“You’d be surprised to realise how it is much more likely you would get away with saying something entirely facetious and silly, but get into trouble when you try making a serious, sincere point. That, at least, has been the story of my life. At a series of public functions in Pakistan several years ago, I said Pakistan was in many ways as imperfect a dictatorship as India was an imperfect democracy: the central argument being that just as India had not been able to accord all its citizens all the freedoms that a democracy of this quality should have, Pakistan had not quite been able to deny their people all the freedoms that a classical dictatorship should have. That is why a reasonably free media functioned even under Musharraf, an Indian editor was able to say rude things at the launch of a newspaper (by now the widely respected Daily Times) and there was a reasonably independent judiciary; not the kind of things you would see in Saddam’s Iraq, Ahmedinejad’s Iran, or even China and Saudi Arabia. … ”
– Shekhar Gupta, Indian Express
Posted: Dec 06, 2008 at 0037 hrs IST
By far Shekhar Gupta’s is the best summarisation and assesment of the current scenario by any one worth his or her pen. The one thing that I’d like to add is, that yes this new found outrage of the middle class is a step in the right direction, but neither will it bring down the governent down nor will it change the system (specially by the ‘methods’ suggested) UNLESS they bring on board to support them the people whose voice really counts-the countless living in densely populated areas such as Dharavi, Ghatkopar, villages , rural areas and other places where the elites have never set foot. The poor people, the masses ,who were the first ( and current-remember CST) victims of terror in trains and in crowded markets. The ones we didn’t give sound bites for, the ones we didn’t hold candle light vigils for. Because these are the people who are the majority of our electorate. It’s these people the netas come to ask votes to, and it’s these people and their support that will make possible a change. Not those who appear on news channels nit picking wondering about intelligence failure and NSG reaction time.( Thanks to them the NSG will get their own planes. Never mind the plight of the millions in India languishing below the poverty line).
The answer is simple. United we stand divided we fall. We must make this a MASS movement. Sms’s and newspapers will help to some extent, but it’s is direct face to face interaction (the kind that our revered netas do in the form of rallies) that is the remedy. There are millions who vote (who are illiterate , don’t read papers or SMS). And in time of war each man counts.