Happy Independence Day 2013

(Image taken from the Internet)

Happy Independence Day 2013! :)

I have blogged about this before - this eruption of 'there is nothing to be happy' on Independence Day messages that happen every year. People are constantly cribbing. India is in this state and that state, what is there to be happy? India is in a bad state even on your birthday or on the day of a festival, why are you happy then, do you stop celebrating then? Then, why is it that there is nothing to be happy about on the day of independence or on Republic Day?

Yes, India is in a bad state but who is to blame for that? Politicians, alone? As Mahatma Gandhi said - Be the change you want to see in the world - that's all we need to do to bring India to a place which we want it to be in. We are a complacent set of people. We are not doers. We just complain and crib and that's it. Now, you might state that what is that we can do? We have no options, no power. We go to vote but the politicians are corrupt. Yes, the politicians are corrupt, no doubt about that. However, as Shahrukh keeps repeating in Chennai Express - Don't underestimate the power of a common man, don't underestimate the power that you have. Start small. There are millions of things you can do. Small changes if implemented by everyone have the power to bring about major changes.

For instance, lets take pollution - 

Noise Pollution - Any event in India is celebrated with a big bang! Loudspeakers spring up in every locality to celebrate every single festival irrespective of religion, caste, creed etc - Is God deaf? Then why, so much noise? Its almost a competition - who makes the most noise! Not only festivals, people play loudspeakers to celebrate birthdays, parties, and even Indian cricket team wins. Why? Why can't this stop? Its fun, or cos that's how we celebrate things - why can't you take a stand against this? Maybe as a kid you thought this was fun or maybe you thought and continue to think that this is how things happen in your locality or neighbourhood but what makes you so complacent. Why, can't you go and educate people, why can't you convince them to stop.Why can't you stop yourself?

Air Pollution - Diwali, Eid, Cricket Match, Ganpati, Durga Puja - firecrackers. Insane levels of smoke, smog, dust, trash and noise. Say no to firecrackers.One can make a difference. 

Water Pollution and Soil Pollution - Throwing things in water, immersing idols. Yes, the religious customs are there but can't we move towards better things like nature friendly idols, smaller idols. There are special depositories to collect the flowers and garlands from Puja. Lets practice and throw it in there rather than hit the rivers and seas.  Soil - spitting people, people spitting paan, throwing things anywhere and everywhere. It pains me but a lot of people do take steps to segregate garbage but the civic workers themselves spread a lot of pollution. Burning leaves in the open and even trash by these civic workers is one of the most rampant practices. I can only say that please don't be disheartened and do continue to do your bit..segregate garbage, dig compost holes if you have gardens or spaces available in your society and, if you can, convince people in your area to complain collectively against these faulty civic workers. Things might not change, or they may actually heed your complaints but retort to their ways again but keep complaining. If the faulty machinery in this country is tedi like kutte ki dum, why can't we be persistant too and continue to oppose it.

Another rampant thing that we see is corruption - This is a really serious issue..and we live in constant fear. Paisa nahi khilaya toh kaam kaise hoga? Some of these instances however can be avoided. For instance - traffic violations - does it hurt to not break signals, wear helmets or carry license and vehicle documents - no right? Atleast do that. If you don't have a blemish on yourself - no one can blame you. Yes, college admissions, getting domicile certificates, passports, voting IDs, other things are still difficult. Unless an entire city combines forces and refuses to pay up - civic authorities and their views can't budge but lets not be forthcoming in giving rishwat.

Adulteration - Food adulteration is a huge problem. Luckily, there are options available for us. There is organic food, there are other shops. The prices may be higher but we can eat healthy. Saste ke liye health se kyu khelna? Lets shun those shops which sell adulterated food. You may be a regular customer since generations but the baniya doesn't care for you, then why do you care and show loyality to him?

Vote - Either you vote or you don't. In each case you may feel lost. All the parties are corrupt. Incapable candidates, unfulfilled promises..what's the point of voting, right? Please vote still. Choose the better option of the two. Ideally, try and enter politics yourself or bring up your kids to have that zeal. Someday, we have to get down and dirty and invade politics - when I don't know but we have to.

Values - Practice values yourself - honesty, truth, integrity, respect, equality and tolerance. Teach your kids values. Rapists, corrupt politicians, criminals - they don't spring out of nowhere. They are within us, unfortunately growing every single day. Its alarming to note that children are participating in gangrapes even in places with matrilineal societies like Meghalaya. Be a role model and spread your values as much as you can.

There is no ideal society or ideal world but throughout ages mankind has tried to reach it. Times are indeed depressing for India but giving up is not an option. Changing is, if you know something is wrong - stop it - don't be a mute spectator. If you can't change others, atleast implement those things which you know are right in your own house. Every individual counts, every family counts. We all make up this nation..One small step can guarantee a huge leap for all of us.You live in free India, use your freedom constructively.