Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Times We Live In : Duty vs. Desire


I once saw a movie. An idealistic hero was failing to cope with modern day realities. In one scene he hears from his brother, that during a test match at Eden Gardens Calcutta, a stand collapsed and six people lost their lives. On the same day one of the players scored a brilliant century. Incredulous, hero asks "the match went on, inspite of six people losing their lives!! People sat through and watched the match, when six people died!"

These are the conflicts and confusions in our daily lives. The balance between duty and desire is getting skewed in society. Take for instance, a communal violence breaks out in a state. There is widespread belief that one ruling party member had deliberately orchestrated the events, to gain electoral dividend.  Government did precious little to punish perpetrators of violence and rehabilitate victims. Faced with scrutiny, the politicians and administrators evicted riot victims of their shelter, in biting cold of December.  To add insult to inury, party that failed to give solace to its constituents and citizens, celebrated its annual festivity like Saifai Mahotsav with great paegentry and pomp. 




The same government, that could not rehabilitate her citizens, is sending its elected members for a 18 day study tour of five nations at tax payers expense. Important to note one of members of this study trip, also happens to be a key architect of communal violence. I know we cannot equate two events in a mutually exclusive manner. Our leaders must learn from other societies and systems. Question remains are they learning anything? Is there a way to evaluate how taxpayers money is being used and what is coming out of such study tours? Finally,  is it not possible to temper our needs, desires and entitlements,  when people of your own state are suffering? I think our sense of morality must force us to take the right decision. Such kind of greed gives rise to rise of Aam Aadmi Party.

In another example, a girl is raped, and then burnt alive. Society debates, was she raped once or twice? As if, number of times a girls body is violated makes any difference, as if violating her once was not enough! This too after Nirbhaya was brutally assaulted and thrown on the street of Delhi to die! This after major law was enacted to punish people that assault women with physical violence! It is important to take note of the fact that in Delhi when Nirbhaya was assaulted, we had a lady president, speaker of parliament was a woman, leader of opposition was a woman, chief minister of Delhi was a woman, head of ruling congress party was a woman. Despite so many women in positions of power, fate of women in Delhi and India are one of the worst in comparison to rest of the world. Similarly, when a girl was burnt to death chief minister of the state was a lady. Certainly, burning of the girl was not an isolated incident, several other incidents have come to light under the same leadership. Why, may I ask, women in power do not bring about systemic change in the way women are treated in India. Is it because their loyalty and interest in their own party supercedes their interest for welfare of women? Again, the line between what I should do and what I actually want gets blurred.

Tags: Duty, Desire, Communal Violence, Rehabilitation, Saifai Mahotsav, Member of Assembly, Government, Nirbhaya, Rape, Violence against women, Women in power
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