Friday, December 12, 2008

'WE' the Change, 'BE' the change..

I know most of you will read this post, with a few quick glances and close it. Some might even linger for a few minutes, think a while and then move on. This is for those of us who will read each word, understand the significance and realize the importance of US. You and me. The common man. The devastated Mumbaikar. Shaken and stirred.

Last week as our city and our families sat gripped in the claws of terror, you and me could do NOTHING about it. I watched the news for an agonizing 3 days with little or no news from my father inside the Trident, and maybe that's why for me, this time, Terror is Personal. It entered through my backyard, lived in my dads office and stared my family in the face. Its an experience I wouldn’t inflict on my worst enemies. Anyway, this isn’t about me. Its about US. You, me, our neighbor, his twenty year old son, Aunts uncles EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US.

Two weeks after the trauma, after 20,000 people turned up at Gateway to voice their solidarity and demand ‘Change’. We got this - Ashok Chavan CM of Maharasthra, Chaggan Bhjujbal as the deputy CM. (Allow me to remind you AGAIN that it is this man who resigned from the same post a few years ago, due to “Moral grounds” on being involved in the Multi crore Stamp Paper scam).

As our state lay orphaned, leaderless for a week, our ‘Leaders’ spent time debating which political figure would be their best bet to retain power. How about making us feel safe? As these leaders come into their position, Its clear. The change is that THERE IS NO CHANGE. We’ve gone from one crook to another. That’s the only difference.

Its time we took matters into our own hands. Its time we begin to believe that each one of us can make a difference. To take our responsibilities as a ‘citizen’ seriously. Someone needs to protect us, Lets start with being our own eyes and ears.

VOTE - It’s the least we can do. Agreed we need to choose the better of two evils, but do so. Democracy means we get to choose our own devils, lets do it. You also have the right to NOT VOTE. As per the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1969 Act, in Section 49-O that a person can go to the polling booth, confirm his identity, get his finger marked, and convey to the presiding election officer that he/she doesn’t want to vote for anyone. Don’t waste your vote or run the risk of someone stealing your identity and voting for you.

SAY NO TO BRIBES/CORRUPTION - Don’t bribe the Ticket conductor in the train, the security guard on the railway/airport etc.. Don’t use ‘Influence’ to buy a flat, invest unethically in any mode of income. Remember, if you can do it, so can a terrorist. A friend of mine was narrating to me how he had loaded DJ equipment in the back of a taxi, while the taxi guy did'nt even bother asking him what it was. Im so proud of Devang, that he told the taxi driver that it is his duty, responsiblity and right to ask whats being loaded into his vehicle. Lets all remember such lapses in duty lead to lives being lost and cities held at seige. Lets remind people of their responsiblities not only to themselves, but also to you and me and the other citizens. At the same time, lets not forget our own.

REALIZE THAT THE FACE OF TERROR HAS CHANGED - They are no longer menacing hoodlum looking tall dominating men. They are young, driven, unconventional looking men. The ride our trains, visit our hotels, invest in our markets, live among us, study our habits and then strike. If we can get away with corruption, so can they.

BE AN ALERT CITIZEN - Allow yourself ... actually insist on being inconvenienced at malls, airports, multiplexes by checking of your bags and self. In fact, if your not being checked well, or carelessly, then someone else could enter with explosives too. Insist that you are checked carefully. Its is their job, raise an alarm if you feel its not being done.

UNDERSTAND YOUR RIGHTS - As a citizen, understand what the RTI is, why we need it, how we can use it, our basic rights as a citizen. 100 crores were recently sanctioned for safety equipment, speed boats etc. I wonder how much of it will percolate down to actual quality equipment, and how much will earn our Mr Deputy CM another college. Have the urge to understand where your money is going and where its being used. Its our right.

KNOW THAT YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE - Those of you still reading this, and nodding your head as each bullet point unfolds…We can make a difference. And this is the time that we have to. Its now or never.

Its time we took up the reins. No more blame game, bad mouthing. Lets start with ourselves first, and then move on to bigger things. The time is NOW.

I hope somewhere, somehow a part of you wakes up on reading this. A part of you gets angry again, stays angry and realizes how important it is for you and me to join hands and come together. Lets do it. Hold my hand.


Nirav said...

I'm with you on this one. In fact I had wanted to comment on your yesterday's post, but it slipped somehow.

Anyway, even I am trying to get my arms around the RTI Act and how to use it. There's a website which has some info, and you might find it useful.

Also, I am a big deterrent of the whole 49-O saga. First, if you vote under 49-O, your vote gets counted, but it will not impact the result. In effect, the vote is of no use, and its akin to not voting at all.

I know most people say that they do not find anyone in the list who deserves that vote. But its a flimsy argument. If we cannot impact the kind of choices we have, let us reconcile to the fact that the current set of politicians are the limited choice we have. Now, given our limited options, should we select the best alternative out of it, or should we run away from that responsibility and let others decide for us?

I would strongly discourage people from using 49-O as an option... doesn't serve any purpose.

Smita said...

I have never nodded as much in any other post.

The day I was going for the March, a colleague of mine started giving me lecture about what should I be saying in the march. He was going blah! blah! blah!
I asked him why isn't he coming himself. He said we are job waale people we can not afford to do such things. I said, ya u r right, the only thing you can do is shed your responsibilty & transfer it onto someone else.

He said no no that is not the case.

I believe that if we citizens start understanding our responsbilties nothing can stop us. We believe Corruption is viscious circle and can not be broken through. What we forget is that if step out of the circle the chain is broken and an example set.

Fantastic post...

eye-in-sty-in said...

I am in agreement with you. We need to be the change we want in this world!

Have u seen the movie, V for Vendetta? Its happening in real life in Europe over the killing of an innicent teen by the police! ONE TEEN and Europe is in roits... 170+ Massacered and we are silent! Shame on us!

Serendipity said...

Hi Nirav, Thanksa a bunch for the website, Am visiting it as we speak.

Also, about the 49-0, Im against it too, but I refer exercising the option to people sitting at home and not voting at all. Specially when our dear politicians are not averse to using unethical means to get more votes (proxy voting for eg).

@ Smita - we need to start small,and this has to be integrated in ourdaily life.
My post was trigerred by a small argument on bribing a tc the previous night, and I have sent the above post as a mail to everyone I know, hoping it makes a difference.. however small.

If we all get disheartedned, well never get anywhere. and might is not always in numbers... its like thats saying 'Boond boond se sagar banata hain'

@ Eye-in - yep, been following that story too. Its been over a week and Protests are still in full force in Athens..we can take a leaf out of their book i guess.

Its up to you and me, to take the lead, and hope others join us..

karmickids said...

Hey there, mail me your number on ...also, sent out a flurry of emails, Ro had a prob so she just mailed me the list last update you..we are going to tie up with Nirmala Niketan since theyre already working on a project like we had in mind. Theyve called us in to meet with them on Saturday at 11.30. Its at SNDT churchgate. You want to come along?

Serendipity said...

Course im coming. M mailign you my number - tho if youve got the excel Ro mustve updated my number too-- had put it on the sheet on sat. :)

The Geekie said...

i too agree...i need to change if i want see d change in my society

thnkx for such post in ur touched :)