Whose side am I on, anyway?

I’m not a Congress supporter, BJP supporter, Hazare, Ramdev or anyone else supporter. I am a citizen of India, and I am unhappy with the status quo. I am angry that the resources of the country have been looted. Looted consistently. I believe that without this kind of loot, India would have had far fewer people below the poverty line. Many more things could have been done for the country.

Many people are sarcastic when I say that India is prosperous by default. We have good land, diverse resources, places, and a region relatively safe from natural calamities. Sure, we have problems. Who doesn’t? Using what we have wisely and building on it, preventing loot (which happens to be India’s fate over the ages), should see us into better days.

But this post isn’t about would and should and could. It is about what IS. At the moment, I have no belief that any change is possible unless the massive and immovable collusion is shaken. As far as I am concerned, when a government attacks its own citizens for challenging them, when media will not report half the stories in the country, when political parties don’t seem to agree, evolve or adapt their stances with time, the common man is cannon fodder. If he asks for justice, he’s lost in a maze of inexplicable inefficiency. If he challenges the system, he has no voice (indeed, in some cases, the lack of media attention is equal to a silencing). Worse, he could lose his life.

Countless farmers have died, RTI activists intimidated, assaulted, even killed. Cops don’t give a hoot. Okay, some may, but there is no saying that those few will be on duty when you are in trouble.

I believe the only way we can have new ways of being is by shaking the existing ones as thoroughly as possible. Toward this end, I think everyone from Maoists to Anna Hazare are equally useful. I don’t buy the fear mongering intellectuals. A massive country like India isn’t something you can say “yes” and find converted into something altogether different the next moment. Does it mean that I’m in support of getting rid of higher currencies? Heck no! But I am in support of all the steps that will happen before we get to that point.

I don’t understand the logic of those who say “vote first, then talk”. How does it matter if the ruling party was elected by 40% votes or 80% votes? As long as some or the other party wins the elections, that is bound to happen, regardless of voter turnout. Choosing good candidates can happen just as easily with 60% voters as a full 100%. I also think this is a stupid thing to say, because if we are going to have to wait five years to challenge anything, we might as well not bother.

Also, the current state of happenings is not only the result of the “ruling party”, but the lack of an effective “opposition” which pretty much sums up the vast majority of influential leaders in the country.

Is challenging the UPA by the so called civil society constitutional? I think so. Its about as constitutional as the rampant loot. No one has bothered to so much as apologize to the nation. I think the government is unconstitutional because it doesn’t give  a fig about us, which is what its primary job is.

Does that mean I support a violent uprising? Frankly, not. I’m not much of a violent person by nature. I don’t believe violence solves anything. However, I suspect, the country is not going to come around asking me. Days before the Ramdev protest was attacked by cops, I had been saying to all those cheering victory that this is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. I am still saying that. There is a desperate need to silence calls to accountability on one end and an equally desperate frustration of having had enough.

Every step is a case of promises and sabotage. The promises defuse the situation and calm protest and the sabotage weakens it when off-guard. What the government forgets is that some time or the other, people will notice. And its usual policy of repression isn’t going to help.

I support them all, because it is going to take massive power to confront the government to begin with. I don’t see the sense in dividing the voices right now based on what they want in the future. Heck, I’d support the UPA if it called for accountability or even owned up to their utter mismanagement and provided some concrete plan for amends.

The stakes for too many powerful people are too high. Whoever imagines that whistleblowing and uncovering scams and protests alone are going to get them walking out out of some newfound goodness of their heart…. I hope you are right, but I’m not too optimistic about that.

We are on the edge of a revolution. Which way the wind blows is anyone’s guess. I think the next ten years will be our rebirth as a democracy or an open slide into a banana republic.