May 25, 2005

Spirit of Anniyan

(Pic adopted from Indiainfo)

Anniyan's storyline is based on how a lawyer wants to effect changes that would help India become like the western nations. Those of us who have visited the developed countries in Europe and North America would be wondering why India cant become like one of those. Me and my friends have had several discussions on the parasites of Indian society in different parts of the country that plague our progress. Several of them are highly linked with each other.. Here is my list:

(Since I have been living in US for over a year, comparison with the system over here is inevitable.)

1) Politicians:

Biggest problem.

(a) Almost all politicians have money in their mind, not the will to serve the people they voted. They need money for (i) Future, since their political career may come to an abrupt end due to various reasons, (ii) Elections, since most have to pay lumpsum amount during and before campaining, (iii) Paying the party workers during some function at their home, meetings, etc., and (iv) Political trading. For money, those who rule misuse their power, dont make schemes successful and impede growth.

(b) Opposition party politicians have their only policy as (i) trying to come to power in the next election (ii) try to topple the government if some means are available (iii) Keep protesting and criticizing all the decisions of the government and (iv) do the dirty politics of agendaless coalition formation, trying to split parties, etc.

So, in short, politicians in power try to make best use of their 5 years to secure their personal and political future. No worrying about people. On the other hand, in US, whichever party comes to power, they dont anyway change the policy of people service.. They work to make sure the life of citizen goes smoothly.. They dont have 'festival-like' election time for need of money. They are far less corrupt, since they have to be accountable.

Some political parties stick to some agenda which seriously affect the people in a bad way. e.g., the strong communism has prevented industries being setup in W. Bengal and Kerala.. So, most of their cities and towns look the same for several years.. no improvement, no infrastructure improvement. We all know how post-Godhra could have been avoided.

(2) Government employees

Many of them misuse their power to make money. They take a 'laid-back' approach once they get their job, since they are not going to be fired. Many would have got their jobs by paying huge money to politicians and/or higher officials so they also want to make quick and dirty money. Files get clogged and they spend a lot of time in thinking how and where to make house/buy car, etc. than focus on their job. Going for bandh, strike, etc. are just unacceptable. Just ask the question: Do I deserve what I am asking for?

(a) Police: Money from law-violators who erode the society, political bias, underperformance.

(b) Tax officials: Money from tax-evaders, political bias, misusing their power to avenge those who dont comply with them

(c) Administration: money from all who benefit with their 'signatures', political bias, under-performance.

(d) PWD: Nexus with the contractors leading to underservice. c's things apply too.

(e) Teachers and doctors: Under-performance, letharginess, not realizing the seriousness of their impact on the society, concentrating on getting money from their private service (tuition and clinic).

3) People

Most of the people have no awareness on (a) cleanliness (b) maintanance of provided service (c) education and (d) population control and (e) money management. The collective mindset has to change. They have to make sure that their home, office and all they deal with aren't dirtied by them. Get just one child, no matter you are rich or poor, no matter it is a boy or girl. People cant afford to BOOZE as they wish.. esp. the low wage workers.. if they spend 25-50 % on their earnings to drink, how will their quality of life improve?

4) Diversity

India being so diverse is great.. but when the diversity affects the people adversely? Cauvery water issue being a vote-luring one, highly politicized and prestige issue. Clashes between people in the name of religion, region, language and caste. In US too, African-Americans were underprivileged till few decades ago.. I dont think they got any quota system or something to come up in life and society.. No discrimination - one law and thats it.. they joined the mainstream by themselves.. by working hard and making use of the available opportunities. Importantly, the whites accepted them within a very short duration of time.

We have to do something that urgently with the caste system.. The current quota system that exists in states like Tamilnadu will not bring any long-term solution.. The higher caste people have to accept that all are equal. Caste system has to be abolished totally. People need to be educated seriously about it.. Unfortunately, the things are going in exactly the opposite way in this matter.. with caste-based politics getting into almost all states.

5) Unemployment and child labour

With a large chunk of population in the 20-30 age group, unemployment is a plaguing problem.. Government should strictly enforce the law against child labour and punish the offenders.

In short, everyone has to give their near 100% in whatever they do. I think it is enough of funda.

Most of these have been touched upon in different movies. Let us see how shankar approches differently in Anniyan.


Balaji said...

nice post gp. u've managed to put down in writing what people usually just think about or discuss with their friends. i have probably mentioned some of the lines in this post word-for-word during talks with friends.

GP said...

thanks Balaji.. When I first came here and saw how things are different, it made me frustrated, angry and depressed. We surely do miss our country when we are away but what about these things??

J said...

I completely agree with you, Raju. Excellent post. naanum last year US vanthathulaernthu idhae kovam thaan. Ughh, esp govt officers asking money from the public to do their job - apdiyae avanghala ethavvathu panidalaamnu thonuthu. idha niruthavae mudiyaatha? ivanghala pathi police complaint'na, anghayum adhae maathri people irukaangha. hhmm avangha avangha thirunthinaa thaan undu. "Thirudanai paarthu thirunthaa vitaal, thiruttai ozhika mudiyathu". correct thaan la. atleast intha generation la vara ppl'aathu kongham maaruvaanghala?!?!

Raju said...

J, thanks, for both revisiting this 2 y.o. post and also ur kind words.. :)

Inge efficient-a work panravangalai parkkumbodhu aadhangama irukkum.. Honestly speaking, I dont have much hope on the public workers of this generation as well... The reason I so is bcos, as years go by, corruption only seems to be increasing.

As u have said (people correcting themselves), my penultimate sentence was the crux of Vikram's monologue in Nehru stadium..