Saturday, October 03, 2009

Mishaps, Tragedies, and Voices from the Grave

Every day we see an uglier face of our intolerance, crudeness and apathy. Whether its a national party expelling one its most prominent face for expressing his opinion, an MP being pestered for tweeting spontaneously, or the media being attacked for weighing all sides of the truth, it is something the judicial and social system needs to take a good strong look at. The freedom and privacy of an individual and the independence of the governmental machinery need to be preserved, for that is the very spirit of our constitution. But do we always need a mishap, tragedy or death to make us listen? Are we ever-willing to suffer and lose our loved ones before we consider change? It appears so.

The leaders we have elected conveniently forget their constitutional and democratic obligations. They seldom realize that people are more bothered about their daily bread,living in peace, good quality education for their children, having employment opportunities, and such simpler things of life. How many jobs has our government created in reality? Are we able to live and walk around in peace and security anymore? Are our children faring as good as our neighbours when it comes to the education our universities offer? These are more real and immediate questions in front of the people, and things we need to be secure about, before we worry about the ASEAN pact and responsible tourism.

Speaking of which, who is responsible for the Thekkady boat tragedy? Kerala Tourism earned Rs. 13130 crores in 2008, but what part of this money goes into the infrastructure and safety? If the boat that capsized was privately owned, wouldnt heads have rolled and fury been unleashed against privatization?

Newspapers have reported that officially 2467 persons died in road accidents in Kerala this year with 28,100 people getting injured. Where are the crores levied as road tax and license fees? Where does all the crores received from the central assistance and national funds go? Rs.7000 crores were written off and added to the state budget deficit to save the KSRTC. But what is going to save the people and their misery?

We have been worrying about the increasing number of crimes in Kerala for some time now, and about the criminal-politician links, and the paralyzing of the police and legal machinery by politicians. While the state chose to remain silent through all the daily attacks, thefts, and murders, it took a prominent figure to be murdered to stun the system and our people to take notice. Yet, what unfolded was a greater shock and sheer mockery of the policing and legal system in the state, but it is best left to the mainstream media to unravel further. It couldnt have come at a worse time, but we also won the award for the state with the best law and order. Kudos to our people for staying sane and calm, even while being under fear and worry. For it is the people who have earned it, not the government, and they earned it despite the law and order system of the state.

Why do we hate to listen to the truthful statements and honest expressions? Why do we let ourselves be treated like donkeys? Will we always like to live in this imaginary bubble, bloated by ego and denial? Will we always need to pay a price for telling the truth or even listening to it? Will we also need voices from the grave in the end to wake up? It appears so.

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