Thursday, November 03, 2005

Its all rotten....

I was never a higher being.

Nor am I now. But I have certainly come a longway; from the kid who hungrily looked at bakery sweets and silently romanced toys at shops, from being stupidly jealous of my friend's pencil box and angry at myself for being born middle class. I was never confident about my identity.

Where did I belong?
That was the single most piercing question that haunted me always...and still do sometimes..My family was not rich, yet it was not poor...My parents always had 'just enough money' .We were taught to respect and accept it..

We were neither of the 'so called' high castes nor off the trampled down.And I never had to wait for a social revolution.Everybody said that it had already taken place...even before my father was born.

Not that I had a Complex, but this business of accepting scarcity with dignity was too much for me..
Classic Indian middle class dilemma...
I also got my share of the collective fatigue that my community suffered from while trying to find its position in the post revolutionary social hierarchy. I just couldn't place myself.

It carved niches of insecurity in my personality..

I wanted to be poor...so that I could happily be poor.
Or nauseatingly rich. So that I could flaunt it and live life king size....

Stupid me...
I tried to convince myself for a long time that Indians should not thinklike that..
That when millions starve, you can't be ambitious..
That sacrifice is better than success..
That you shouldn't dream big...


Stupidity...
Nothing changed in this country and nothing will...
Because we got one billion hypocrites in this nation..
People who ask you to be patriotic in a caste ridden, class ridden culture..
People who rape women and celebrate durga puja..
People who put surname above qualifications....
This country is poor because it should be...
This country stinks....

8 comments:

Shikha said...

"I wanted to be poor...so that I could happily be poor.
Or nauseatingly rich. So that I could flaunt it and live life king size...."
I would rate this as your best entry..well written

kannan udayarajan said...

Thanks..shi...!

sunrise said...

It is the same feeling most or all the Indian middle class ppl have and can never become rich enough nor poor enough to be HappY! Your blog clearly stated everything.

Khizzy said...

very powerful post!

very honest!

Mriganayanii said...

Hello,
There are a lot of things that are bursting out of me now and that I’d like to tell you.

First of all, I like the style of this piece a lot. Hard hitting, to the point bingo, and a refreshingly new way to talk about this issue (there are actually two issues here). I like the surpressed fury and the cynicism(or was it a hint of sorrow?) that I detect here. You’re a good writer, I think. The first few paras could have been talking about me.

‘I tried to convince myself that sacrifice is better than success’ . So poignant. I identify so much with that. but then, I’d worship ayn rand at one point.

But then. I wonder, do you realize the implication of some of the things you’re saying ?

‘One billion hypocrites’? really ? I would really like to know what the basis of that statement is.
The easiest thing to do, my friend, is to criticize. Sit back and criticize. Its so easy to slash people/philosophies/belief systems to bits … shred them to little little ribbons , without paying a drop of attention to the complex web of ambiguities that EACH AND EVERY FACET OF LIFE is entangled in. Pls note that I’m not justifying anything here. I’m merely saying that we probably do not know the whole picture. And perhaps that’s just as good.
Our system has been rotting from the inside.. like this insiduous disease. We see it everywhere. I think that’s whats made us indians great armchair critics – we crib about the police, the politicians, the neighbours, the ‘system’ , the administration,our jobs everything. But then, we jump traffic signals when we’ve had enough, jump queues, and pay ‘chai pani ka kharcha’ to the cop that’s confiscated our wrongly parked vehicle.
You see the problem actually is – that you, me, and several others have never really made this OUR PERSONAL PROBLEM. It’s always been ‘this country’ hasn’t it?
We’re not poor because we should be. It isn’t as simplistic as that. There are historical, social and cultural reasons and backgrounds for that, in addition of course to the bull sh** in the system.
But It is indeed tragic when assertive, young, intelligent ppl throw their hands up and lose hope. Because it actually belies their lack of faith in themselves and their abilities.

Have you joined the ‘armchair critic brigade’ Kanan?

There are people who strive hard, really hard every day to be lesser hypocrites than they were the day before, ppl who have begun to fight against those who put surname ahead of qualification. Ppl who believe that they will make the change you say will never come. And they’re very ordinary ppl – not khadi clad commi social activists carrying jholas. The difference is that they’ve made this big fat mess of a country THEIR mess, THEIR problem.
Things have changed the past 60 yrs, even the past 20 yrs. Hell, India yesterday wasn’t the same as it is today. And it wouldn’t be .. the world gets smaller every day, and young ppl like us get access to so much more with every passing day.
Are you tired of all the cliches you’re hearing here? I apologize but there is no other way to say it. There is no other truth actually. This is it.
We do stink, but that’s going to change. It is changing.
Of course, you’re totally entitled to whatever opinion appeals to you the most; inspite of all its vices, it still is a free country ;) but I think some of what you say is just not correct.
I really hope you read this objectively and do not take any of what I’ve said personally. I don’t intend that. But some of what you’ve said makes me revolt inside. I had to say this.
And I’m really looking forward to knowing what you think.

kannan udayarajan said...

MNayani..

That was too passionate to be viewed objectively..;)

But i guess there is not much of a difference between our viewpoint

" I think that’s whats made us indians great armchair critics – we crib about the police, the politicians, the neighbours, the ‘system’ , the administration,our jobs everything. But then, we jump traffic signals when we’ve had enough, jump queues, and pay ‘chai pani ka kharcha’ to the cop that’s confiscated our wrongly parked vehicle. "

This is exactly what i meant by one billion hypocrites.

The same Indian who spits on the public wall and pisses on the roadside would be a completely civilized and displined man if he was in Singapore.He wouldn't dare to take things for granted.

The point i wanted to drive in is simply this.That Indians love to be imposed on,they would rather' be changed by someone else' than 'be the change' themselves.

They preach of a rich and vibrant culture,but the truth is that this very same culture had and still has the worst social evils mankind has known- caste system,untouchability,bonded labour ,dowry,child marriages,sati...Is that great??
Is that rich and vibrant?


Why is it that Dalits are still looked down in this country?

Why was the Mandal commission report shredded down?

Why was the Babri Masjid demolished?

Was it because we were and are the most religiously tolerant civilization in the world?
Was it because we had a rich heritage? A great civilization?

Culture is what a society has when it has the collective awareness to love and respect its members ,to help the downtrodden and uplift the trampled.

India never had this.

Why should we inject so much pseudo pride in our own minds?

NicoleBraganza said...

We are experiencing the ongoing process of change and we should be proud to be a part of it. Remember that each and every one of us as citizens is responsible to effect this change in our country. If we do not start today, we will forever be left in the dust.

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