My blog for Tehelka last week
2012 was a somber year exemplified by the general lack of hope. I am not mentioning words like corruption and nepotism simply because they are so very endemic, and increase the level of hopelessness.
As a new year begins some wishes, for one and all, for a better 2013.
Aam Aadmi Party – people turning up for your events means nothing. Ever seen the crowds at a street fight? You still have the equity of public opinion going into 2013 – do something with it, instead of just aimlessly shooting at everyone you think is in your way to get to power.
BJP – Focus. Focus. Focus. In the year before the next elections tell us why you are worthy of our votes. (Hint: we are not the Congress is not good enough). Tell us what you stand for and why, not what you oppose. Pick your fights and stay with them.
Communist Party – Psssst….it is 2013. 1913 was a century ago. The Russian Revolution 96 years ago. 21st century and all that .. .wake up.
Dynasty – Dynasty is a continuation of caste. This belief that bloodlines alone can carry forward a political legacy, a business enterprise, a profession. It erodes the system. Be it the Gandhis, the Thackerays, the Scindias, the Ambanis or the father who forces his son to be a doctor after him, we need to question this very principal.
English Language News Channels – because you use English to communicate, does not make you firang. You talk to some of the most influential people in India, maybe you need to be a bit more responsible.
FDI – it is not the cure to all ills, nor is it the great demon. It is just another way for businesses to operate and generate employment.
Gandhi – When Gandhiji said ‘Hear no evil, speak no Evil, See no Evil’ – he did not mean apathy. He meant it as a personal philosophy, as a method of not badmouthing the world at large. We adopt the worst of all possible worlds, abuse people and make compromises with evil.
Hindi News Channels – causing a riot is a great way of attracting TRP’s. Going to jail for inciting a riot is a great way of losing your broadcast license and your freedom. Reform, there is still time …
Indian National Congress – it is 60+ years since Independence. We don’t need a Party that treats us as children, but as equal citizens. You are not absolute rulers of India; you are the party in power for the next one year, and then you face us again. Talk to us. Don’t fob us off with platitudes. And govern, for God’s sake Govern. Instead of reminding us of your glorious past, maybe it is time you reminded yourselves of who you were and how that has eroded.
Justice System – is broke and needs to be fixed. Time bound trials is a start. Limit the number of continuances. Get arbitrators to clear civil cases from a long time ago. Creating more and more special courts is not the solution – an integrated approach to justice delivery is
Lakshmi - the girl child is meant to be that. But, millions are discarded like garbage before birth. Attitudes towards women begin with this. it needs to be changed family by family. Start with your family and your neighborhood
Manthan - the churn. suppose to expel the poison and lead to new beginings. Maybe there is hope.
Oligarchs - rule us. Political, Economic, and in Civil Society. Time for Manthan.
Parliament – if Parliament is Supreme, Parliamentarians had better turn up to work. Mouthing off in the studios are not what you are paid for. Maybe there needs to be a cap on the number of TV appearances during working hours. A bit like banning FB in the work place.
Queue - a starting point for the rule of law. Maybe a small beginning could be following a queue and not jumping it.
Rule of Law – starts with us. Do we follow it? Can we demand others follow if we don’t. Don’t jump that red light
Social Media - wonderful, fantastic, great interaction and all of that. But, are we talking in an echo chamber? create networks in social media, but bring change in the real world.
TRP’s – the system of measuring news needs to change. If you measure news the same way as you measure entertainment, you will get news that is entertainment.
Universal Franchise- each one has the right (and duty) to vote.
Voter Card- people elsewhere in the world die for the right to Vote. Have you even registered for your voter card yet.
X – x marks the spot where people vote – and if I were a Political party, i would be very nervous
You – You can be the difference. Really.
Z – zzzzz the snores of an asleep people, governed by a somnambulistic government and a daydreaming opposition. WAKE UP. it is 2013.
and a very happy new year to you all.