Years ago, when I first became eligible to vote, I found myself thrilled and feeling all particularly important. I can sense the same sense of excitement in my son as he says that wherever he is in the world he shall vote in an Indian election because its important.
Agreed on the last part – surely. For my right is mine to exercise. It is the other reality which hits me hard. We always heard our grandmothers say to us that to understand the impact and consequence of something – or anything – one must get in its way. COVID and the virus’s destruction of life as we had known it -growing up and living it, right into our adult life – has finally made me realize what I am worth to my country.
And it is not harsh. It is real.
For starters, let us begin at the very beginning. (Acknowledge the influence of my favourite film!) Leaving all the jokes aside – education is of no importance to the nation. It is only important to you – as an individual. Sitting at home, we are looking for umpteen ways to enhance our knowledge and our learning. I have enrolled for half a dozen things. And am onto my next big thing too. Writing ‘Books’ are done for the time being and am looking for an innovative change. Its exciting. But that is because I am self- motivated.
Then what you feel, or think is not important either to the nation. Because we are amongst a billion and a half. No big deal darling, what you may think, feel, or believe in. The other large majority who are more important from the point of vote bank politics are the ones who matter.
Further, you are not rich. Are you? Will you be able to fund the election of some ‘poor’ Neta? For spice up some high-profile defence deal? Or do a favour to the nation amidst these trying times by conducting a wedding with a mere 75 guests and not 15 lakh poor souls? Or are you holding onto some purse strings so tight that all your beliefs – religious, social, personal – are looked at the other way? I am sure that for many of my readers the answer’s a No and a big emphatic one.
So, you continue to be classified as ‘a Nobody’.
It does not matter that 70% of us are taking the lock-down seriously. Because the others who are violating it brazenly are making a mockery of the whole thing and thumbing their nose at us as well. There are many from the under-privileged section of society band, thus facing the hardships but when work is given – are we serious about? Do we care? Do we do it with honesty and good intention? I am standing in line, willing to employ but I know that I shall not find anyone who will work with the right intent and trustworthiness.
And this is about everyone out there in the job market – whatever the kind of work we do, can do or want to do – is our heart in place in terms of reliability? Scrupulousness? Integrity? Authenticity? My list is always long. The takers part is always small. Sadly!
In such dismal times, with a cheerless virus forging ruthlessly ahead, around the world,
With nations experimenting with methods to tackle it through anxious trial & error,
With each nation looking for success stories to learn from each other, however small, in this fight against COVID 19,
With businesses falling like nine pins and the rich being heartless by closing shop or laying off people citing losses when their previous years profit earning ran into billions,
With politicians continuing to be politicians and ‘playing’ politics of the most despicable kind,
With a section of could not care-less public, of no particular class or creed, continuing with their daily life, as if there’s no tomorrow,
With certain sections enjoying the attention by professing that the development passed them by – as if they themselves were not responsible for taking the ‘election-bribe’ before each election to elect the most corrupt candidate ( sometimes from all in the fray!!),
With a few scary pods like us who are taking all instructions seriously and aren’t venturing out at all and managing with whatever we had, working our b**** off with zero domestic help, sweating it out in the kitchens in the 40 degrees heat (that’s what it is in front of the hob , each morning and evening).
And all this is happening, while some are protesting, others are marrying, some more are holidaying, many others are praying, some more are pelting stones, others are misbehaving, a few are blaming, others circulating news both real & fake, as governments keep issuing new orders and extensions and the virus keeps claiming its victims each day.
One of it, definitely, is Sanity.
The other is Rationality.
And the third is Transparency.
Apart from many others and the physical loss of human life, of course.
Maybe ahead of these times. Maybe once we settle into the new chaos. Maybe when the new turmoil becomes the new placid normal. Maybe when we get the COVID wisdom. Maybe when we decide to really be masters of our own destiny.
Maybe then we must seriously think of organising ourselves.
Into the formidable force of educated minds. Otherwise, I am beginning to seriously not laugh at the circulating jokes of ‘education’ not being an essential service. Being a politician and a vote bank seems a much more realistic segment to be in. At present. And sadly too!