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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

It is not about the reservations.

Make no mistake about it. Its been executed with such finesse,it can put the state controlled pogrom in gujarat to shame-wonder if there is some training ground where they learn these dexterous skills. But then, one gets better, with practice. And its not just wine that gets better with age. To dismiss this as vote bank politics would be being courteous. To call this an exercise in futility would be well, churlish. To credit it as a master stroke,err, nothing would be further away from the truth. Truth is, this is a failure of imagination. Yeah, its a dismal failure of the senses because we take pride in having the largest written constitution on the face of this earth. It is a farce because we say that it took us many long years to sow the seeds of liberalization since we are a calibrate democracy, a vibrant democracy at that. It is a sham because we say that free speech and expression is the cornerstone of our egalitarian society. Yea,Like hell it is.

Let me then, enlighten you, Honorable Minsiter of HRD, Shri Arjun singh,that dissent is what distinguishes communist China from democratic India. A Hitler from a Nehru. A rigid fascist from a liberalist. A despot from a meritocrat. Hell, when George Bush-,the redoubtable foot in the mouth exponent- visited Great Britain, and tens of thousands of angry protestors assembled in front of the Buckingham Palace, to protest his presence in their country, all he could say was that he loves going to a country where there is freedom of speech; dissent. Affirmative action, dear sir, can be imported later. Learn the rulings of democracy first. Take away dissent, and we are as good as dead.

And I am not yet drawing myself into the debate of whether the government should or should not uphold the bill seeking the 49.5 reservation. For its not about the reservation at all. Reservations, beloved sir, are a manifestation of a form of anachronism, which was shameful even in a society which prevailed in your prime. And the anguish, the despair, the despondency, and the desolation are a function of this utterly shocking and reprehensible proposal . That fifty eight years into the life of a nation, we still haven’t imbibed the first imperative of democracy. I can almost hear the founding fathers quiver in their graveyards.

I was thrilled, delighted even that interns and medical students my age stood up for what they thought was right. For no cost is too high to stand up for what one thinks is right. Kids my age who have little to do with this imbroglio, many of them ,who will either join elite hospitals or head abroad, kids who have nothing to gain and everything to lose, risk their careers, their lives. For the uninitiated, a doctor cannot apply for a visa or practice, if she has a police statement against her name.

They voted with their feet and you lathi charged them?. They protested in a silent , non violent manner, and you thumped them with 3rd gear water cannons? They stood up for equality and you tear gassed them? Its quite some time since holi and quite some time left for diwali, but never mind. In more ways than one, you have invoked our collective consciousness. We knew our generation was up for it. You helped us prove it. And lest, you misunderstand us, this is no flash in the pan. When you flushed them out, they formed a huddle. When you canonized them, they held on to each other for their lives. When you detained them,they didn’t even so much as to raise a whimper. When their futures were being decided by god forsaken cops,they couldn’t think of influential names to bail them out. And sir, perhaps, what was the last nail in the coffin, was when you arrested 6 of them, an overwhelming 400 of them quoted mass arrest.

And perhaps, we don’t have much to lose. Let me correct myself then. How many of you in the government would want your grand children to be delivered by mediocre doctors? How many of you would want to come under the knives of surgeons who got through on reservation grounds. Terra Firma. How many of you would want your intestines and kidneys removed by well, at best, ordinary doctors?

We learn from history that we learn nothing from history. And if history repeats itself and yet what happens catches us off guard, how incapable are we of learning from our mistakes. Our best doctors- Naresh Trehan, Pratap Reddy- and the like are all great men not because they hail from a Tulu or an Iyer background, but inspite of it.

Even as I type this, a rather buoyant news reporter claims a probe has been ordered and I quote NDTV here. “The Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra has ordered a probe after police use batons to disperse anti-reservation activists.”

A Probe? Prime time televison disemminates live pictures of students being attacked, battered and bruised. And you order for a probe? You don’t trust your eyes! Ahh…fitting, aint it?. Or else I would have been forced to believe that human beings can commit such heinous,atrocious fallacies. Yet again, this is not an effort to stem the rot. This is a charade. A farce. A bloody travesty.

And Sir, if you still can’t hear us, let me assure you that the screech is going to get shriller. Today we ve got to the streets; Tomorrow we are going to be in the south and the north blocks. We will fight with every last inch of determination left in our souls, every last drop of blood left in our bodies.

Thanks to people like you, we have arisen from what is seemingly a long , long siesta. Thank You sir for leaving us with no choice but to take the future of this nation in our collective hands. It’s thanks to you that we are potentially at the cusp of what is seemingly an awakening of a generation. Indeed, thank you sir for making us realize our strength of character. Yea,finally, We ve stopped existing. We ve started living.

This sums up the mood really- ( quoted by a friend who was a part of the protests)
"chadha do gaddi....kya farak padta hai....seat to le hi lee hai....ab jaan bhi le lo.

Now you know why Rang de Basanti was as big a phenomenon as it turned out to be. You don’t play with our self respect Mr.Singh. I understand you successfully implemented a 49.5% reservation in Madhya Pradesh a couple of decades back. Lightning strikes just once. And yeah, what goes around comes around. Except that, its your turn to be hit by the collective thunder.

In conclusion, all I would state is, even after having said what I have, I would still want you to have a peaceful twilight of your life. So heed the call of a generation.A generation which will not let merit become a victim of whimsical eccentricity.A generation which will be celebrated for its resurgence and tenacity. A generation which will not take things lying down. A generation,clearly, whose time has come.

Else, kindly keep off from the morning walks. Like I said, Rang de Basanti is cult. And to us, defence minister ho, ya human resource, kuch farak nahi padta.Amen.

---- guy_next_door82
I got this in a mail forward and by far it is the best that I have got.