THE OTHER SIDE
One of the major issues influencing modern life is the tendency of people to be confused between the artificial and real. Things in real life are not like they show in most movies. One of the effects of this tendency is to indulge in nit picking even when the whole house if full of deadly parasites and worse. An example of this can be seen in some of the reactions to the recent controversy created by a brief video clip showing an MLA brandishing guns, dancing to a filmy song while sipping whisky and using filthy language even while referring to Uttarakhand. This obviously elicited public anger and rightly so. Apart from some interesting pieces written by a few journalists on the social media and the usual angry blabbering of others, ‘activists’ who were singing ‘revolutionary’ songs in support of the protesting students of a college in Pithoragarh have added this issue to their protest. Some of these people, who may fail to hold the interest of even five people with their talk were delivering angry speeches on a microphone, venting their anger. One is not defending the MLA or questioning the public anger.
However, one cant help but view this as a sign of hypocritical selective outrage. As many journalists and even those in some other professions will know, there is no dearth of public representatives, public servants and others who have and continue to do worse to Uttarakhand and the nation in deed than the MLA did in words in the clip. This reminds me of what an enlightened judge of the Madras High Court noted earlier this year when he said that corrupt judicial officers and public servants should be declared “anti-nationals”. Justice SM Subramaniam had noted, “They are anti-nationals because they are obstructing the development of this great nation.
Terrorists are declared as anti-social elements. Thus, persons corrupt and acting against the developmental activities of our nation are also to be declared as anti-nationals.
These anti-nationals do not care about the development of this country but are only interested in their self-development. Nothing wrong in wanting to become rich. However, the process adopted for achieving one’s ambition or goal must not affect the interests of the nation and infringe the rights of co-citizens,” the judge had said.
An observer with even above average knowledge of the goings on will find that many of those demanding the strictest possible action against the controversial MLA will fit the description as stated by the judge. But then, we find it more convenient to blame others for all and sundry problems than introspect and do our bit in solving the problems- many of which are of our own doing. I say, the MLA should face the consequences of his actions as per the regulations but then shouldn’t all? Another issue eliciting public outrage is the distillery in Devprayag where the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi merge to form the Ganga. Here too there are many opposing the distillery citing the holiness of the location where the Ganga forms. However, it would be interesting to note how many of the protesters are teetotalers who do not contribute an ounce to the contamination of the Ganga and its tributaries. We have been dumping all types of garbage and toxins in the rivers we also call holy.
In Dehradun, we have turned the rivers into channels of toxins that merge into the Ganga. But, the opening of a distillery at Devprayag enrages us and hurts our sentiments. I do believe that the spread of irresponsible consumption of alcohol and some other substances is very detrimental not only to public health but also to the culture and environment of this State. However, it is not alcohol alone that is causing the damage. The real damage is being wreaked by the degeneration in attitude that seems to have affected most spheres of life in the State. Unfortunately, amidst all this din influenced by politics in some way or the other, we will miss the real picture as we usually tend to do. We will be satisfied if some strong action is taken against one MLA and if the distillery is shifted. Smug in the belief of having achieved some change, we will go about tolerating worse. We’ll be digging our graves thinking we are tending to the field to grow a golden harvest.
However, most people do not like such talk. It sounds negative and does not entertain. Be that as it may, the fact is that we need to grow up beyond hollow expressions and detrimental actions. There are still many in the state and nation who are clean and doing good for society and themselves. All of us cannot be so, but the least we can do is stop contributing to the problems ailing us and start working on the solution.
Saturday, 13 July 2019 | Paritosh Kimothi | Dehradun
Author: Paritosh kimothiParitosh Kimothi is the Deputy News Editor in the Dehradun edition.
Paritosh Kimothi is the Deputy News Editor in the Dehradun edition.