Friday, July 15, 2011

De-Spirit of Mumbai?

Bombay was bombed in 1993. I was three then. That set up the tone in which I would hear of the place for years to come. People talk of the so called Maximum City with a measured excitement and a palpable sense of fear.
Being a person on the otherside of the glass, I've always viewed Mumbai as a place of extreme possibilities and adventures, with constant fear for life thrown-in in good measure.

I've always wanted to go there, still do.
And nothing will change that.

Over the years, I have seen many a blasts, attacks on the city, and everytime, the politicos express their grief for families of the affected, and hail the Mumbai Spirit.

Mumbai Spirit....

I see the faces of people, children- crying, parents-shattered.
Is that what you call spirit?

I see people dragging themselves to work, affording a loose smile when they see the camera. It seems they come out in the open not because they want to, but because they have to.

I see people who seem to have realised that only they can help themselves and their families. I see people who have lost faith on people at helm.

Is this the spirit of Mumbai?
I dont think so. Perhaps it is the spirit of humanity slowly draining away from the hearts and faces of the people of the Maximum City....

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Citizen Bane

These are times when everything happening in India is happening in Indian politics. A new wave of awakening has swept across the nation and the general public has decided to stand up against the slack and red tape that over the years have become the hallmark of Indian politics.
Come to think of it, the public outcry is to an extent justified. The government at every instance of the short history of free India, has tried to cut corners, muddled in vote-bank politics, and duly indulged itself in corrupt practices. So the angst had to spill over at some time or the other. Its UPA's plain bad luck, that it has happened in their tenure.

The pubic outcry brings us to the protagonists, Anna Hazare- the ever-smiling, gentle, Nehru -topi clad leader, whose only weapon is non-violence; and Baba Ramdev- the jet-setting Baba, who showed his cards too early and went down as quickly as he had risen up, and that to at midnight.

While Baba Ramdev showed evident lack in leadership qualities, and a past that is riddled with questionable events, he was an easy prey for the government to shoot down.
But Anna Hazare is different, his life is as simple and as devoted to his motherland as his illustrious idol- M.K. Gandhi. As much as the UPA has tried to pin down Anna, he and his civil society brigade have risen from the ashes every single time. And the growing popularity and the authority he commands amongst the masses, make it even more difficult for the current government to resist change.

For its part, the goverment, unfortunately is trying its best to be the bad guy.
Beating up women and children in the middle of the night- this kind of stuff is hand to describe in the context of democracy. CDs claiming civil society members of the lokpal bill to be corrupt and so on...- UPA's reactions appear to be of the knee-jerk kind. They fail to realize that its not a political party they are up against. It is the face of the aam aadmi, that has finally decided to stand up and be counted.
Now its like people look at every movement , listen to every word uttered by a politician with ample amount of suspicion and infinite amount of disgust.

Its seems that people are now determined to remind this government what democracy actually is-of the people, by the people, for the people.

Like I said, exciting times in Indian politics. What do you think?