Sunday, June 27, 2010

As contradictions abound...

The feeling of guilt has taken over me yet again, and I find myself looking at the mirror---asking, "What is wrong with you?".

It started like this---as I watched the Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, talk about the Commonwealth games, I remembered the Delhi slum-wallahs who had to be thrown out to make space for the CWG warming-up stadium. Then, my thoughts wandered, the recent Tamizh conference came to my mind. Of all the green paper that was used to fund the grand event; of all the tax money, of all the bank accounts, of all the 'Public' funds...and then I thought of the little girl, whose picture I saw in The Hindu this morning, who needed a hundred thousand rupees for a blood marrow transplant. And in the same country---Mayawati is establishing statues, people are sprinting and jumping in brand new stadiums, I am writing about the beauty of my mother tongue and a conference---and the little girl is suffering without health insurance.

Authoritarian and imperialistic states tend to leave the most solid souvenirs; art has a strange way of thriving under autocracy. For how else can one justify spending on statues and language and sports. What do we intend to make of India? A shiny, glossy, Bollywood dream for western audiences, or a place where all people have a means of livelihood? And I stress, ALL people.

And these are the times, when I almost get swept into the haze of the virtual India---burgeoning, leading the world...then I come crashing down to earth, and cringe---the truth stares me straight in the eye.

The mirror says, "Stop celebrating! There is so much left to do, and how could you let yourself be guiled by veiled politics?". I have no answers.

But the little I can do---contribute, maybe a pence or two, to someone who needs to survive, to ask these profound questions.

2 comments:

  1. Sindhu, nice thoughts,and I acknowledge your concern. Social security and jobs for all is truly a big concern for the country but sports and creating infrastructure of a world class status is also important. Celebration is a part of life, and we cannot cram our thoughts to suffering always. How long can one be depressed about what we don't and celebrate on what we are fortunate to have?

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  2. Hello,....thank you for your comment.
    Although I do acknowledge that celebration is a part of life; the ultimate aim of any civilization, by means of socio-cultural evolution, is to get to a point where all have equal means---and only those societies which possess the art of looking at the world through a filter (conveniently filtering out any unwanted sights such as the slum dwellers--literally out of sight, out of mind) can happily lavish money on all forms of excesses.
    And my opinion, insignificant as it may be, is that, as long as a civilization has the will to overlook the needy (which is how many societies have been for centuries---that religion, and even governments allow this discrepancy to exist as though it's natural) and injustice, saying that it'll tackle those problems later-----these problems will exist forever.
    The world has trained us to turn a blind eye to pain...and that's what bothers me....
    I don't necessarily advocate depression! I'm for celebrating art, culture and literature... I'm merely suggesting a more austere way to do it!...

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