THE LIGHT OF ANDAMANS | VOL 35 | ISSUE 21 | 9 DEC 2011
By Abu Arsh
All over the world people with special set of skills, intelligence and knowledge have contributed for betterment of the inhabitants of this world. Irrespective of our diverse identities, cultures and languages we have all stood in awe of the great ideas floated by these individuals. Majority of us have always felt why we didn't think about those ideas and concepts before it was presented by future thinkers or great talismans. A simple Swiss knife to the super computers, a fountain pen to outer space station, from micro credit to core banking, from small ghetto based movements to major uprisings, from radio to internet, non-cooperation movement to community service and a lot more. Game changers have served humanity well and would do so till eternity.
Concepts and ideas are galore in this world. There's another category of great game changers who ape the real men, only difference being self before the followers. These people are the masters of a fool's paradise and give us a dream of being in a Potemkin village. People are given a rosy picture of a future where everything will be perfect to the T. Our messiahs become cult figures and we with high hopes and aspirations become ardent followers. They come up with promises, noble concepts for our betterment and are ever ready to fight for our rights. Followers are made to believe the messiahs are dedicated to our cause more than their very own personal lives.
Nicobar Islands are an ideal destination of these conmen. Rule of people is on paper. Unconcerned and detached officers call the shots. Semblance of democracy is not there. Facilities are wanting. Voices are stifled. 'Sab chatla hai' is the mantra till the day it happens to one of us, when we look for non existent support from our fellow brethren. Natwarlal's and Bunty's are found in every street corner waiting to raise their pitches on our predicament. In a flash we become great followers of them. As the numbers of disgruntled followers rise, so does the stature and bargaining power of our messiahs.
The year 2004 has been a landmark year in this regard and no. of messiahs has quadrupled since then. Some of them have duped us with Tsunami assistance and sold our misfortune to amass personal wealth and acclaim both national and international before disappearing into thin air. Search the internet and find them being global ambassadors of peace, great innovators and ideal world citizens rubbing shoulders with the elite of this world. Ask a common hawker, a petty trader or a small time contractor; the outstanding dues these greats owe them. Ask the followers of these greats about the movement and missions they started and how it fizzled out.
Conmen are still around with their bagful of tricks dividing communities on religious, caste and language lines. Self promotion is their hall mark. They are masters of disguise and would conceal their undoing in a swipe of a few sweet words. Meetings and symposiums are organized to weed out corruption, provide a level playing field, enhance our skills, create avenues for self employment, assure our livelihood, give our kids a better education, provide us the basic amenities and fight for our rights. We the people have failed to realize that being a pawn in the hands of these brokers will not solve any of our problems but rather compound it. It's futile to be in awe of any individual whose sole purpose is to be a news maker and procure recognition at the cost of the oppressed. The more vigilant and vocal we are, the more we are safe from the clutches of these game changers. Each individual is capable of fighting for his rights if he is on a righteous path and his demands are genuine. Like minded individuals will follow and join them in their crusade. Our society had these traits in the past and these would be rekindled in no time provided we have the zeal and confidence to fight for our rights. Service to community cannot be a vocation but a mission. Missions become great movements and have overthrown big empires, history bears testimony to it. Lets become game changers rather than followers of conmen.