Monday, December 24, 2012

why is the North east part of India?

I love the culture and people of the North East very much. By virtue of history they even belong to India and ended up being addressed as the North-East as well, instead of maybe western China.

I don't know from when, but maybe from when I became aware of the extent of troubles in the area, I have always imagined the frustrated youth and angry population trying to bring balance and seek out justice. Their spirits might have taken different forms, corrupt or maligned or still might be upright. I don't have an first person or even second person experience about the ground realities over there.

There is just the vague picture painted in my mind by the scant news articles, comments and views of experts and travellers to the area. The picture it paints ain't too sweet either, and that has very well served as a block for me convince my friends for a trip to the exquisite locations there. But leaving aside the concerns of a nature lover and wanderer, I wish to address the social and political problem faced by the common man there. By addressing, I don't really mean I am doing anything for them. I am just sharing what my thoughts are on those, and I admit that I am ashamed by my inability to do more.

The people in that area.. hmm even this article of mine separates them by area, and address the people of this very same nation as them. But then practically there is no way to continue with this without accepting the irony. These people belong to same country that I sang anthems and songs about from my childhood with a burning passion. All descriptions and claims of a unified and free country .. ah they were laid to rest when the central government decided to crack down on the militants and thereby brought the daily lives of the people also to a frozen state. I hope things are not too bad, but I know that more often then not, they turn quite ugly.

Being residents of a troubled area, affected by rough terrain unlike that of the rest of the nation, the fellow countrymen of this area have to fight to get their daily livelihood. On top of that the corrupt system that rules the Indian democractic behemoth sucks dry their other means of help. As with any country with such diversity, the riches of a part should help in balancing the grief and disasters of another. But the corruption burns out everything as the bulk of wealth and facilities remain with the rich areas. The rich get richer, while the poor get poorer.

No wonder movements like the Naxal and separatists spurt up. Most of them are directly caused by the Government, whereas the rest are the results of an amalgamation of a state of anarchy coupled with a corrupt system. Anti-social elements need only so much to thrive and strike at the heart of the 'golden' principles of the great democracy. What is right and what is wrong is a very difficult decision to reach with so many complex issues and facts remaining in half exposed states.

It hurts to think a lot of educated and able young people of these areas have no other option other than migrating to the 'rich' lands to get a decent job and a life. As much as I respect the armed forces, I desist the inappropriate use of such draconian laws on our own brethren.

Maybe our nation will never be an ideal one, maybe we shall have no peace forever. The people might not respect each other as described in the text books, in the words of the freedom fighters, politicians or great visionaries. We might fight each other and stop existing as a nation of ideals, knowledge, peace and happiness. But I feel a lot of pain when those distant countrymen of mine don't get to experience the freedom I enjoy, the ability to make choice, win a livelihood, have good times with friends and family without having to fear death and sorrow. I wonder what would be the reaction of the natives if I made a visit to their homes. Would I be looked upon like European visiting the slums of occupied India? It pains to even wonder about this painful disparity..maybe they shouldn't be maintained as part of India. It hurts to lose such beautiful people and land, but if pain is all the relationship brings, is it not better to severe it ?

Saturday, December 08, 2012

From my movie collections..

Here I present a few selected movies from my Recommended and Must Watch folders, which I really classify in the same manner.

The Man from Earth. I got this from my friend Manu, tagged "GREAT MOVIE" in the folder itself. Readers have to take note that we are not the kind of people who mess up with our file names so easily. He atleast, is a master of TBs of data, so such a tag itself meant something special. In spite of my original plan to remove the tags after watching, what I did says all about my valuation of the movie. It was renamed to "GREATEST MOVIE". I couldn't say more about this lovely movie. I just finished another full round of it. Loved every bit of it.

Moving on..

"Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)". Directed by Stanley Kubrick. Many people out there are crazy about Kubrick's movies. But I found out the director's name much later, after having watched the movie and having fallen in love with it too. No other movie has depicted such a sarcastic and brilliant picture of the morals of the Americans(whom the world has learned to hate) during the Cold War. Each character has a meaning and a place in the script which has been played out well by the cast as well.

ah I just figured out that I have 63 movies in my Must Watch folder, just for the English language. There would be approximately the same number in various other languages, off which I value the ones from outside the reach of the Indian subcontinent very much due to the uniqueness and variety in their subjects and methods of portrayal of similar or dissimilar themes.

The recommended folder has 98 movies just for English...sigh I am sorry fellows.. I can't take up the task of sorting and bringing out even 5 favorites, because I would be doing gross injustice to at least a 100 great pieces of work which I value..

Friday, December 07, 2012

was democracy the right way for India?

The UPA Government commented recenlty on the FDI matter pending a vote in the parliament - "The question is not FDI as the decision to implement it is on the state governments. If the states have to decide, what are we deciding here. The only thing to be decided here is to support or oppose BJP’s politics and condemn it" Source: The Hindu.

It underlines a very dangerous attitude that the Indian political leadership has. I was a believer in the righteousness and power of a democractic Government mechanism until the last 3-4 years.  But off late, I have been increasingly disenchanted and frustrated by the doings of the central government. And it is an interesting co-relation that the UPA was in power in that period of time. And this is not a political statement, as I don't think I support any political party per say. But I will admit that I support liberal views based on justice and harmony for the population. You can call that a leftist slant, but I don't really care whether you do or not.

Anyway, coming to the present matter, I felt an outrage at such a pathetic and narrow-minded approach taken by people who are supposed to lead a country of a billion plus people with immense and diverse problems and solutions at their hands. Rulers of such a nation are expected to be more mature, more far-sighted and highly practical. 

The statement in all its sense just means that they don't give a damn if FDI is approved or not( which is a different matter altogether, considering the profit potential to the political cashbanks). They are more focused on getting the different parties to stand by them to defeat another political party. Such in-fights help in clouding the actual judgement and analysis of the policy matters being decided by these elected representatives. These might favour the ones trying to hide something. But I don't want to speculate. Whether a new policy involves unscrupulous activities or not has to be judged with an unbiased attitude, and with an intention to settle cheap disputes.

I don't like to think or waste my time over the petty political antics of our leaders. I only cringe in pain for the original ideals of democracy have been torn to shreds and ruthlessly ravaged under the watchful eyes of the law, which was originally appointed to safeguard the ideals. And this is not just the case of India. Other democracies too are falling apart. The Achilles Heel of democracy, in my honest opinion is disparity in wealth. The huge economic boom in USA during the last century literally blew its fair and just  judicial system to smithereens. The same is happening in India, but only worse as we tout not just economic disparity, but cultural, lingual and communal as well. It is high time we figured out a better form of administration that brings peace and harmony to the people, while propelling the economy to greater heights.

Maybe the British were afterall right in their expectations that petty Indian leaders would tear apart the country once they were let loose after the independence. It really did happen. The rich, the powerful and the cunning ones took resources and power into their hands, playing nicely by the rules, until they reached a position where they could rewrite the very rules that contained their antics.

So are we in a state where can't hope for a just and fair system? Will our only chance of survival be the path of allegiance and silence? Will there be sufficient catalysts and reactions by the population to improve the situation, so that we reach a state were we don't deny people the minimum they deserve? Is democracy the real way to empower people? Or was it just a method which helps the powerful to settle their disputes amicably among themselves? I wonder what would have happened if the founders of the Indian constitution had not chosen democracy ..

I remain in a state of confusion and anguish wondering about these troubling matters...