Sunday, September 19

Heights of Selfishness!

Two schools of thoughts are vying with each other - - for my attention, which is usually followed by rationalization and giving them a logical conclusion.

Recently, I had come across reports that violence has flared up in Congo. In this month’s GQ mag, I came across a letter to the editor where the reader had written about an article that was published in an earlier edition of the mag. The article “Congo: The Horror” written by Ed Caesar.

I did a quick Google search and got the article, but what impressed me was that situation in Congo was given print space in one of the elite magazines’. My enthusiasm was however, short-lived as I wondered how many people would really care (as most of the people subscribing to this magazine would be the upper crest of the society). Then reality struck me; even if the above mentioned article had appeared on the front page of all the leading Indian dailies’, nobody would have cared. Even if someone did, what could they do? There is enough crap in our own homes, why worry about somebody else’s crap?

What Congo needs is action. What is being done right now is not enough. Empathy, pity and care are nothing but feelings that soothe our guilt of inaction and their contribution towards solving / finding a solution to Congo’s problem, is ZERO. However, there are people who have set up camps decades ago, dedicating their lives to helping the people (by setting up aid and medical camps) of Congo. We need more of them, very badly.

I am tired of writing about the inhumane horrors the fighting in Congo has brought about. You can do a Google search and read for yourself. But what caught my eye was that men are now being raped in Congo.

I had read some where that “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Right now there are very few good people who are doing their bit, but they are powerless to bring about a change. Change is what the people of Congo need.

The colored people had played their part in the revolution that saw slavery being abolished and racial discrimination being made unlawful. But what I do not understand is why this racial discrimination is being perpetrated by the colored people on their own kind.

It reminds me of a line spoken by the protagonist in the movie “Hotel Rwanda” where he laments that the ‘whites’ have abandoned them to their fate cause they are nothing but dirt to them (whites). In the case of Congo, the world has abandoned it. Nobody cares about what is happening in one of the poorest countries of the world. Let them die. They are nothing but cockroaches. Apparently, it is good for us that these cockroaches are killing each other as the world becomes a better place to live in with fewer roaches.

Now about things more local in nature, I saw our Honorable Chief Minister, on TV, allotting crores’ of rupees at the drop of an hat, to build memorials, for two noted film and theater / music personalities who had recently passed away. I cannot comprehend how the CM can allot crores’ of Indian rupees for memorials. That is criminal waste of the taxpayers’ (our) money.

There are far more pressing issues at hand to deal with and that require such sums of money. Is there no one to question the rationale behind such idiosyncrasy? Why are we letting this happen, unless this is nothing but a gimmick and everybody is in on it, except me?

In another part of our country, another Chief Minister is on a mission to erect statues of her mentor, party symbol and of course, her statues all over the state; all at the cost of thousand crores plus to the exchequer. The law has somewhat woken up and put a halt to it, but there are strong indications that the government will get away with it. Substantial amounts of money have already gone down the drain.

I did not realize that India is such a RICH country. We spend billions to satisfy petty whimsical notions that do nothing but assuage the egos of such ministers. Lots of Indians are getting onto the Forbes’s Billionaire list. But, when you go deeper, it hits you like a Shatabdi running on nitrous. We are selfish. I might be wrong, but I read somewhere that India is a country that has the largest number of billionaire’s (includes both legal and illegal). Yet, we are a poor country, still stuck with the tag “developing nation”. I have been hearing that since I was a small kid. We have billions to erect statues and build memorials, but we do not have money to build proper roads, public sanitary facilities and put in place an efficient public transport system. I am not even going to bother to talk about the corruption that has saturated our lives.

In both cases, of Congo’s and ours, we have accepted it. The people of Congo are used to the violence as generations have born and died under the umbrella of war, accompanied by the violence that is unique to the region. We Indians, we have accepted it, cause we are so selfish. We go to work, earn money, take care of our family and enjoy life. We do not worry about our neighbors and friends, apart from the show of concern. How many people go out of their way to help out? Very few. What about complete strangers. We certainly do not give a shit about them, do we? Why the hell should I worry about them? I have got enough to worry about – my job, my family, etc. That is why we have Governments. Is it not? To take care of the welfare of the citizens as a whole. And what is the Government doing? It is taking care of itself. Nobody cares. Complains fall on deaf ears. Life goes on…..

Sometimes I wonder, whether India would become as lawless as a Congo or a Somalia. But if such a thing were to happen, I wish it would happen after my time. Long after I am dead and gone. See, I am selfish!

But wait. Can we change? Is there hope for humanity? Will the world awaken and bring about a change in Congo? Will India get rid of corruption and become a transparent, peaceful and an honest country to live in. I certainly hope so. Do you know why? I am SELFISH!!!


  1. excellent article RockSta.. as always you have given wings to the raging thoughts of today's damned society... Its indeed shocking to acknowledge the facts... even though they hit us like a thunder bolt.. I would be selfish too to think that I should never get to see that kind of a situation in my lifetime.. But do we care? should we do something? What can we do? How do we do? where to start? I was deeply engrossed in the thoughts of Swami Vivekananda.. a brilliant orator and a timeless patriot... i believe we all can draw true inspiration and the way forward from the great yogi...

  2. Its good to read a nice but damn serious thought as a break from all the non-sensical things I write :)

  3. @ Guru and 'A'Corner

    Thank you very much for your inspirational words, they egg me on to greater things ;)

  4. can India transform itself? a thought worht munching popcorn on for hours together! a change is needed, but where to start form? and who to start it? i wanna know. coz i am selfish too :)

  5. wonderfully written rocksta...only u can do dat! in Congo conflict-related rapes are very high...sexual violence against women shatters victims’ relationships with their families and society, and many such women in Congo are bearing it silently not even speaking abt it being afraid of rejection by the family and the community..many who are rejected by families due to this are living like dead..its very heart wrenching...

  6. @AB and Shilpa....

    Thanks very much for your comments!


    I guess instead of waiting for someone to start the change, we should start it by ourselves. Start with something small and hopefully someday down the line it will become something big. If not at-least we will have the satisfaction that we did try something! ;)

    @ Shilpa

    We as in "rest of the world", have abandoned Congo to its fate. As individuals, we are powerless. Together, we still are. But when nations unite things will happen. We need to goad our nations to get together and act. Put an end to it.

  7. Its good to read a nice but damn serious thought as a break from all the non-sensical things

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