Sunday, November 30, 2008

Barkha Dutt hosted a talk show last night in which the Mumbaikars got together for a debate on the aftermath of 26/11. There were those who survived the terror strikes. And those who lost somebody they knew. The mood was angry as it should be. People are just not willing to sweep this incident under the rug anymore. They have faced enough and are not willing to make anymore sacrifices. The politicians have been patronising the citizens of India for too long. They have manipulated the public to dance to their tunes. Taken them for granted. Fooled them with false promises and sugar coated tongues. Thrown morsels at them after promising them heaven. And we let them rape us. And kept quiet. We were too busy to stand up against them. The problem of the person next door was not our problem. Its time we united. The problem of every and any citizen of India is Our collective problem. Just by electing a government to power doesn't absolve us from our responsibility. We have the power to create them, and the power to make the machinery perform. We have the power to bring them down when they have failed us. We have the power to be the change that we seek.
To ensure that such an incident does not happen again in this country we have to address it from two sides. One, if there is a problem do everything in your power to limit the damage. Have better security, educate common people, make our cities more secure and safe.
The other thing and the most important is to PREVENT such an incident from taking place.
1) India needs to send a strong message to the world that we will not tolerate terrorism on our soil. Trying to establish ourselves as a peace loving non violent nation should not be to the extent of projecting ourselves as a soft nation. If war is not a solution, then who is preventing us from going after the terror networks and their established sites. When America went after the Al Quaida it became a US problem. WE preferred to not get our hands dirty. We preferred to sit on the diplomatic fence. WE didn't want to stir the hornets nest. But we still got stung. WE have been getting stung for too long. And other than shouting foul we did nothing and exposed our weakness and vulnerablilty to the terror mongers. Like the nerd that was too weak to fight back we cried when we got bullied. Lets stop playing the role of a friendly neighbourhood hero. No one is standing and applauding our stand. Play the game fair by all means but don't get beaten by twisted rules and foul play.
2) If democracy is of the people, by the people, for the people, then these very people have to be responsible with their votes. You decide the government that will come to power. And once voted, WE don't want to wait for four years to see the change. If any elected member of the assembly or house under performs we need the power to vote him out. A 'call back' system has to be put in place. but before voting the right candidate We need a forum where we can check out every candidate's profile and experience before casting our vote. An official website should be created where the candidate standing for election has to enter his past performance, qualification, and future manifesto with plans to make them work. Should he /she be found failing in his promises then he needs to stand trial in front of the people who voted him. And remember, lets not vote for people who will be "good for me". Lets get people in power who will be "good for us". DON'T LET THEM MAKE ISSUES. YOU TELL THEM THE ISSUES YOU WANT THEM TO TAKE UP.
3) If you think the government is not doing its job, then be a part of the government yourself. Be the change you want to see. I have lots of hope from the youth. Lets stop pointing fingers and take responsibility. Make the change. Its time for a revolution and change. Its the youth of its time that fought the British out of this country. It will be the youth of our times that takes our country out of this age of disillusionment and anguish.
To its basics, it means, one, get the policy right. Two, get the government right. Demand the government that you seek. And three, Be that government.

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