"Idealism is what precedes experience, cynicism is what follows"I am going to tell a story about how I became a cynic from an idealist. Now, the fact that we have a bad government is nothing new. So, when I came to know that Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, an honest IAS officer is going to start a new party, I became overjoyed. I was so excited that finally, after years of waiting, a credible, honest and knowledgeable person was coming into politics. His policies seemed so sound, so coherent that I started rallying behind him with posts cheering him here. Little did I know that I was setting up myself for bitter disappointment. As the results of the general elections 2009 were declared, all my hopes of a good government crashed. I was down but not out. Why - Because in Lok Sabha elections, the number of educated people who vote is very less. So I thought if educated people really voted and more people are educated about the policies of Lok Satta, then surely we will have a good government. That is why I was even more excited when there was a call for Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections. The percentage of educated people will be more in Hyderabad city. Moreover, Lok Satta launched a unique campaign in the elections, saying that they will pay fine to the people if they didn't resolve people's complaints within a posted resolution time. With this I thought they will surely win in the elections. And when the results were announced how many Loksatta candidates do you think won? Zero, nil, zich, no one...!!!! And that is when I became a cynic... If people fail to know what is right and what is wrong and when there is a chance for change also they will not utilize, then I didn't know how change can come...
And for a long time, I remained a cynic, convinced that no good change will come. The IPL fiasco, the CWG corruption only confirmed and made me more of a cynic regarding politics. Do you think I am peddling cynicism? No - and even I don't want to remain a cynic, but I didn't find a single hopeful thing to cling to then... But some things were happening around that again sort of gave me hope that all is not lost. So I am here not to make all of you cynics, but to show you rays of hope and ask you to reflect that.
The first thing that caught my attention was the website done by an NGO called Janaagraha, called http://ipaidabribe.com. Being a cynic, I was not at all convinced what change could a site like that where people who gave bribes were sharing their plight could change. Though I supported it whole heartedly, I was not hopeful of it changing anything. But I was pleasantly surprised by the success of the campaign. People started taking it seriously. One woman threatened a doctor who asked for bribe saying she will post his name in ipaidabribe.com and he backed down. More heartful news is that a transport commissioner gave show cause notices to twenty of the traffic commissioners whose name had surfaced in compliants on IPAB.
The second thing which showed that people are thinking about the problems and people are thinking of doing something when I heard the speech of Siddharth at TIE Connect 2009.
Though the speech was given in 2009, I saw it recently and was really impressed by the solutions he proposes.He talked about lot of things like the smaller attention span of our generation, the lack of ability of any person to make a difference, the lack of records of facts but what really hit me was the fact that we need to glamorize good government. We are in a time when it is very difficult to concentrate on one thing. We hve constants interruptions with twitter, facebook etc. So we have an attention deficit. Thats why we tend to forget quickly.Hence we need to keep the discussion going and keep this always in front of the people. The fact that people are talking about it and thinking of solutions makes me hopeful. And as he said media is wasting a golden opportunity by not taking the chance to lead from front for this.
And this brings me to the next thing that makes me hopeful of that. I saw someone implementing a suggestions given by Siddharth, one person using his glamour and influence to talk about problems facing India and how government is responsible for that which automatically leads to selection of better politicians. SS Rajamouli is a movie director who hasn't given an flop in the industry. And thats why he is the director with the most craze in the industry. When he talks about something, people in AP listen. And he is utilizing his influence and craze to talk about problems facing India and discussing the solutions for them. It is a program called 'Come On India' in Telugu. The links are here if you would like to watch it. In this episode he talks about the healthcare system in India. It is a fact that if we get any health problems in India, government hospitals are hopeless and private hospitals attach unknown diseases to us to get as much money as possible. So it is a very important issue. He talks about the better systems all around the world and what changes are required for improving the situation in our country and responsibility of everyone involved, the government, the doctors and citizens. I am sure whoever has watched it has understood how better it could be and how can we get that.
With all these changes happening around us, it is not difficult to be hopeful of better days isn't it. So will it magically happen? No, there is more responsibility on us to spread the awareness, talk about issues and take a strong stand wherever required. So however you can, facebook, twitter, blogs, movies, videos, short films, tv programmers whatever you want to make, whatever discussions you want to have, keep the discussions going and spread the word, I am sure, we will live to see days with better governments and a happier and developed India. Jai Hind.
PS Thanks to friends Saandeep, Bikram and wisedonkey for keeping the discussions going.