Friday, 20 May 2011

As an Indian Citizen

Singapore was preparing to vote for its leader. And it was my first time around rallies in another country. Not just any other country. It was one of the most developed economies in the world. I had always thought that the process was pretty much simple. There is one party that stands for the elections. And you pretty much don’t have a choice but to vote for them, given that they do a really good job. However, it was surprising to know that, this time the scene was changing a little bit. My Singaporean friends were attending rallies by different other parties (They actually exist!). I came across debates among my Singaporean peers, on whom they should vote for and why. At the same time, Tamil Nadu State election results were coming out. Newspapers and TV channels had new meat to chew on. Parents and relatives talked about it on the phone. At home. People in restaurants. Old men in the park. My grandma was talking about the scene for her bit. Analysis of which leader should come back. Who was going to win? Who had contributed anything at all for the community? Who had robbed more? Whose family was looting? So many questions were drifting in the air.

Two scenes. And I’d say from completely different movies.

Scene 1: One would think that Singapore having all that it does, would elect their ruling party. And yes they did. But all the debates that took place gave me a new perspective. There were people who were looking for change. They wanted less foreigners, better roads and drainage systems (They’ve GOT to be kidding me), speedier government procedures, etc. Nevertheless, what they wanted dint matter so much to me, as the fact that THEY ACTUALLY DID WANT MORE. There is always door for change, space for more. That’s what I learnt from those few weeks of exposure.

Scene 2: Tamil Nadu elections have always been this way. One party would take care of one small thing in their reign. Other would give attention to another small issue. They are united in one issue though, never failing to give attention to looting public money. It doesn’t matter to me which party comes to power.

Digitally printed banners of party leaders’ blown-up faces with head shots of the guys who made the posters, carrying slogans that claim these leaders to own the state (I should give it to them, they are very honest people) – are ALWAYS going to be around, destroying the beauty of the city. I remember once, the government decided to ban the huge advertisement banners around the city. Wonder what category these fall under. And every time they take a certain route in the city, the roads are going to be adorned with their faces and flags. Flags which are stuck inside holes bored on the granite walkway. Oh yes, new holes every time they decide to stick flags on the roads. We kinda know who we voted for and who the ruling party is. I wish they realized that, and dint try to remind us every single day. What happened to beautifying Chennai, keeping it clean? One party would decide to waste hundreds of crores and build a new assembly building. And the other party, would decide to move back to the old one, spending even more crores and wasting more public money in the end. These are just starters. Very petty issues. There’s agriculture getting less importance by the day, city getting crowded, land prices, corruption, unemployment, theft, road discipline, accidents, what not. It hurts to know that these parties don’t give a damn to these issues. Issues which will, when addressed, probably give them more recognition. Ignorance is not just by the parties, even the public care less for issues that matter. They would go by number/values of freebies or even worse by religion and caste. Yes, we are a religious nation. I am pretty sure that never meant vote for the guy who is from your sect of belief. Hurts.

Comparing these two scenes. Oh yes, the second one is my own perspective and the first is borrowed hence the difference in size! I pray and hope for the day my countrymen would start demanding for a better government. It is not at all the fault of the parties. It is the attitude of every citizen that matters. Singapore is a hardworking nation. Yes, I have complained of monotonous life a million times, these past months. But they are people who know their duties. They form a responsible nation. They care for their government. Government cares for them. They are selfish yes, but selfish for their nation. That counts. That is the quality we lack. We do not know our duties. We rarely work hard. We cannot care more for the government. Government cannot care for us. We are selfish people, but our selfishness stops with self and family. The day we extend it to nation we would succeed. The saying for cleanliness comes to my mind now, ‘Keep yourself clean, keep your house clean, and keep your road clean. And if every citizen did the same thing the entire nation would be clean’- Can be applied to any situation/issue.

Overwhelming emotions due to boredom at so-called work. ‘True’ overwhelming emotions though.


Rohan Rajiv said...

Nice one.

Singapore DOES have it's shit together. Incredible.

Concusfused said...

Yea. :)

Akshaya said...

I really like this post!! :)

Concusfused said...

Shoo. :)