Thou art fake!


OCCASSIONALLY an Indian, the common man version that is, makes a come-back in an otherwise ungrateful nation devoid of a conscience bestowed to it by Gandhis, Nehrus and Patels. However, this sweaty, brown-skinned, generally tired and mostly lazy conscience does not wait for the introspection to sink in. Before that a monster snatches the innocence out of a passion away and steals the truth. The cunningness seeps faster than the innocent retaliation. And before the common man realises himself, he is out on streets to flaunt the realization.
When the nation is not watching an India Pakistan match, the conscience banks on a Rang De Basanti to awaken patriotism. It manages to inspire a few protests, led by college going guys who are out to vent their frustration on every other human since they can’t do it on their own parents who have subjected them to engineering or medical studies without their consent. At this point, they don’t realize they are being the same kind of people who they are fighting against. Like the system-drivers, they do have a personal agenda, a personal frustration that is in a desperate need of a public expression. Riding bikes, carrying hand-made posters, shouting, lighting a candle is so glamourous. They feel like they are part of a Rang De Basanti themselves. Back home, they will watch another such flick, smoke, booze, cheat in exams, break a fee challaan queue, shop in a fashionable mall, break rules, disrespect authority, flunk a traffic signal, bribe a policeman, lie to their father about grades, criticize the education system for being so theoretical while copying-pasting an assignment. Life as usual. Hidden from public glare, meaningless and routine. Nothing changes here because it doesn’t show here. Their blood shall rot in their body till the next RDB or an India-Pak match.
Do we remember the current status of the Lokpal Bill? If yes, are we not angry? Don’t we want to protest on streets again for its faster implementation? When was the last time we read about Anna Hazaare lately? Do we care that this man who inspired us to speak up against corruption is left alone afterall? His voice has been silenced, and we had a part to play because we didn’t embrace the spirit of anti-corruption. We just flaunted the idea on Facebook and Twitter. We just came out on streets with empty ideals, mostly borrowed from some recently read articles, news watched or a speech heard. We lit a candle and forgot all about it. Ironically even while lighting that candle, we failed to light up our heart with a self-determination of ‘doing’ against corruption.
Lokpal Bill is way far from the thoughts of most Indians at the moment. There is Satyamev Jayate to give voice to their sleeping conscience. It’s also turning out to be a good distraction. Every Sunday, there’s a new issue to move us. By the time it ends, we will have 13 different issues to think about. Unless we have expressed or suffered personally over any of them, we will keep getting confused on the priority of these issues. Granted that the show has managed to show us our true faces. Our real faces beneath a non-residential Indian, a doctor, a lawyer, an educated elite and so on. But the show has done that. Why didn’t it occur to us before that? Why didn’t it move us enough while we read these very stories in the newspapers every day?
IPL. What timing! For an Indian, cricket is like opium. At the cost of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, one often wonders if the government promoted IPL just to drug us so we are distracted every now and then from the real issues that are plaguing the nation including corruption, non-licensed medical practitioners, female foeticide, dowry deaths and so on. But guess what! The government also doesn’t need such a big conspiracy afterall. Despite the Lalit Modi scandal still fresh in our memories and new and more shameful scandals adding in this year, the very youth who often love to come out for protests on streets, pay for IPL tickets and are hooked to it regardless of what is going on at the moment in the Parliament. The government still shies away from legalizing cricket betting while the nation keeps tweeting about it as it is most convenient.
Implementation of an intention comes rarely to the Indian in us. We are fake because we need a motion picture or a television show to inspire us, not a real-life corruption experience. We are fake because getting to the office on time despite that we woke up late is a far bigger issue to us than waiting for the red light to go green. We are fake because while we appreciate ‘o ri chiraiyya’ with our teary-eyed family, we still advise our colleague to get an abortion since she wants to have a balanced family of a boy and a girl. We are fake because we read a report of racism inflicted on Indians in Australia with blood boiling in our veins but don’t mind cursing Pakistani players on their race. We are fake because we still would not bat an eye while bribing a government babu while getting a piece of land registered in our names. We are fake because after having criticized the education system for one full year, we would still cheat in the exams. We are fake because despite criticizing the hiked petrol prices, it wouldn’t prick our conscience to steal electricity from a public pole during a family function. We are fake because even after lamenting on a dowry death, we would still flaunt our social status by gifting a car to our son-in-law. We are fake because despite despising politicians for misusing power, we would fire bullets in air during a marriage function just to show off our own wealth. We are fake because we didn’t break rules after following them. We are fake because we never respected the government before disrespecting it. We are fake because we are lured by a superficial patriotism that needs audio-visual media to awaken. We are fake because we never analyzed our duties before reviewing our rights.

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