We, the people..

"We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and to secure to all its citizens :
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;
In our consituent assembly this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this constitution."

- Preamble to the Constitution of India.

This piece was a result of reading inGeorge's blog about the vandalism of the historical Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in my home town, Pune. TOI Story. The pictures in eSakal (If you can read Marathi the Sakal editorial.)
When you read all this stuff, first you felt outraged. Then you feel helpless. Sometimes more so, since you are so far away. Then you write..

Three Questions

Who's doing this?
We won't ever get rid of these fanatics, hooligans and cultural terrorists. There is atleast one in every crowd. I was enraged at first at the fact that priceless documents and books were destroyed and stolen. How senseless and stupid people are. Could they not have found a better way to show their anger, however unfounded it may have been?
Then maybe they were stark raving mad or were stupid and were easily misguided. What stinks more is the unrepentant explanation given by the government and other leaders. Atleast one assumes that they have sense. This Sambhaji Brigade should have been given a public flogging. Like every issue in our country, this one too got coloured with political overtones and vote bank politics. This time to appease the Marathas.

Who's to stop them?
I am sick of these frequent hijackings in the name of religion, culture, unions, swadeshi of our life and peace. Every gang pursues their own minority, slanted, titled agenda with impunity. They can rest assured some political bigwig will see this as a 'opportunity'. The BJP has tied its hands with the Hindu fanatics, the Congress with everyone else. The other coalations seems to running their own fiefdoms. If that is not ebough. Every local MLA and wannabe politician is playing his own 'little game'. What is this Sambhaji Brigade? How many members does have? Some maverick politicians 'political debut' or part of a bigger right-wing conspiracy?

Who's to blame?
I feel quite ashamed of the fact that I had to come so many thousand miles from home to realise what I saw almost daily in front of my eyes. What I could have done and what I didn't do. I am ashamed of the fact that I never stood up to these vandals of our nation in their many guises. Ashamed of my shyness to confront them. Of my passivity and my attitude to accept. Curiously to accept what I would consider unacceptable personally.

To accept that the old man next to me would throw his garbage from the window of the train.
To accept that friends would pay touts to get a license.
To accept the 'dadagiri' of the 6-seater rickshawalas who polluted the city, why because we all accepted the horrible PCMT bus service and demanded nothing better.
To accept that the HOD siphoned off funds from an event and we kept quiet.
To accept that people ran the 'red light'
To accept coercion of Ganesh Mandals and see them drink and smoke the 'dengi' away
To accept that people would spit 'paan'
To accept that people would not know the National Anthem or even respect It when It was playing.

Answer to all the above: We, the people.

We the people who agreed to adopt, enact and give ourselves the Constitution but reneged on our promise. To paraphrase Pink Floyd, 'We have become comfortably numb'. We break these little laws, be irresponsible citizens of the largest democracy, lack basic civic sense and accept all the bullshit going around us. And yet firmly believe that we still maintain those ' values enshrined in our constitution' : JUSTICE, LIBERTY, EQUALITY , FRATERNITY , whatever that jazz is.
Mera Bharat Mahan.

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