The Pandavas will always lose, and Draupadi (the citizens) will always get badly abused
I got some interesting comments for my last article – ‘Can we Walk the talk and do some Kaam ki Baat?’
Most telling by far were “Why bother, things will never change”; “We only talk, and do nothing”, etc.
Do we vent our frustration at the state of affairs by simply talking? If one sees the cartoons – The Common Man – by Laxman, which were regularly published in Times of India since way back, the bureaucratic and political hubris has either at best remained the same, or at worst increased.
In the previous time in the 70’s and 80’s, if something went wrong, at least as scapegoats, the responsible Union Minister or State Minister would be made to resign (that was a different story that the same person would be rehabilitated in a different avatar in a few months). Nowadays, even that eyewash is considered superfluous and redundant. It is like they are telling us, “We know what you are capable of doing – which is nothing, so we are not scared of you.”
Even the mainstream media, which started getting it’s teeth after satellite television came in in the 90’s, has over time become a paid Misinformation Service, pandering to their paid masters – whichever political party is paying for their services at the time, and propagating their private agenda, by giving it a garb of patriotism.
A case in point is the current media frenzy about the Late Sushant Singh Rajput. What happened, either at his own hands, or at the hands of others was no doubt horrible, and should not happen to anyone. However, the media attention being given by news channels is a little suspect. Not to sound callous, there are lots of issues facing the nation now with joblessness at a all time high, and still not having reached its nadir, falling GDP, impending failure of a large number of debt heavy businesses, and now the flooding of cities and countryside due to rains, the border situations (China, Nepal, etc.), and many more pressing issues.
Yet, the television news channels find it more important to hold debates about Sushant. If they are, and have been so civil minded, then what happened when the BJP MLA from UP not only raped a girl, but brazenly had her family wiped out, or when the person who was eating food at home was killed by the Hitler Youth of India on the suspicion that he was eating beef, and that he happened to be a member of a minority community, and so many more incidents, both under the current regime, and also the previous.
Thus, today one can assume that barring a few stray channels, most have become a part of the Misinformation Propaganda Taxi Service. You pay, and they will take the news to wherever you want it to go, with table thumping, screaming, shouting and righteous indignation to boot. Paisa Vasool (Money well spent).
So, coming back to the topic, what do we do? Where do we go from here? Do we take the easy route, and like a lot of professionals and business people, pack the bags and migrate to another country, where the grass appears greener?
For a lot of us, who love our country too much, and are invested heavily emotionally with the concept of India, this is not an option.
Also Read: Platitude Nation
Nations after all are concepts, based on certain ideals, promising certain safety, and other features to its citizens. In our case, our Constitution, which spells out basic rights and duties, and implementation mechanism. Under the ambit of the Constitution, laws are framed for orderly sustenance, development and growth of the Citizens, and the Nation at large. Till this point it is good.
To make the laws we have the Parliament at the Center, and Assemblies at state levels, with each level having clear demarcations as to what kinds of laws each can promulgate respectively.
This is where things start getting murky. The founding fathers, largely freedom fighters, assumed certain moral righteousness and character in the elected representatives of the Citizens – the MLAs, MLCs and MPs, forgetting that they too are human with all associated human frailties.
Given that these worthies had to contest elections, which involved outlay of money to canvas for votes, travel, posters, etc. etc., to start with, the candidates started collecting donations or contributions from citizens, with business houses making a sizeable portion of their collection kitty.
Given the Socialist leaning of the initial Government, the official set up made policies which were anti business to say the least, including huge and unwieldy taxes, quotas, etc. which made it impossible for a lot of businesses to survive without resorting to bribery of concerned officials, be they Income Tax, Customs, Sales Tax, etc., etc. as also the abject poverty and rampant unemployment (both of which still persist).
Added to all this was the ‘Mai Baap’ Culture (treating the Government officials and political leaders as literally Parent figures), a legacy of the British and Royal past, giving those in power a sense of entitlement, (which if one sees their cavalier behavior, has only increased). Plus the tradition of ‘Baksheesh’ and ‘Nazrana’, small gifts to those in power to get a favorable response.
All these factors and more went to contribute to rampant corruption, which began to take gargantuan proportions, with officers paying mindboggling figures to get transfers, candidates paying huge bribes to get government jobs, including those in Police etc.
Added to all this, the bureaucratic obsession of being in control, no matter what – another legacy of the Raj. This resulted in laws being largely formulated in such a convoluted fashion that in some cases it becomes impossible for a person to comply with all the laws, hence the opening to officers for coercing bribes or prosecuting, resulting in millions of frivolous cases being filed, thus overloading the judiciary.
All this is a simplistic representation of the state of affairs, as it would take tomes to write about all that is wrong with the prevalent system of law making and administration.
That said, the dice are already loaded. The game is already set. In this current system, the way it has been manipulated over the decades since Independence, the Pandavas will always loose, and Draupadi (the citizens) will always get badly abused.
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