Sunday, December 07, 2008

We, The People

I was reading the report on Rediff, "After the terror, now it is the rage". There is ( or should i say, was - the report is on 4th Dec ) action all around. People saying that it is time we took some action, it is time we did something. And now everyone is thinking of doing his or her own bit. On Dec 2, Rediff seems to have run a feature, "How do YOU plan to make a difference?" Over the last six days, we have 327 posts there.

Interesting. Even heartening. But in the heart of hearts, i still have pessimism. Forgive me to be a dampener. Is a change really possible as soon as this ? Can we, like the movies, diffuse into a mellow yellow sunshine scene and print "End everything went well from then ?". I doubt. It takes a long time for change to happen and to make an impact. Will we be able to sustain our anger, our energy and our josh till then? Or will our day to day lives pull us back ?

I dont know where, but couple of days back, i read ( in one of the internet articles ) that the ppl in the citizen's rally were considering ( or contemplating ) non payment of taxes if they were not being used for our security!!! Would that help ? Is that the solution, or isn't that just a knee jerk reaction?

What we should be doing is to actively participate in the govt. When we make ourselves a participant of the govt, we will automatically be responsible for the functioning. Take one section of our sity, where we live, look at our own roads, and actively involve and follow the proceedings in the govt related to your area. Is the road condition being discussed ? Who are the contractors, what are the tendors? How much is it being quoted for ? Can we go and ask specific contractors whom we know as truthful to quote? Can we be involved in following up for the payment?

Can we participate in the recruitment of teachers in our schools ? Can we make recommendations to set the slaries of the teachers to make it more meaningful ? Can we audit the financials of the govt.?

One individual or a small group of individuals might find these tasks extremely difficult and painful. But if the combined energy of the citizens rally could be channeled into such activities - sustained, persistive activities, then, slowly, the wheels of change would start setting in.

The point is not to set up a parallel govt. It is to participate in the current govt. When there is participation, there would be more accountability and when there is more accountability, slowly, there would be straightening. And there would evolve leaders, who have the right education and the right attitude. And then, they would drive this country.

If not I, if not my children, utleast my grandchildren, could then hope to live in a much better India.

Gandhiji once said, Be the change that you want to see. I hope i will persuade myself to go beyond my selfish life to act on these activities. And i hope i will sustain.

I cannot pledge. I am not that strong yet. But i am on the path. I hope.