I’ve never been good with statistical data recall. At this point, I don’t know what the exact population of India is. But I can care to guess, as much as anyone else would, and place the number at 1.2 billion. Maybe 1.3?
That’s a lot of people. And as the postmodern world gears up to christen us the world’s largest elected democracy, I can’t help but marvel over the paradox that surrounds us in our way forward. Until they come up with another word for ‘forward’. I think I’m not that great at establishing context, either. So I’m going to take a deus-ex-machina and start with a narrative. Earlier this month, I was in Jaipur on business, and I ended up meeting a whole new bunch of people – people who hadn’t ‘existed’ on my radar, right until now. And a lot of those people became interested in my story, the ups and downs of my career, and I had to make up a lot of bullshit about ‘determination’, ‘focus’, ‘energy’ and all that crap. Truth be told, I don’t think I’m any of those things. If there’s one thing that I do – I think clearly. I don’t make irrational decisions or pretend to sell something short of genius on the subtle pretext of mass conversions. And I cherish every moment that I spend in the company of like minded individuals. That, more than anything else in the world has helped me so far.
That line of thought helped me convince my parents that I was doing the right thing by dropping out of my engineering degree, it helped me navigate through a tedious work schedule and write the books that I wanted to, it helped me when I though I was sick enough to give up and die, and yet I couldn’t.
But it’s very rare – that line of thought. You don’t see it around you all the time. What you do see, though – is a fantastic mix of people driven by their own idea about how the world works. A remarkable number of people who have no idea how the goliaths of the world are duping them with the pseudo-saintly tools of publicity and marketing and massively emotional statements. A billion strong population, whose needs are now defined not by them, but by the blindfolds that they have willfully accepted as cushions.
A billion people, really? And it’s so strange – My father took a lot of precaution while arming me with the literature of the free world, lest I should grow into a snob. And to be fair, I don’t think this is being snobbish – I don’t know if it’s the general insensitivity of people that bothers me or their lack of knowledge, or their catastrophic denial of simple human facts.
The idea of religious singularity is currently driving a sizeable majority of my peers, and it kills me. The idea that the same kids I grew up with are blindly siding up with religious groups, that they are somehow capable of finding solace in the arms of completely illogical behavior, bothers me. The idea that ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ has been reduced to an anonymous quotation, bothers me.
But that’s not the worst part. What bothers me most, is that after sixty seven painfully long years, Indians are still driven by the dreams of easy success, of easy jobs, of easy ‘wins’. Why else would you vote for the creation of obsolete railway jobs? Those jobs will be automated in the next ten years anyway. Why else would you fight over a quota system that you can easily beat by excelling at your own thing? By letting the well-tread path… go?
Hardik Patel? Really? You want additional reservations because you feel the government is unfair? Boo Freaking Hoo, man! The world was never yours to judge for fairness. As Oliver Emberton said, the world isn’t unfair – that’s not really the problem. The problem is your broken sense of fairness. It’s a darwininan world my friend, it doesn’t matter which international border you’re protected by. If you’re still dependent on the government for ‘assuring’ you a job, or are driven by the dreams of a ‘stable’ job (read: a job where you go to work, do nothing of any importance in your 9 to 5 and expect to be paid by the exchequer at the end of every month), you’re just as pathetic as the guys trying to justify reservations.
That’s what bothers me. That there’s a strikingly low number of people who made up their minds to let go of what the world had to offer, and instead chose to sacrifice blood, life and limb towards the pursuit of satisfaction. That’s the unspoken minority. The number of Indians that I can place my hopes on, is very limited. And the ones that do exist, are being prosecuted. And there are others in that despicable majority, who support these prosecutions.
I used to be a big fan of Kurt Cobain’s suicide note, until I read this. This kid looks like he could’ve been a real change maker. His words echo power, the kind that can save this country. Or, to be politically correct, could’ve. He had the spirit to live beyond his own life, and the majority paradox killed him. He’s not alone. Stand-up comics are getting arrested, the FTII is being manipulated with, and the people who are supposed to protect us, are silent. I’m not sad about that. I’m just sad that our majority units are totally resilient to change. That there are still weird dowry transactions happening, that there’s still faith on completely baseless religious practices, and that nobody seems to be angry enough to change themselves!
This isn’t a democracy, it’s a failed democratic state. This is a state which doesn’t deserve to be democratic, because for a change, the majority’s needs aren’t in the best interest of social upliftment. The educated minority is bleeding, and between these two pillars, we have a bunch of weird, smiling faces that are laughing their way into oblivion.
Also – that Jaipur story? This guy I met, drew a comparison between me and the protagonist of ‘Three Mistakes of My Life’. Yup. That’s right. That’s how much the planet hates me.