Saturday, November 11, 2006

You gotta have faith

The annual political binge on campus took place recently, so I was anticipating the usual fun, viz., being campaigned to, being besieged with significant smiles from the candidates, random people suddenly addressing me, the all-powerful voter, by my name, as though we were bosom buddies, people who've been oblivious to my existence for a year and a half suddenly trying to get to know me better....the works. The vibrancy of student politics is one of the million reasons that I'm in love with this campus. Its so heartening to see people of my age who actually care about the future of this nation and its people are aren't selfish, hedonistic pleasure-seekers like the rest of us.

Another not-so-welcome discovery was something I came across in myriad conversations with a variety of people. I realized that most folks are so deeply cynical and suspicious of politics, and the possibility of change....Most reactions were along the lines of "I'm going to vote, but in the end, it doesn't matter who wins. It won't make a difference to ME." In a nutshell, the evaluative category to judge politics and its worth is ME. What will it do for ME, for MY prospects? How will it benefit MY life? The selfishness of it doesn't surprise me, because I do not believe that there was was ever a 'Golden Age' where people only thought of each others' interests. What does surprise me is the sheer naivete of it. Nobody seems to realize that they are intrinsically linked to everyone else, and their gains and losses are similarly related. In the long run, social improvement need not be a zero-sum issue. People can benefit without others necessarily losing out. Yes, I realize that life is difficult enough without one having to make sacrifices to improve the lot of the faceless, invisible Other, but then, if we're not ready to give up a little something, who else will? People clamour for equality of opportunity, but they refuse to examine if the ground that they're standing on is equal to the footrests of the others who may not so lucky to even have solid ground to stand on. The oft-repeated refrain is "Why should I pay for the sins of my ancestors?" But the point is, as a society, how long can we run, and where? Someday the process of change has to start. One needs to believe that whatever is given up has been foregone for a worthwhile end, and that in some way, somewhere, someone will be better off because of it. Yes, the possibility of sacrifice getting lost in the mire of corruption and red tapism is very possible, but that does not mean that we don't even try. We all want the same things--true equality, dignity, better lives for all. But we cannot shrink at the prospect of doing something tangible to get there. There is no invisible divinity who will grant us the paradise we crave for humanity.....Paradise has to be built, and nothing worthwhile can be built by those who are afraid to get their own hands dirty.

11 comments:

ninkita said...

you need to take a break, girl!!!!! no matter, sab theek ho jaayega.. (sympathy)
:P

sun4none said...

amen! but currently.. nothn more i can say cz at present am jst like one of thm... total selfish n acting helpless.. waiting for tht hero 2 save the fuckin day! so just a self-pitying asshole as of now! will cmment on ths if i EVER contribut more than words!

Ranjit said...

i am being a bit of a cynic, and I guess I've been on the right side of the equation all my life. i have tried to understand the rationale, but its not made a difference to the kind of people I care about (and there are many), hence my 'ill-informedness'.

heh? ok said...

@ sun
don't think the only contributions are tangible ones.
@ nin
pata hai..
@ ranjit
you could try caring about the people you can't see and don't know.

Anonymous said...

you write very maturely sangy (this is geek aka pankaj). ur post reeks of Rang de Basanti tho!!

(the second sentence is said in a jolly vien..i really liked the post)

akhila said...

well...i dunno if the reactions ur getting were the ones u may have wanted. thot it was an attempt to hammer some sense into our peers who just cannot see beyond a point.at the end of the day they still seem to find ur blog 'cute' and 'movie' style but maybe do not take out enough time to reflect on it 'cos it is still their life and their time,who cares about the rest.

heh? ok said...

@ akhila
well, yeah. thinking is hard. but maybe they are thinking, and are too scared to admit it. teehee

Arz000n said...

Paradise has to be built, and nothing worthwhile can be built by those who are afraid to get their own hands dirty.
Read this post...something which was totally different from what I usually come across during blog-hops

You are trying to convey something which many people will plainly ignore and carry on with there life...it does not matter to anyone now....life is so busy and moving fast that people would prefer going for easy money rather than getting hands dirty to make a difference...

This is a nice spark...it just needs to keep on going

raghu said...

those who dnt venture in beyond da sands in the beach.. nvr dream of gettin pearls outta da sea..

heh? ok said...

yes, well, politics and political awareness seem to be confined to teatime discussions for most people. saying that about a democracy is perhaps one of the saddest statements to make, but its becoming truer everyday.

Exigo Animus said...

hmn.. u dint noe?
society is a illusion.. its all down to the individual.. he can make a diff.. its all down 2 him
der is no common man,common good,common nething,, democracy is real scwrd up nw.. neh?
plato was sooo right.. jus a lil impractical.. but den if only coblers make shoes.. then onlt ppl wh hav studied politics or political scinces shud venture into politics .. but den dis wud kill as dramatically put" the very essence of democracy"
thus im forced 2 belive more in capitalism