Tuesday, March 28, 2017

India -> the Auto-wala theory (copyright the coinage)

A couple of days back I read an article that cited stats on how India was the saddest country compared to her neighbors. The article brought a smile - for the citizens of today, you don't need Stats to verify what you feel and live through everyday. 

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Onto its 70th year of Independence, I wonder what all has the country done. My thoughts have been mirrored in the questions / thoughts raised by LSE as the panel too sought to answer the same maze-like venomous thoughts. (https://scroll.in/bulletins/54/as-india-turns-70-london-school-of-economics-asks-some-provocative-questions)

I am no Economist - I am merely a "General Class" citizen in a country where being a "GC" will land you nowhere. Reservation policies and privileges act against you. 

I live strata-ed in the middle class segment too - however the bulk of the population bears the brunt for the lack of vision the country shows - infallibly everyday! 

Taxes eat into salaries - so that eating OOH / at home seem a luxury. A water-stressed market now, the country shows remarkable finesse in being constipated in thoughts as well. 

Ergo selection of certain officers in the high post despite the Progressive Role Models of the country now. 

We have Virat Kohli - who  is globally known and acknowledged as India's youth icon. His aggression on and off field, the way he stands up for his values / beliefs as also his love for the opposite sex - tells a lot about the shape of the thoughts here today in our country. His social media accounts and the comments only testify the mindset of the youth today and his influencing power. 
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There is Farhan Akhtar who actively stands up to reshape age old patriarchal thoughts through his fervent public speeches and impassioned stance for equality at instances of the Vagina Monologues and his MARD campaign. 

Stand up comedies today exemplify the satirical outlook the citizens have started imbibing today - the humor is refreshing because they bring to life daily stress points caused by our macro structures stunting a progressive thought flow.

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Instagram is visual rendition of the how the people today are rising up against stereotypical thoughts - you only need to look at Saloni Chopra's account to understand the stigmas she is trying to debunk.  

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Bollywood now is ripe with examples of citizens standing against the normative thoughts or the constipated structures - e.g. Dangal, Pink, Udta Punjab among others. There are social messages being evinced through films such as Ki and Ka, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil or Dear Zindagi - that espouse the love and respect for the softer shades of life. The whole of celebration of individuality is so clearly apparent in the mass media platforms - with Bollywood playing a pivotal role today. 

Despite such thought movers and soul shakers - we only need to look at certain mismanagement examples -  the over flowing frothy lakes, polluted potholed roads, incessant honking at roads and junctures, lack of pedestrian walking spaces, improper planning of infrastructure with the commuters spilling onto roads and just about being saved from being run over - to understand that despite the thought progression, the country remains myopic ; unable to internalize the actual "winds of change". 

The question therefore remains in all its perversity - is our country not really reading the though trend or listening to its citizens? And if that be so, where is our Democracy? 

Despite the apparent progress we witness in our role models, why is Regression setting in with flares of communal-ism? 

A part of it was answered the other day I took an auto ride to Koramangala. As my eyes roamed around the traffic signals, a thought struck at how the autos / auto walas represent the core of the Indian mindset today. If you look at auto-walas today, you know the barriers to progress of our land. 

How we see autos today - (specially in Bangalore) 

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  1. Untrustworthy - an unusual alacrity to over charge beyond reasonable means
  2. Insect-like - crawls into any spot in the traffic without regard to other commuters and crowd around in hoards. Just like insects or the moths to a flame. 
  3. Jugaado - the quintessential Indian word to describe the mentality. Squeezing for any benefit from anywhere and anyhow. To get what you want is the goal - the short cut is not even a backward glance. 
  4. Malefic - accidents are only a "touch" away as the autos try to out-maneuver traffic to its whims
  5. The "kuch bhi chalega" mentality - least effort placed at being ethical but most at con-conviction
The article is meant to make people think - though the article also wonders what happens when citizens think? Does the country take note of the citizens thoughts and needs? Where are we living and what is the future? How can India become a super power when it has slipped from Developing to an Under developed world?