Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Letter to the void

This post is in reply to a comment posted by Saravanan. Please read the comment before reading this post to have a better idea.

Dear Saravanan,

Thank you for bringing this up. Please read the post carefully. I have never said that I hate all the politicians. Neither have I said that "We are all good; we don’t have bad sides at all and politicians are all bad; they don’t have anything good at all". And no matter how many chances you give me, I would never want to be him, nor closely related him.

I have known you closely and since you are a man of finance, I can safely assume you are just looking at the financial success of politicians. You are looking at it like a business which yields crores of money so that you can achieve your long term dream of “financial freedom”. Many people of our country are looking at it the same way. No wonder then, political wannabes ransack party offices just to get the much coveted Party tickets and contest elections.

But does this have to be done at the cost of your nation? Are we not from the land where we perceive our country as our mother? Of what use is the whole lot of money to you if you cannot ensure the happiness of your mother? Isn’t our country the same?

Look at what your “much admired” son of soil has done – he has used the name of his soil to make money. In your own words, “he has controlled the whole state according to his whims and fantasies”. Is it not equivalent to using his own mother? I would never want to be like him even in the wildest of my dreams. Would you?

Though I agree that politics is not my cup of tea, I have been a very keen observer of the politics in my country and as a responsible citizen I want to be involved in the democratic process of electing our leaders. Right from the time I was a kid, my father used to explain to me the importance of choosing the right leaders. I was very fascinated by the idea that in our country, we get to choose who we want as our leaders. Not unlike most of the countries where there is monarchy/dictatorship where the fate of the country is pretty much sealed. In our country, we have an active part in shaping the country. Is it not why we fought for our freedom? Lakhs and lakhs of our country men withstood cruel treatment meted out to them just to ensure that our land does not fall in wrong hands. They made sure that ultimately “we” could control the destiny of the country. Is it not a privilege by itself? So whenever elections used to happen, I used to be very excited. I used to observe the whole process of nomination filing – campaigning – political rallies – voting day – the result day and finally a new leader swearing in. Whenever I saw a blot on my dad’s finger after he voted, I used to wonder when will I get a chance to do this? So when I turned 18 and got a card my joy knew no bounds. I do enjoy this fundamental right that the country gives me. I do abide by the laws of the nation properly. I fulfil the duties that my nation asks me to do in my capacity and so I deserve every right to make a comment on its affairs.

The politicians of our nation have a responsibility to the people. We in turn have a responsibility to choose our leaders wisely. Though not significant, each one of us has a definite role to play to shape the country of our dreams – an India so rich and powerful that the whole world can just bow their heads in admiration towards. That is what I wish my country became. That is what each of the freedom fighter who sacrificed his life for the nation dreamt. And that is what motivates each of our soldiers on the front to stand guarding the nation braving cold winds, snow and rain. That is what every farmer who toils in his fields growing food for us thinks. That is what a statesman is supposed to think. Even though, we may not live to see a country like that, we can atleast die peacefully knowing that we have contributed towards that end.

And even if one of us fails in this duty, the whole cycle gets halted. If we don’t vote wisely and give power to unworthy people, the country suffers. If the soldiers don’t protect us from enemies, the country suffers. If the farmers stop growing food for us, the country suffers. Similary, if the politicians stop caring for the nation the country suffers. I don’t hate all politicians. Neither do I say that they are all bad while we are all good. I am just saddened that the progress is halted because of the whims and fancies of these few people.

Now you might ask me – how does it matter to me whether they rule properly or not? As long as I am getting my salary and have my job, it is enough. But don’t you think it matters in the long run? Today, Bangalore is the hub of IT and electronics biggies of the world. Why? It is only because of the attractive schemes that the government provided to these companies that drew them here. They provided land, water and power at subsided prices. They gave tax sops. Also, they provided them with talented people by giving permission for a large number of engineering colleges. It was because some government before had a vision – to make Bangalore a prosperous city. But do you think it will remain like this for ever if the government keeps on neglecting the demands of the industry? It certainly wouldn’t. We need a very stable government that takes care of issues like these so that we can progress as a nation.

Politics has become dirty – agreed. But no one is expecting it to be cleaned up all by itself. No one is asking them to spend money on elections. In fact the election commission has banned the use of money to get people’s attention. So why do they need to spend money lavishly now only to come back and recover ten times of it later? I am amused that you think this is honest and in the best interests. The only interest it satisfies is the greed of our politicians. It is only those greedy people I detest. I don’t want them to clean up the whole nation and build a great nation overnight. But it can atleast do some small things that make a huge difference. Can’t it?

For example, the international airport that opens on 23rd is too far from the city and there are no proper roads to it. Can it not sternly argue with the builders of the new air-port and keep the old one open at least till proper roads are built? The fees for medical and engineering courses have sky-rocketed in the past few years shattering poor students dream of studying professional courses. Can it not provide scholarship to these students? People have lost interest in the judiciary these days because all politicians commit crimes and get away with it. For a change, Can they not abide the law and set an example that judiciary is still strong in our nation?

If they cant do good to our nation, let them not. If their only intention is to make money, let them do it. But atleast, they should not stop good things from happening right? Why did the NICE road get stalled? Could it not be opened for public long back? Why do many infrastructure projects get stalled years together for want of funds? Can they not be sped up? If tomorrow, Bangalore’s IT companies feel that some other city is a better option than ours and close down here, what will happen to all of our jobs? Will it not be a mistake from someone else for which we will suffer?

I am sorry if I was harsh to you sir. I dint mean to hurt your thoughts. It is just that these topics are very sensitive and the lack of attention to them by our policy makers makes me so frustrated. It is really a good thing that you brought them up. Please think about these in detail and get back to me with your thoughts.

Best Regards,
Mama

Note:
1. NICE – stands for an ambitious infrastructure project by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise. They have taken up many nice projects in Bangalore and Mysore cities.
2. May 23rd is the scheduled date of opening for Banagalore International Airport at Devanahalli, about 50 km from city centre. After that, the existing airport will be closed for even short –term flights.

6 comments:

Sudhix said...

Just to add to Shashi's thought,
the wealth of the politicians of K*ana*aka has increased by around 500% ( yes FIVE HUNDRED) for B*P *CO*GR*SS and around 250% for J*S.

Saravanan said...

I am not arguing with you or your thoughts. I am just putting forward mine buddy. So no hard feelings :-)

Buddy 'We' all don't want to become a bad guy even in our dreams. All that I said was 'We' are also equally bad. 'We' too have responsibilities that we don't perform.

Buddy, What I wanted to convey was, Politics has become business (U agree or not it has become like that). I personally don't like to mix business with social cause. They are totally different. Not many think like me.

I don't admire "Son of Soil" but he has controlled the state. I don't wish to speak anything about mother. I don't wish you even speak about it. Sometimes it is better you don't say such things. Most of us would never ever dare to USE mother for our financial needs. We would in turn love to see our mom happy seeing our growth. This is what we can do to make our moms happy.

Buddy, being observer and being in politics is totally different. There is hell lot of difference. I am sure you will agree with that. 'We' all can say that Politics is raw sewage but do we dare to clean up. 'We' prefer speaking about it, blogging about it, giving lectures about it and that is it. 'We' don't dare to do anything other than for ourselves.

Buddy, I have just one question to you. "We in turn have a responsibility to choose our leaders wisely." Given a choice of 9 dacoits and thieves as Leaders whom would you choose? What I mean is no matter how sensible you are, the leaders are not. I prefer "Missile Man" Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as leader. His dreams were good for the nation but he had no powers to execute it. This is Indian Political System.

I want guys like you to own up "our" mistake that it is because of guys like us, Political System is like this and not because of someone "Son of Soil".

"Now you might ask me – how does it matter to me whether they rule properly or not? " I too know the implications of it buddy. I want them to rule properly there should be no question of not ruling properly. Change the rules such that they rule properly. It is in "our hands".

"No one is asking them to spend money on elections" Only very few people vote to exercise their right, most of them just dont bother anything about nation. All that they do is just vote for the sake of it and vote to the highest amount provider. When we vote to such guys it is very clear that we can get in return from those guys.

"So why do they need to spend money lavishly now only to come back and recover ten times of it later? I am amused that you think this is honest and in the best interests."
Honestly, It is because of "US" they spend so much lavishly, We are at wrong. If 'We' don't take what they give will they spend so much lavishly??? Buddy, You tell me you put Rs.1 as investment and is not that obvious to get Rs.10 from that?? (I don't like business to be mixed with politics. According to me Politics is meant to serve the people and not rule them.)

Buddy, I am also Indian and I too don't like things. 'We' all should think in the same line and come up with a solution and not pose the problem. I prefer 'We' are at the solution end and not problem end.

Kind Regards,
Saravanan

Shashia said...

@saravanan

Thanks for clarification. I was almost of the opinion that you felt that this was a great way to earn money.

You are rite in saying that you dont like to mix business with social cause. But that is exactly what our 'so called' leaders do and that is what I have told.

You are wrong in saying that "we" dont do anything for our society. You should not generalise like that. I know of many people who definitely are helping the society in their own little way. There is a story on how politicians come in way of even them and dont let good people do good. This is not a film story but a real story - I will post it soon

I have totally owned up the mistake that "we" do in not choosing our leaders properly. That is what was thought number 4 all about in the previous post. Please go through it again. I admit that this is one big chain of events and even if one fails in their duty, every one suffers.

I prefer 'We' are at the solution end and not problem end. Yes, I know that. But this post is not about that. Even though we are at the solution end, there are some people who come in our way and create problems. It is these people that I am talking about.

I will post a story about someone very near to me whose intentions are so noble and solution-oriented, but is still not able to carry out his task because of people like 'son-of soil'. I personally dont have anything against anybody. But if somenone comes in way of a very noble cause just for their personal gains, I feel pained. Dont you?

Shashia said...

@sudhix
Exactly man!
That is what I mean by wonderful business. And that is the reason why people lose faith in democracy.

Shashia said...

@Saravanan
I was just wondering what you intended to say when you typed -
Buddy, I am also Indian and I too don't like things
Could you clarify that?

Given a choice of 9 dacoits and thieves as Leaders whom would you choose? - The point here is not that they are all dacoits/thieves. I am sure both of us agree that they are bad. But when you said being in politics and making money is a very "honest" approach, I thought you were glorifying the very same looters as good men. But ya, if I encounter a situation where I have to just choose among a bunch of bad leaders, I would do a complete background check (like their party, previous background,etc) and vote in the best interests of the country. For example, a remorseful Poolan Devi with intention to serve people is better than a corrupt ex-minister. Isn't it?

Saravanan said...

"You are wrong in saying that "we" dont do anything for our society. You should not generalise like that."

Buddy, 'We' means every common man, exceptions are there and everyone knows that. I don't want to clarify on this. We are all living together, if government passes some rule it is applicable to all, does government give an exception to everyone?? Exceptions are exceptions, we are talking about common man.

"I prefer 'We' are at the solution end and not problem end. Yes, I know that. But this post is not about that."
I expressed my opinion, it was not against your post or something. Moreover I prefer you talking in either black or white and not grey. Everyone knows its all greyish.

Buddy, I am also an Indian and I too don't like things
Could you clarify that?
I don't like the corruption that is there in the society. There is no compassion towards the fellow human being. The list goes on... (just like your thoughts)

"Given a choice of 9 dacoits and thieves as Leaders whom would you choose? - The point here is not that they are all dacoits/thieves."
What I meant was, most of them are from such background only. You can say whatever you want but I feel that you are forced to choose bad people, not many good sensible people like me and you are not getting into Active Politics.