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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Time for All work & No play, Mr. Modi.

So I have taken my time to comment on the recent elections (Facebook and Twitter posts not included, for they were a biased burst of emotion) and today is the day when I finally sit down to type in my thoughts and clarify a few things once and for all.



May 16th 2014, is a day that will go down in history not only as the best day Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) ever had, but also as a day which was much needed by a continuously coalition driven India. This is the first government after Rajiv Gandhi's government in 1984 which has a clear majority in the parliament. It has been a one man propaganda, a one man army and a one man election - the one man obviously being Mr. Narendra Modi. 

I would like to begin with congratulating you Sir. You and I may not see eye to eye on a lot of things but your rise to power is commendable and it is a story which will inspire a lot of youngsters to work on their dream and then actually live it. I respect the mandate and I have always been a believer of the famous saying (forgive me for paraphrasing) that, "The people of a nation deserve the leader they elect."

India was brewing with frustration and as a part of the youth of India, I could see a lot of anger seething against the current state of being that was, UPA-2. They made some serious blunders which resulted in an overall stunted economic growth. The poor got poorer, the rich didn't get rich enough and the middle class started to fight a losing battle in the middle. A never-before seen price hike resulted in a dearth of money in households which had always afforded a comfortably stylish lifestyle. So a change was expected, a change was necessary, a change was needed.

Mr. Narendra Modi has basked in the failures of UPA-2 and become the face of this change. Though I have never agreed with your line of politics Mr. Modi, and have been very outspoken about the same, since this is the change that my country's mandate voted for, I respect it and wait for it to take shape in the form of better governance.

Yes Mr. Modi has given us a lot of impressive lines, catchy phrases and helped us in seeing a lot of dreams. 'Achche din aane waale hai' has been so oft repeated that it seems to have replaced our existing National Anthem now. Pun intended. However now the time has come for him to actualize these dreams and make all his election-time-propaganda a reality. It's time for us to find out whether this was all a publicity gimmick or is India really headed for development like never before.

My only qualm with staunch-Modi supporters remains that they continue to hype Mr. Modi's actions and capabilities. Sure, he has it in him to be a great Prime Minister. But shouldn't we atleast wait a minimal six months to find out? We can neither declare him a failure nor success based on the number of tissues used by Indians all over the country during his speech.

Also, what critics of Mr. Modi need to realize is that he has won with a thumping majority, whether you like it or not. Spreading venom against him is not really going to do anyone any good at the moment. Give him a year before commenting on his policies and overall presence in the PMO.

Frankly, I am neither impressed nor disheartened by the Cabinet he has selected. Because the true test of a cabinet is not in it's potential to do well - it is in what it actually does. I don't want to go gaga over the 25% women representation or frown my brows over the lowest ever Muslim representation. It is way too early to preempt how good or bad a Minister will prove to be. Attacking the qualifications of cabinet members is stooping down to a level of politics Congress doesn't really identify with so I would suggest that they refrain from it. What Congress actually needs to do is introspect and find out how it has failed its people and lost their trust. Then it needs to work towards rebuilding it if it ever hopes to come back to power. (But more on this later).

I am not even going to criticize Mr. Modi yet for the few 20-and-30-odd-somethings in Goa and Bangalore being considered for arrest due to their anti-Modi posts for I doubt he has directly given these orders. Nor am I going to voice how very erroneous is the thought of removing Article 370. All I'm going to say for now is, All the Best Sir. The future of our country is in your hands, almost entirely.

You have won in a country where clear majority had become a thing of the past. People have shown their complete and utter faith in you for you to have emerged as 'The Chosen One'. Now you can't make excuses on account of a coalition or blame others for your faults. This is what you asked of India and it has been given to you. The ball is truly and totally in your court now. Hit it as hard and far as possible because the country is watching. And if there is anything we have learnt from this election it is this that this country is not willing to forgive corruption, inflation and incumbency anymore.

We as a country are used to being disappointed by our leaders. They make promises they never intend to keep and break our hearts. Then in response, we break their government and elect someone else hoping for things to take a U-turn. This vicious cycle has gone on too long Mr. Modi. It's time we break it. Give us what you promised and we will give you an even better mandate next time. Prove your critics wrong. Show them you have reformed and that you will indeed be the force behind a Superpower India.

See you in 2019.
Till then this is an eternally watchful citizen of your country promising you that your proverbial report card will be filled everyday and any inadequacies will be dealt with just as harshly as they were in the case of your predecessors. 

My opinion or yours. It does count.

Someone said to me today, 'Your opinion doesn't matter.' I've got to admit I wanted to punch him. My instant reaction was wtf. I mean who the hell are you to decide whether or not it does or does not ? My consolation was supposed to be that the said person didn't think his opinion mattered either.
To battle this psychology, we need to go really deep. Right down to the point where we feel that our actions, thoughts and voices are inconsequential. What leads to this ? If I were a Freudian fan I'd find a way to link this to some sort of suppressed sexual desires. An Adlerian supporter may feel that one is inferior to others and hence doesn't count. Or I may attribute it to a faulty upbringing in general. For what else can be responsible for such misplaced and incorrigible views ?

The answer is simple. Cognitive malfunction. We all tend to form wrong schemas in our head (thought process - schema) and when these incorrect thoughts receive some sort of reinforcement from the environment, namely the enormous world we live in, they become more and more permanent and rigid.
So it is very easy to feel like someone unimportant is this big, wide, vast world. But it is even more important in such a diverse world to acknowledge the uniqueness and individuality of each idea, thought or desire.

Every opinion matters. Just like every vote counts.
Yes the party we voted for may lose but does that undermine the fact that we actually took part in the decision making process of our country ? Speak out against bullying and ragging. Yes our efforts may seem futile but who knows of the one life we may unknowingly save during the same. Scream and fight against sexual abuse and discrimination. Don't submit. Your screams may be heard, there is always someone out there who might just save you. Stand against corruption. Be defiant to personal profits on the cost of national harm. Charity begins at home and it all starts with one correct thought.
This though will translate into an opinion which will later form your action. You're not forming this opinion for anyone but yourself so how date anyone challenge it's importance. Your action will hopefully help change the world.

People who spoke of the ripple effect must have gotten something right because it makes a lot of sense to me.

It took one sister of Jessica Lal to fight for justice and then the world supported her voice.
It took just one Nirbhaya to make the youth so outraged against rape and come out in outstanding numbers to support her cause.
I can cite countless such examples where a nobody spoke up and made all the difference.

I don't wish for everyone's opinions to collide with mine. Heck, take a complete 180 degree turn. But voice it out, always knowing that it does make a difference. It always has and it always will.
Till the time we live in a democracy at least.

After that ? Who knows. I might be executed for my extremist views. Until then I will speak out and speak loud. For I know someone, somewhere is listening. And for that someone I matter. I may not amount to much in my lifespan but if I can just matter to that one person, I'll have known that I was right. I was right all along.