Saturday, November 29, 2008

Can we do something ???

After lakhs of blog posts and countless reams of paper on the terror attack, i thought for a moment if its necessary for me reiterate the same thing which a lot of people must have already written about. Then me and a few friends were exchanging mails about the brazen attack and if anyone can save the country now. I will present here the exact text of the mail exchange. What Ravi (a BHUMI colleague) and i wrote as part of those mails.

Every word that ravi wrote fits the today's middle class indian to the T. I am reproducing the mail exchange in the blog because this is something we all need to refelct on and look at things a little more differently. Probably some self refelction of sorts. I added my two cents adding some political colour to the dicussion.

Ravi wrote ,

"I can understand how you might have felt. I was also going thru moments of anger but recovered soon enough. I am going to go on a mini rant here. pls bear with me.

There is a saying "Things sometimes have to get worse before they get better". Extending that logic, teror has struck ppl who are very high on the ladder of social power and they have seen thru direct experience the impacts of terrorism. I am hopeful this experience may make them reflect on how they have contributed to the problem. We need better quality lives for ppl who are disenfranchised. What we see is a manifestation of their frustration. may be if i were to go thru the pain of poverty, i might have taken up arms even earlier.

I kept wondering what have i done, what is my contribution to this. my answer was i kept silent all the time when the police torture muslim youth in the name of interrogation. i've kept silent and not questioned the govt. i've allowed the system to earn the power thru my silence and resignation. how can i complain now.

this makes me humble. we have a dualistic situation here: we are both pwerless and powerful. i cannot fix this, thinking that i can is being egoistic. at the same time, i can do a whole lot on a personal front. society starts from the individual and if i firstly cannot be at peace and balanced, how can i expect others to be balanced and how can i come up with any meaningful action. action borne out of imbalance is bound to cause greated imbalance.

such incidents are opportunities to rally people into a talking circle for reflection and action. it calls for skilled facilitation. if we can all look with a critical eye, that may change us in ways we dont imagine. but r we even ready to drop our prejudices, our anger and old way of thinking ? how can u blame pakistan or taliban or al qaeda when all that they r doing is taking advantage of our internal lack of unity. they've identified the weak points in the system and leveraging them. in being rude to the boy/girl who works in my house, haven't i made him feel inferior, haven't i oppressed him and wouldn't that oppression grow to this sort of terror. there is a lot we need to relook. we treat our servants as though they are not humans. how will we like if we are given instructions the way we give to our own servants. i'm blamming myself here not anyone.

so with humility, i want to look within and work on my self. i hope to remind myself that there are no easy answers to these questions and this reminds of a beautiful poem that i read on questions :

"Try to love the questions themselves, as if they were lock rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don´t search for the answer, which couldn´t be given to you now, because you wouldn´t be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer"

Thank you for listening to my rant."

Then i replied....


You have wonderfully summarized what every middle class indian should feel like at this point in time. I would also add an other dimension to this whole saga which i think is specific to India and its polity.

The issue here us with the system( we constitute the system) and the leaders. The rot has been created over 60 years and it will take time if we are to clear the mess and even start trying to make amends.

More so, i believe the main culprit is the congress and its pseudo secular stands on various issues in the last 60 years. Be it 1947, be it 1985 or uniform civil code or any such thing. People might have different opinions, but even for the rise of the BJP, congress is the reason. With its gandhi tag name, they have ruined this country and the wounds are now showing up.

We live in very dangerous times and its only becoming worse by the day. There is an identity crisis brewing up both within the majority and the minority sections. With the fear of seclusion and being targeted for no mistake of theirs, the minority now wants to show its identity. You see educated professionals donning the beard in a bid to protect and show their identity (not that its something wrong, but its on the rise). Minority feels they are being targeted and being made scape goats. This will only give rise to ghettoizing and further exclusion.

The majority feels their identity is under threat in their own country and they are being sidelined in their own country. So here starts the vicious circle.

I am usually a very emotional person, tears automatically flow out of my eyes. All yesterday it continued with every second of footage i watched. But beyond that, the sense of despair does not engulf me, because i have seen enough. I know its coming and its becoming brazen and open by the day.

Its time to look at ourselves, our leaders and possibly the root cause. Till the pseudo seculars and their policies remain, the fundamentalists (on both sides of the religious divide) of this world will have enough to feed on and they will only make hay while the sun shines. I always said and still maintain that the rise of the BJP is the sin of the congress and its only because the majority feels that their religion and their identity is under threat in their own country.

God will certainly save us, only if we take some initial steps. Time for some self reflection before doing anything else...

May all the souls who lost lives fighting those sinister minds in the last 3 days rest in peace "

And i also feel with rising international pressure (from US, Britain, Israel)because of the death of their citizens, to have a better system to tackle terror, there might be some change in the policies. Its unfortunate that a disaster of this magnitude and some foreign nations should trigger a policy shift and our ways to deal with terrorism. But better late than never.

Hope those of you who read this blog will do some self reflection.....



Anonymous said...

The title of the blog says "Rakesh-will-do-it" and the title of this article asks "Can we do it?". Now, why not "Rakesh can do it"?

Rakesh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rakesh said...

Yes..Rakesh will try to do whatever he can. I cant alone fight the menace. So its about asking others if we can collectively do something on this.

Anonymous said...

That's great. In that scenario, the title of the blog should have been "We-will-do-it", as you would any how do it and it would look like asking for a collective effort.

Rakesh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rakesh said...

The blog was started sometime back when the intention was to write whatever i was doing in life. Yes, probably i should look at a change of name :)

Anonymous said...

That sounds better. And all the best for your efforts against the menace.

Rakesh said...

thank you..

Anonymous said...

Always welcome...!

Rakesh said...

may i know who this is?

Anonymous said...

Your Friendly Neighborhood: The Shadow!

Rakesh said...

am i to decipher the code?

Anonymous said...

Please don't trouble yourself. Super heroes never reveal their actual identity.

Rakesh said...

i could understand this much that you are a super hero !!

Anonymous said...

Saving the society - battling the evil.

Harinath Mallepally said...

Excellent thought process. I appreciate the content in this blog post. Yes, what ever has happened is just the result, not the cause. We poor indians react immediately and our govt/intellegence/police say they have evidence against pakistani groups. We let things happen and react, that is the sad story.

Rakesh, I agree with your views on congress, because they had the power most of the time and still we have problems. important things like incomplete issues like Kashmir are causing lot of issues now.

I also agree with Ravi, we need to think what we can do. Can we get rid of the egoistic feelings? can we start respecting each other, irrespective of our social status or designation?

It is in fact a question to one billion indians. Even if i have "yes" from half of us, then we are almost there.

ramya said...

Why do you have to change the blog name..??its just a post in your blog..:).yeah v al can do sumthing and yeah "rakesh will do it"along with others..:)..wat say?

Rakesh said...


Anonymous said...

A Rs.3,35,000 Crore defense lobby behind the incident. More details, with proof's, will be mailed to Mr.Rakesh Kumar Reddy Dubbudu pretty soon.
--- Shadow.

Anonymous said...

nice thought. we the youngsters can do anything n reshape OUR country to the perfection we want it to be. But the issue here would be how many days will we remember this tragedy??? there were many in the earlier years too but they are all forgotten long long ago.
students back to studies n exams, media trying to find hot topics for their news, politicians back to their seats.
these angry messages, peace marches, mail forwards, media hype everything will last probably for a month or max of 3 months after that???????
the dead heroes are fogotten politicians forgiven and elected once again.
taking advantage of the situation has become a habit to the dirty media and politicians.
flying 2-3 white pigeons in air will not serve the purpose.days are for fight for your right. fight wat you want to get. fight till your best is not given and the best is not given till you achieve wat you wanted.
- Ruchi

Anonymous said...

rakesh! i agree with every word u say, but all we have at the end of the day is disinformation, motivated bodies and fear filled minds... its like a muscle car with no wheels... all u can do is rev it as much as u can... people are still insensitive, and immature in their thoughts... highly immature. we now ask the govt to give the power and the utilities to tackle terrorism, but so much power to an individual?? is it not going to be abused? to tell u the truth... i am more scared of the police and the govt officials than the terrorists... its not my silence that gives them the power... its just their power... and if u think u can do anything at all.... u need only power.... who really is our enemy? only our fears... personified in varied ways.... this impotency is shameful and hence i stay anonymous...

sarasvati said...

Thanks for that post Rakesh.
I donot know who you are Anonymous...yes truly, fear is the root problem of the mess we are in...and i suppose by giving out your name while you declare that you are fearful, might just be the first step for you to overcome your fear.

The change begins from the individual...whether it is the way we treat others, those who help us in our daily life...(Ravi, may be we should begin by not calling such persons as our "servants"?) and ofcourse, to get rid of the fear in the mind.

But so long as you are concerned about your daily bread, your bills and your other will continue to live in fear, for the fear, is not of death, but of losing what you value as your "life".

But then what if our forefathers, grandfathers thought the the last century, perhaps we would not have had even this so called, "semblance of freedom"...we would not be having "servants" in our homes...but We Would have been the Servants...

I am not sure if someone has noticed, but it is the people in the supposedly "backward" professions, who are truly free, and it is the reason why they still react when they do have some issue hitting them...since they are actually working independently...(the farmers, artisans, such communities are the ones who are truly free) and free from may be we have to do a rethink whether we do have any real freedom and whether our lives, and lifestyles are the in way for us to become truly fearless...

As long as people have disparities...there will be strife...and disparities will continue to exist so long as some are working for the others...when each one of us has to clean our own homes, we will stop building huge palaces...and when we have to grow our own food, we will stop having servants...and then there is neither disparity nor strife... no any feeling of being left out...

this whole concept of grabbing as much as you at the bottom of the strife...when some have more than the others, the others at some time or the other...will feel deprived...truly how much can we all claim to "deserve" what we earn, what we Own as anything else?

(Just taking your thoughts a bit further - Ravi)...

Almost everything that we use today came from destroying someone, is about time we started to put in their shoes and see things...when that happens...things will change for sure!

-gbbg- said...

Long time aye! Was looking for some food for thought and found it.
@The Shadow:
Nice name. Rakesh-will-do-it, he has been doing it. Whatever he can. But now, can WE do it? Obviously Rakesh alone doing something won't change things that WE all see or feel or believe in (or not believe in).

I would be interested in reading about the defense lobby role. I have come across one headline that might make sense with respect to this line of thought. But so do many conspiracy theories.

If the attack was a failure of the security establishments and the government, then it will be our failure if they are still in power next time this happens.

Anonymous said...

@Ms.Saraswati garu :Being anonymous does'nt mean you are scared to death. It may also mean, you do not like publicity. (Just think over once.)

@gbbg garu: That's exactly what i am saying and Mr.Rakesh Kumar Reddy Dubbudu agreed to. Rakesh Alone cannot do everything and he needs our support to make any change in this society. Thus, change the name of the blog to "We-Will-Do-It".

-geebs- said...


when we can start a collaborative blog, then we will name it as we-will-do-it.
But then, we both know what's going on, so let's ignore the name part.

Anonymous said...

@geebs garu: Agreed!

--- The Shadow!

Anonymous said...

Forget about the names and all..Just think about the content what Ravi and Rakesh said.

When the system itself need a change..definitely we must fight collectively.

ravinder said...

hi i have read the content of this
blog , what Mr ravi said

Here the one thing is
Why we are Like this ,why should happen to US & OUR COUNTRY ?

The things started (terrorism) in INDIA after we got the freedom,
bcz the only reason is OUR country is SECULARISTIC & Democratic country
I like the Democracy but not the colour of secularism which even change the Name of INDIA ,
example :- IF all the INDIAN belongs to ONLY one RELIGION that religon may muslim,hindhu,...etc then the Problem of seperation would 'nt rise & the toughts of never come into the leader who led for seperation of INDIA

but here we are all living in a secularistic country then the way
we deal an issue changes,it may be influenced on several factor

U said of one community or an individual is responsible for the supress ,inferior feeling in there mind which turned to Terror

Its the way we see the terrorism
,who supress that community which responsible for this terrorism?
The way the coummunity think our the Idealogy which lead the community responsible for the terrorism

When does the Terrorism first arised in INDIA can we have answer for this ,No nos bcz of the BIG INDIAN HISTORY in which one community is supressed ny another community vice versa

supression leads to freedom of there community or country by voilence ,or non voilence
INDIA as country got it freedom by nonvoilence (HISTORY SAYS)


Harrising a muslim boy on the name of community is bad at the same time
if we all wanna keep our country safe that does even come into picture for the lifes what we lost


INDIAN POLITICAN S ARE INFLUENCED BY every thing that does hurt the Politics and Politics Carrier.
unless untill these Politicans Change we cannot change our Country
Unless we Choose good and efficent LEADER we cant build our Country Free From terror
by GLODEN weapon of " VOTE "

unless we are not strong our politicians are not strong


Anonymous said...

miss/mrs. saraswati.... the problem is not fear... its impotency... there is a serious dearth for a forum to discuss such issues and others as wel... you people think the attack was a security failure?? wake up!! ppl behind these attacks are not radicals or religious fundamentalists... they are businessmen... u want change, then participate in ur countries policy making... i am not asking u to join politics.. but read what is happening in the country, read ur constitution - at least that part concerning ur profession, and raise a voice against the stupid law... understand how different institutions work... open ur eyes ppl!! change only comes when the shattering truth is revealed... it wasn't a terrorist attack... ok?

sarasvati said...

Hello mr. anonymous,

When i said fear, well the other word for impotency...(as you chose to call it) - just that not wanting to disturb the apple cart.

Well I do know my politics, and I also know about the war being Big Business it is the same forces which act behind the scenes whether it is India, Somalia, Afghanistan or Kosovo.
But such forces will act as long there is suppression of one class by anther. If naxalism is prevalent today it has its roots in people's distress. So only a poor fellow, harassed for survival in his life will agree to take a gun and Kill People for the sake of a few lakhs of rupees. Being a Terrorist is a job like any other, it means thrill for some and getting your family out of poverty for many. And these Hired Killers are there - only because we - i mean the better half of the world have allowed them to Rot...So they donot mind shooting you down.

Yes, those Businessmen will continue to make a sale at the expense of many innocent lives...

I am very much voicing my opinions and vocally so and openly. I also try my bit to present the truth and also participating and engage with policy makers too... I have dirtied my hands and walked miles in the pursuit of the same. I have never been afraid to call a spade a spade or held myself from speaking the truth even if it meant losing my job or livelihood or whatever.

And no I am not afraid to give my name, even if the powers that be come chasing me around. I did face such situations in life, by the way.

with regards

Anonymous said...

Now when the point of "VOTE AS A WEAPON" has come up let me try to put forward the point how pathetic the condition is in the villages. during elections per vote a person gets amount or some favour in return from the candidate directly/indirectly. women especially are fascinated with a saree they get and men with liquor. isnt it strange that after 50+ years of independence also this happens.
who is responsible for this condition?????
who takes up the responsibility to make them realise that the cost of a vote is not few pennies or a saree or some liquor but its a weapon which can mould your next 5years into golden period with proper utilization or can destroy you completely. isnt it the responsibility of we the youngsters?
leave about the people in villages let us check within us - how many of us know that we have the right to say i dont want to vote anyone. this is as per the 1969 Act, in section '49-O'.
all we have to do is go to a polling booth prove our identity get our finger marked and convey the message to the presiding officer.
This is called 49-O... why should you go and say 'I vote nobody'... because, in a ward, if a candidate wins, say by 123 votes, and that particular ward has received 49-O votes more than 123,then that polling will be cancelled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the candidature of the contestants will be removed and he cannot contest the re-polling, since people had already expressed their decision on him.
isnt this right an added advantage to the "RIGHT TO VOTE" we already have?

Rakesh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rakesh said...

Dear Ruchi,

49-0 is from the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 -

Please do not misinterpret this provision. This only says,

1. If a voter chooses not to vote, he can fill form 17A available with the presiding officer of the booth. This will prevent your vote from being polled by some other person( bogus votes can be prevented).

2. Even if the no of people who exercised 49-0 is greater than the number of votes polled in favour of the winning candidate, there will be no re-election or cancellation of voting.

3. So this provision is only to prevent your vote being misused by someone else when you really do not like any of the candidates.

In most cases, the presiding officers wont even have the 17A forms. Loksatta tried getting the count of all votes under 49-0 , number of polled votes and the winning margins of candidates polling booth wise. They have tried getting this info from the Election commission. This is to prove that if large number of people in a booth have not voted and the candidate has won just by polling 30% of the total votes, then the campaign for NOTA (none of the above) will be strengthened.

PLEASE do not misinterpret this..

This provision is only to prevent your vote being misused by someone else when you really do not like any of the candidates.

In the PROPOSED ELECTORAL REFORMS by the Election Commission of India, which was forwarded to the Prime Minister of India on 05/07/2004, the following reform was proposed;


The Commission has received proposals from a very large number of individuals and organizations that there should be a provision enabling a voter to reject all the candidates in the constituency if he does not find them suitable. In the voting using the conventional ballot paper and ballot boxes, an elector can drop the ballot paper without marking his vote against any of the candidates, if he chooses so. However, in the voting using the Electronic Voting Machines, such a facility is not available to the voter. Although, Rule 49 O of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 provides that an elector may refuse to vote after he has been identified and necessary entries made in the Register of Electors and the marked copy of the electoral roll, the secrecy of voting is not protected here inasmuch as the polling officials and the polling agents in the polling station get to know about the decision of such a voter..

The Commission recommends that the law should be amended to specifically provide for negative / neutral voting. For this purpose, Rules 22 and 49B of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 may be suitably amended adding a proviso that in the ballot paper and the particulars on the ballot unit, in the column relating to names of candidates, after the entry relating to the last candidate, there shall be a column .None of the above., to enable a voter to reject all the candidates, if he chooses so. Such a proposal was earlier made by the Commission in 2001 (vide letter dated 10.12.2001).

(A petition by the People.s Union for Civil Liberties seeking such a provision filed at the time of the recent general elections is pending before the Hon'ble Supreme Court)"

The text inside "" is what the commission has recommended.

- Rakesh

sarasvati said...

that was some info rakesh regarding 49-0. well, so far i have not used the electronic voting machine. but in the last elections, 2004, i chose not to vote for anyone. i did not wish to abstain from voting, nor did i wish anyone to misuse mine. so i just stamped the ballot paper next to many...and sort of registered my protest.

i really didn't know about the 49-0. But seriously there should be a "none of the above" choice given to us.

but that may not really solve the crisis we are in. Ruchi, the situation in the villages is the way it is, because educated folks like my dad who should have stayed back in those villages and shared what they had learnt with the rest, and did something since the last generation, have chosen to fly away to the cities in search of greener pastures.

our patriotism lasted only a few years after the independence. look at us even now, the pursuit of a career is paramount. to change things in the villages, one needs to build confidence in them that there will be someone to stand by them, someone who is honest. lets us say, how many educated youth will try to stand for the post of a sarpanch? it is easy to sit in the comfort zones that we all live in and pass judgement on the folks in villages. You know what they say, "in any case we know no one will do anything for us" so we might as well try to earn a few rupees while we can.

You raised a very very important question, who will tell them the worth of their votes?" yes indeed who will? Why will they listen to you and me, us, who are the benificiaries of a system that exploits these poor people, displacing them, dispossesing them from the lives and livelihoods that they have, in order to bring power for us, so we all can use it for our ACs/ home theatres, and such likes. We all of us, are responsible in a direct or indirect way why those people have become so cynical and don't give a damn what happens to their votes. Because they have realised, that what ever they might do, whoever might come to power, will do the same thing - "Throw them out of their villages, or impoverish them in various ways", which benifits the likes of us, who donot know what it means to go hungry for days and weeks together - where the Hundred Rupees and the packet of food that they get during elections, might be the only square meal and the happy meal they get to eat once in a few years. And perhaps the sari that the women get may be the only decent clothing those people can get once in five years.

Let us not pass judgement on the poor, they are the martyrs of this land, we donot what it means to be poor.

As Buddha has said, Never teach Philosophy to a Hungry Man, what he needs is a morsel of food.

V said...

i can understand the anguish

and like everyone else , I too dont know what exactly to be done to better things... but i would like to see them in my life time.

Anonymous said...

# ravinder and all...

No offense...
Why the heck you guys talk about that damn VOTE...???

I dont think there are golden leaders out there... so we can choose a GOLDEN fking leader...

what I mean is there is no Golden leader... If you choose one leader, then he will be a puppet of his main leader (Sonia bi*ch)

The whole system is corrupted...



-geebs- said...

The very reason democracy and system comes into talk is because of votes. We, each as one, have the power.
Of course collectively, a lot of things can be possible. But nopes.

Yea, even am curious, what can be solution, or rather, whether we are part of the solution?