Saturday, May 31, 2008

An Angry Indian


It seems as if I am losing my identity as an Indian, and the identity borne out of association with a region of India is being forced upon me. Are there people willing me to accept as an Indian first, by virtue of my being on born here, and then label me as per my “attributes”? The ongoing Maharashtra VS North-India spat has shaken my belief in my concept of India as one nation. I chanced upon a forum called Mutiny.in where people were having a very animated and intense debate over this issue. The issue is indeed a very complicated one. Mumbai IS groaning under the weight of so many people. But the migrant workers just cannot be thrown out of the city. The violence used by MNS cannot be justified. The official death toll is still in single digits, but for how long? A street hawker’s arms were chopped off; a man lost his life to stone-pelting. It is foolish to suggest so, but could all this lead to a civil war? The crux of the situation is the fact that if an Indian is not free to live and work in any part of India, it would imply that the rights of the Indian citizen have been usurped. And on a side note, the Pakistanis and the Chinese must be ecstatic over all this infighting. I do wonder why the media is not focusing on the source, the root cause of all this mayhem. The jackasses who have been ruling UP and Bihar for the past 10-20 years. The railway minister who is being hailed by the media like the financial genius of the century, why do people forget that it was under his regime that the state of Bihar was rotting. When asked about why he couldn’t work the same magic with Bihar, his reply was that the state lacked the potential to do so. I can never ever forget that. These politicians, the public servants, the representatives of the poor and the downtrodden deserver a part of the attention, at least. The media should shed some light on these great leaders as well. What else was the poor worker supposed to do? Not just the worker, people from all the classes moved near and far , to foreign countries, to Delhi,Kolkata,Bangalore,Gujerat,Indore and of course Mumbai. I was born and brought up in Bihar, but I studied in Manipal and I most certainly am going to work outside my home state. God help me if I get posted in Mumbai, the way things are, it seems that I will mauled or murdered for being a Bihari. People in this forum were discussing whose state produced more freedom fighters, and whose contribution was more significant, it was absolutely pathetic and ridiculous! And of course, what the hell is North-Indian? Or a South-Indian? I thought I was an Indian. Coming back to the burning issue, this has become one hell of a political circus where nobody seems to be coming up with a realistic, pragmatic, implementable solution. This is just a part of the picture. Apart from unrest in Kashmir and North-East, and the naxalites and the home-grown jehadis, there is a new kid on the block, the armed Gujjar who wants to be treated as a ST. India must be the only country in the whole wide world, where being a part of a community officially labeled as backward has its privileges. The genius, who came up with the idea of reserving seats in the premier institutions on the basis of caste, and not the economic status of the student, has done his country a great service. He has ensured that half of the graduates of these institutions would be sub-standard. He should be given a Nobel Prize for imbecility, if there was one. Why don’t these profound thinkers work on improving the primary education system, why don’t they reserve the seats for the under-privileged in the better schools so that the need for reservation is eliminated? I bet if I could figure out the why part, the epiphany would be nothing less than orgasmic. How hard is it to understand the repercussions of implementing a system, which ensures the admission of a rich kid from a backward caste but denies it to the poor Brahmin? Poverty has no caste or religion, the pangs of hunger are equally excruciating, so is the agony experienced on being denied an opportunity. And how can I forget about the dragon breathing down our neck, China. I do not understand why we fail to see beyond Pakistan, why is the Indian mentality so Pakistan-centric when it comes to enemies. I remember being told to treat India’s victory over Pakistan in WC 2003 as a win in the finals, that it was as good as winning the world cup. We have a history with Pakistan and there is a reason for the enmity. What reason did China have to invade us in 1962? The 1962 Sino-Indian debacle, thanks to political leadership, makes me writhe in agony and shame. It was a war that could have been won, but was lost. An unpredictable enemy is the most dangerous of all. China keeps bullying us, keeps denying us a chance to get a permanent seat in the UNSC, questions our claim over Arunachal Pradesh, but the government wags its head in unison over the Tibet issue for China. Why Oh Why? What is the government afraid of? Another war? Total annihilation of India by China? I cannot disagree that China is a powerful enemy, but is any country in this world powerful enough to make us dance to their tune? Are we a nation that spineless? I sincerely hope I am wrong. I cannot forget the horrendous incident when BDR killed 15 BSF soldiers, and then mutilated their body beyond recognition. Why the hell did a nation like India tolerate a barbaric act like that? What infuriates, incenses and humiliates me the most is that the perpetrator was a poor, pathetic and weak nation like Bangladesh. We freed those ungrateful bastards and this is what we get back. Bangladesh has now become the new breeding ground for anti-Indian extremists. The political establishment of this country seems to be too bogged down by their vote-bank politics to take concrete measures. The 6th pay commission was nothing but a slap in the face of the armed forces. If the soldiers defending this country do not come first, who does ? The IAS officers ? Or the old farts polluting the Parliament and the Legislative Assemblies ? There is a dearth of more than 10,000 officers in the armed forces . How is this deficit going to be compensated for ? By reservation , I guess ! God save my motherland !

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

End of an Era


8th September 2003 was the day I came to Manipal to start my journey as a student of engineering. Owing to my year back, it has been more than 4 years since. And now, I have to leave this wonderful, beautiful, idyllic paradise (for me) in a few days. I shall be bidding my dear Manipal adieu on 6th of June, 2008. These 1734 days (to be precise) were the best, the golden days as I like to call them. I doubt whether any other place in this wide world would ever mean so much to me. Time alone can answer that, but for now I am deeply in love with Manipal. The metamorphosis from an oversensitive, immature and ignorant teenager to a relatively mature latitudinarian can be ascribed to Manipal and Manipal alone. Before coming to this place, I had the knowledge of the English Language and was fairly capable of expressing myself on paper, but when it came to speaking, I would get lost. Thanks to the multicultural multilingual atmosphere of Manipal, I am fairly fluent in oral expression. This is just one the many things that changed me for good. I made the best of my friends here, and a wide variety of them too. I had a first hand glance at the multifarious India. My taste in books, movies, music and food, my outlook towards life, in fact my entire weltanschauung was moulded here. The clean, green, pollution and population free environment is nothing less than a utopia for me. The freedom and isolation from the wicked world was almost like a hospitable womb. A person coming from my background can ask for nothing more. Add to this the fact that MU has one the most happening campuses in India. What else does a student need? A good education as well, but what the hell, you can’t have everything, can you? To be honest, it was average at worst. But I still don’t regret coming to this place. And I never will. I pity those miserable fools who came to Manipal and left this place just with a degree, and no memories or friends. And I positively loathe those people who claim to hate this place. I simply cannot fathom how anyone can hate Manipal. As I am about to leave, I wish I could visit all those places I used to frequent once again. I sincerely wish that Manipal could be personified (preferably as a female), so that I could profess my undying love for her, tell her how badly am I going to pine for her, embrace her, cry over shoulders and kiss her goodbye. But alas, I will have to contend with one last look at Udupi Railway Station. I love you Manipal and I shall love you forever.