Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I found these two blogs which inspired me greatly to re-instate that sense of responsibility towards my country:

I want to vote. But I missed out on Bangalore's elections. Since I am an "outsider" or "Not normally Resident" as my tax status aptly puts. (I am a citizen, yet haven't been a resident for at least 729 days in the last 10 years. I think I got the numbers right)

The reason I liked the blogs particularly well is because they echo exactly what I feel. Some things of which are:

1) You have no damn right to call the roads dirty, to call the power shaky, to call the hospitals unhygienic, to call the air polluted, to call the water contaminated and so on and so forth unless you have done your bit to help it. You have no right to compare India with anything else, since as an Indian you have not contributed a single pie to it well-being. If my parents rant about not having power, they have a right to. They have paid taxes to the Government (or the lack of it). So they can. And they will. I cannot. I should not. I haven't ever paid a single paisa in taxes. So I better stay shut. That is exactly what I have told a bunch of my friends at the risk of even sounding hostile. But I had to at times. People don't understand the concept of responsibility. It doesn't come from sitting in your air-conditioned office in the US and raking dirt over Indian roads. They already have enough on them, and can do with out your expert opinion on them, thank you. Its a very simple concept and I fail to see how people can't get it. You should expect returns only if you put in an effort. You can't expect a road (instead of a dirt track) if you haven't paid taxes to have it built. Of course it might be a different matter if you paid taxes and still there isn't a road. Rant on then. All that you want.

2) I agree whole-heartedly that the whole political process is corrupt. And the voting transparency is ZERO. Subhash's mom has stories about how elections are conducted (she is a Government teacher and often got posted on Electoral duty). But is this whole process going to get any better because you are sitting stuffed at home and giving a brilliant speech on how inefficient it is and totally basking in the glory of how justified your excuse to not go and vote is? No. So? Either you vote or you stop talking about how corrupt it is. If you vote, you can rant. If you haven't even taken the trouble to haul yourself to the polling booth, then please spare the eloquence on how dirty the country is.

3) I agree change cannot be brought about by just me going and voting sincerely every election. Just me going and re-registering every time. But at the risk of sounding cliched, if everyone thinks the same, then when do we see that much needed change in the political process? We will continue to be enamored by the proxy-Gandhi dynasty. We will continue to elect uneducated. We will continue to elect corrupt. That is because all the educated guys are busy making millions and ranting away at how long it takes to get to work. If it looks like people are taking an uneducated guess in electing leaders, well, its because its just the uneducated (or poorly educated) populus that is electing them. The educated don't seem to have the time for it. Sad.

I know it will be difficult for me to Register and vote. I know my name will have been long gone from the lists, I applied in 2001, and its been 7 years since then. I know I might not vote this election. Or the next. I know I might not be able to make it to Hyd even if I register at the time of elections. But. I will try. And till I actually vote, I will not crib. I will not insult. I will not rake dirt.

I will simply regret. Not what is happening around me. But that I haven't contributed to making it any better.


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