You might wonder what has “Vadra, Kanimozhi, Supriya, Jagan” & “Desire of Indians to please the Gods” got in common. I say pretty much everything.
Talk to Indian middle class and you get a feeling of India being a very rich country with the greatest culture. The current state of affairs is only because of the British and the corrupt politicians. That is the most simplistic analysis of the problem.
The one question we should all be asking is how is the likes of Vadra, Kanimozhi, Marans, Supriya Sule, Jagan, Badals, Yadavs, Thackerey etc able to get rich quicker than rest of the Indians. The obvious answer is corruption. But is it that they created the evil schemes of how to make themselves richer? The answer to that question will in most cases be a big no.
Imagine the scenario. Vadra tells one of Congress members in Haryana that he intends to set up some business in the state. The congressman in the eagerness to please Madam and her family will go out his way to bend the rules for Vadra, who doesnt even know how many applications were made, how many got approved, how many rules were broken. The congressmen will do everything for him. They will force the govt officials to expedite the approval. Its the eagerness by common men to please the godess at 10 Janpath which makes it so easy for Vadra to indulge in this sort of corruption. Without absolving Vadra, I will say that the main culprit is the people who are willing to do it for him.
Look back at history and we see it was the same attitude which helps the British with few thousand soldiers to conquer India. The damage wasnt done by them but we Indians did most of the damage. Some of our forefathers were happy to go the extra mile to make the British welcome in India.
In my previous post, I wrote about taking “pride” in how my parents always left our temporary houses cleaner than how we got into it. I had to take a second look at it on whether “pride” was the right word.
I hate the idea about taking pride or being proud at something to which you have made no contribution. Being proud of your country when one of the following happens irks me
- India wins a cricket match
- Sachin hits a century
- American of Indian origin wins some spelling contest
- Some Indian spiritual junkie gets followed by a celebrity
- Modi utters something outright stupid
- Some research finds that turmeric has some antibiotic property
- Damn the list goes on and on …
The question is what is pride and when should you have it. Pride is basically a feeling on content at achieving something for which you had to struggle. No pride in earning shitloads of money in lottery. But if you work your way into it, take pride in it. No issues with it.
One of the things about growing up in India in the 80s and 90s as a kid of central government employee is moving to new places every 2-3 years. Most of the time, we would live in government owned accommodation also known as quarters.
My parents were very conscious of cleanliness. I take great pride in the fact that the condition and cleanliness of the houses were much better when we left compared to how we got it. Truth is I hated it then as I had to do my share of cleaning when we moved to a new house. The thought of going to new house is normally a dreaded one because of the cleaning involved. The first few days would involve cleaning everything from toilets, sinks, bathrooms, balconies, windows, doors, switches and what not.
Many people when they vacate, leave their rubbish because of some kind of weird belief in “Lakshmi”. You go to a new town/city travelling with all your possessions, reach there all tired, get keys to new house and open it. I cant describe the sinking feeling when you see it is filthy and full of rubbish. We were immediately expected to forget all the tiredness and start cleaning atleast one room to make it liveable. We would spend the next few weeks cleaning it to meet the standards set by my parents.
When we vacated the place, we would leave it absolutely clean with one small bag of rubbish well packed so as to not hurt the religious sentiments of the person next moving in.
One incident reminds me of the mentality of fellow countrymen towards cleaning. Dad was once posted in the North East and we moved to new quarters. After cleaning the house, my dad would normally clean the land around the house. This was a complex with around 16 apartments but not once person would come to help him. I would feel embarrassed seeing him do that. After cleaning the bushes, he decided to make a badminton court. That involved cutting the bushes, getting ground ready, getting iron pole, net etc. People would stand in their balconies and stare down at us while we worked. Not one person would come to help. FInally we got the court ready. Me and my dad would play there. My mom and little sister would play “ring”. A rubber ring which you threw across.
Slowly people started coming out and joining us to play. But still nobody would take an effort to keep it clean. Then we had the first set of people who helped us maintain the place. Slowly most people came around to helping us. The demand for the court grew to such extent that people came together to make another 2 courts, this time with very little effort from my dad. I am sure he enjoyed the moment. After 2 years we left the place. I dont know what happened to it. But I hope people continued to do so.