Thursday, August 18, 2011

I've come to realize that I can no longer indulge in playing around with words and derive carnal satisfaction from it. "When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone [to Alice], 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less." I do not do that. So, though this blog has been anonymous, I cannot fool my good self. That is why I've mostly picked up others words/sentences and formed a line of thought from them. So, for now, I'll continue this exercise and it may be quite long before I'll writing something by myself entirely.

Anna Hazare is a nice guy trying to turn things around. Of course, I would have been happy if Gandhi was also jailed before he went on to that fatal fast to give away most money in the already-emptying Indian treasury to Pakistan. India would have been saved so much of nuisance. And so many Brahmins would not have been massacred in Pune and around, as Godse belonged to that elite class. But after all, he was Gandhi and could get away with anything. Now, Anna wants something to be done about corruption. I do not know anything about the Lokpal Bill or rather I do not wish to know. I have got nothing to do with this third-rate society or ways to reform it.

Seeing Anna, I'm reminded of what a brilliant mathematician said about Anna's guru: "Setting all moral judgments aside, Gandhi and Hitler have been the greatest publicists of the first half of the 20th century". Anna could have congenitally acquired this trait. Somehow, I'm amazed at the youth who have turned up to support Anna. I've never known so much youthful strength come together for any movement that calls for educational reforms. Right to Education act is just a sham and will hardly reignite a culture of learning in this country. India did have this culture once. No one complains about bad teachers or rote learning. Some "experts" do complain about the coaching institutes in closed doors. Parents go on record ruing about their kids being super-stressed by exams but still coaching institutes have a gala time pounding students with knowledge that is at best superficial.

In Tel Aviv, recently, protestors pitched their tents angered over rising housing prices. They are into what is called "tent warfare". Of course, before this there were protests by the disabled, holocaust survivors and border dwellers. "And yet none ever succeeded—despite repeated attempts—at mobilizing the mass support they required to effect meaningful social change. The geographic, socioeconomic, and ethnic divides that have split Israeli society and prevent mass mobilization become clear." Of course, Israel and India share many things. Israel got its independence a year after India, but has outperformed it considerably.

The Tel Aviv protestors, mostly aged 20 to 30 years, erected tents in elite neighborhoods. "It served not merely as a provocative spectacle but also as a boost to the self-confidence of these highly self-conscious performers, who play to the cameras at every opportunity...a testimony to the fact that as much as the protesters may be trying to prove their inflated sense of self-accomplishment to the greater public, they are primarily trying to make themselves believe in their own historical import."

Indian protestors have done all this. There seems to be a sudden groundswell about an issue that can unite anyone and everyone. You can call it a culmination of years of disgust at the state of affairs. But the demonstrations are “an effort by the young to recapture an older, more egalitarian, more idealistic, country that their parents lost.” The Arab protests have given those waiting for a big change something to cheer about. But more than this, it is the protestors' own guilty conscience that has shamed them into action. Guilty for their inability to change the way things function in this country, they seems to have hoisted Anna as a facade to hide their guilt. Poor old man, he is trying his best to remain the moral rudder. I wish him all the best in this senile adventure.

India, first get your education preferences right, make space for exceptions/ underdogs/ amateurs, learn to trust people, stop moralizing...

Disclaimer: I'm not an Indian and have no interest in its fourth-rate society. Lastly, this aptly applies to India: "First rate people hire other first rate people. Second rate people hire third rate people. Third rate people hire fifth rate people." Replace 'people' and 'hire' with 'culture/society' and 'generate/create', respectively. Yes you guessed it right, its arithmetic progression.

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