Thursday, June 07, 2018

Tough questions, tougher answers

If there is a question that we need to start asking, it is "Why?"

Why do the backward classes need reservation in promotions?

Why are certain communities always impoverished and asking for benefits, while others continue to rise like Phoenix from the ashes?

Why are locals everywhere angry with "outsiders" if we have a concept of united India?

Why are Indians the worst flyers and tourists?

Why, after 70 years of independence, are we still dependant upon rain water irrigation for more than 50% of agricultural land?

Why is the Indian farmer punished for creating bumper crops?

Why have we made road corridors for industry but failed to create a cold storage infrastructure pan India for farm produce?

Why does India see one dowry death every 4 minutes even today? Why do marriages not happen without dowry? What is the pull of dowry?

Why is the CM of Sikkim asking for SC ST status for 17 tribes - all Nepali, without telling us what happened to the Lepchas and Bhutias - the majority demographic when I first went to Sikkim in 1999, and why their tribes are not a part of the SC/ST list.

And before we start asking why, we have to acknowledge that these problems exist. We have to stop being politically correct, we have to stop looking the other way and we have to stop airbrushing numbers and reports. And for God's sake, we have to STOP hiding behind the easy answers.

The price of inaction is violence. We all believe that such violence will not touch us, that things like that always happen to "other people". But we all should know better. Way better.

So the next time you meet a beggar on the street asking you for food because he can't afford to eat, ask him/her "Why?" And you will discover a story of parental neglect, not poverty. "My parents don't have money to feed me." "Did they not know that when they were planning a child?" "Yes they did, and they thought God will take care of all His children." That's not just parental neglect. That's parental cruelty. And parents should be criminally prosecuted for that. To bring a child into the world knowing that they cannot even feed that mouth 2 square meals is planned cruelty towards the unborn.

As much as we need to hang rapists, we also need to hang mothers who keep quiet when their daughters tell them that they have been raped by a close family member. Ask yourself "Why are the child abuse numbers so horrific?" And you will get the answers - Majority of child abuse, sexual and otherwise, is done within the family, and mostly within the house. So, who saves the culprits? And what gives these culprits the confidence that they will remain undiscovered? We are quick to blame the cops for not firing FIR. Let that FIR include all "close" relatives who protect the perpetrator.

What happened in Meghalaya? Why did it happen? What happened in Kashmir? Why is Kashmir the only state whose residents believe that they can live off subsidised rations from India, get Indian tourism dollars, relocate Kashmiri Hindus outside Kashmir and not move their backsides to another part of Kashmir - their "dream" side? What gives them the confidence that India will put up with this nonsense?

Of late, a very funny thing has happened with me - An increasing inability to remain politically correct, especially in the face of ridiculous assumptions being broadcast in drawing room political discussions.

This post will not win any popularity contests. Chances are, some of you will even be offended. But if you can use that sense of being offended to go back and ask "Why?" at least 2 times a week, and not stop until you know at least 2-3 reasons, the post will have served its purpose.