Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | January 13, 2009


Be the change you wish to see in the world – Mahatma Gandhi

India is at a knife-edge which it wished it had not been on. Terrorist attacks raising questions on internal security, corporate scandals raising questions on professional ethics coupled with the baggage of ills that India already carried does not auger well for my nation.

Most of the people in India are good, but they are rendered powerless by themselves.

At a macro-level, most of us know what the solutions should be. Compared to the rest of the world, we are highly opinionated people. However compared to the rest of the world, we also act less on what we preach.

At the micro level we ourselves have to leverage off whatever we are able to do. If we do not do it now, I wonder when shall we do it, because India’s typical problems which we thought would never touch us seem to be coming closer and closer to our doorsteps. Events in recent times have affected many people whom we know and it is about time that it affect us individually. Recent phenomenon has shown that we are not immune and we are getting affected may be because we are the root cause of our problem.

What has been our general reaction to all these? Playing with words and opening the same box of ills which we love to dig. Did we do anything from our side? The answer is mostly no!

We are too busy fighting our family feuds, indulging in hypocritical discussions about how “learned” we are but others are not and worst of them all we are escaping (at least mentally) by believing we cannot do anything.

We are self-obsessed individuals but have we ever thought of using our self-obsessed on ourselves? Self-obsession can turn us into better individuals too?

Possibly in reality a budding criminals lie within us waiting to get unleashed. Just that, most of us don’t have a gun at our disposal or the tenacity in ourselves to carry out a theft, so either we keep our frustrations within or shout within a comfort zone where we know we would not be hit back.

To my mind, unless and until we kill this criminal within us, we have no right to expect our world shall be better.

It is time to self-introspect whether we are being the “good citizen” who we hope our country shall have?

Personally, I feel I have still a long way to go. Sadly, I have company around me in my circle of relatives and friends, who have a long way to go too. However, very conveniently, we have given ourselves pat on our backs and accepted ourselves the way we are. We have decided amongst ourselves we would not point fingers at each other because that may disturb our formal relations even if that means tolerating each other as mentally disturbed hypocrites. We are greedy, rowdy, angry and frustrated and never really bother to cure the same and whenever one points out we say – Don’t bother about my problems.

I for myself, would wish to get out from that circle who are complacent and I wish I succeed even if I become a loner eventually. I would like to risk myself to as much extent possible to be a good human being. In fact, I don’t think I shall be a loner because I believe the world has much more good people than bad ones – just that we don’t see the good ones often enough.

I am sure it is not going to be an easy ride because I have inherited so many ills that at times are difficult to get rid off, but still I want to try. If I have inherited some good then that has given me the power to battle the evils within.

Every time terrorism affects us either in the form of gunmen or in the form of sub-humans like Raju, I wish I don’t have even traces of a mind like them within me. I promise to myself that I would not tolerate and encourage minds like them in my vicinity.

I wish I have company of many people who self-introspect along with me.

Let’s first identify what makes us not so good citizens and then cure them.

Everything begins at home. Let’s ask ourselves are we being loved by people because they have no choice but to do that or we are doing something which deserves to be loved and respected too – consistently. I wish I could spell out clearly how some of us have misconception of being respected by our close ones when they merely tolerate us! Rather than forcing upon themselves, can we not find out what makes them behave the way they are behaving?

The answer to such questions will be the first steps to self redemption and ensuring a better future for our younger generation who reap the fruits that we sow.

Let’s make amends by working towards changing ourselves.

I am in the process, I hope I succeed in my conviction to become better. Before you say, the person next to me is not indulging in the same, so why should I, think that your home is in danger, perhaps not his.


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