards dissent, touchy about humor, and wanting to win at all cost. The new normal is being created by using non parliamentary lan­guage, creating factoids, calling opposition anti-national, making fun of counterparts, criticizing past rulers and trying to change the historical narratives to suit their cause.

Instead of performing or fulfilling their promises, elite is busy blaming their coun­terparts. Nobody is allowed to question the powerful or utter even the valid questions. Empty sermons of equality, democracy and rights are floating in the polluted air of our country. With every passing day, Demo­cratic institutions and movements are suc­cumbing as ruling party is mistaken for the government, the government for the state and the state for the leader. Time has come when Democracy needs protection from its prophets. The prophets of democracy are ignorant about the following issues but are concerned about non-issues.

The World Bank estimates that India is one of the highest-ranking countries in the world for the number of children (48.2 million) equiva­lent to Colombia’s population, suffer from malnutrition.

On the Global Hunger Index India is on place 67 among the 80 nations having the worst hunger situation, which is worse than nations such as North Korea or Sudan. 25% of all hun­gry people worldwide live in India.

The World Bank, in 2011 based on 2005’s PPPs International Comparison Program, estimat­ed about 276 million Indian people, live below 20 rupees per day.

Nearly half of India’s 1.2 billion people have no toi­let at home, according to the latest census data.

India, one of the leading countries in Asia has a whopping 33 million children employed in various forms of child labor. Not even safe in orphanages.

“Unemployment in India is projected to in­crease from 17.7 million last year to 17.8 million in 2017 and 18 million next year.

What happens to the taxes you pay to the governments to get services?

Why am I paying 53 rupees tax for a liter of petrol?

Why am I going to private hospital, why don’t we have access to health care in government hospitals?

Why should I send our kids to expensive pri­vate schools, what is the problem with the government schools?

Why our roads so damaged, and, not con­structed for decades?

Why don’t we have access to pure drinking water?

Why don’t we have access to 24 hours electricity?

Why our women are unsafe in own cities and villages?

Why don’t I get a confirm train ticket even af­ter paying full fare?

Why don’t we get a file signed in a government office without paying bribe?

We neither see our politicians (ruling and opposition both) debating on these is­sues nor do we see citizens react on them. These are the same people whose ances­tors were learned people and ruled the world through intellect. Politics has always played a major role in shaping the society and has been the harbinger of the changes. It commands our way of lives, standards of living, manipulates the thought process and the way people think.

From colonialism to modernization to post truth era, human kind is made to be­have in a way which pleases the elite. The existence of masses in today’s scenario is nothing more than that of a vote bank, who by voting them keeps on providing the le­gitimacy to be a decision maker. Anthony Giddens expresses: “What to do? How to act? Who to be? These are focal questions for everyone living in circumstances of late modernity – and ones which, on some level or another, all of us answer, either discur­sively or through day to-day social behav­ior” (Giddens 1991: 70)

At the end of the day people want bet­ter lives, job, dignity, rights and freedom which they are not getting, and it is ironical that we hardly see anybody coming out on streets and reacting. Common man is more concerned about religious or caste based identities rather than their identity as an Indian. It’s almost like everything is being partitioned again: history, heroes, food, lan­guage and even love. It is high time we as citizens of this country must stand up and start asking relevant questions to political elite, media, institutions, administration and to ourselves. The issues which we are fighting indirect wars, are having hatred towards our fellow countrymen is worth or not? Rather than having a scientific temper we are running after clouds and fighting in the name of religion.

The Article First Appeared In Caravan Daily

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