Sunday, January 8, 2012

PAUPER’S LOG: Spineless!

VOL: 35 | ISSUE: 23 | FRIDAY | 6 JANUARY 2012


By Abu Arsh

The Editorial team discussion at LOA led to an opinion that the Protester bit is to be carried over a wee bit; delve into reasons that prevent our Islands society to face up against any atrocity. More often than not the only reaction people offer is a feeble discontent and a lot of sulking later on. Most of the different forms of atrocities are short lived in public memory. Thy neighbour's problem is his own and we as well won't poke our noses in their affairs. There are issues galore and we don't have time to form a public opinion on them. It's obvious that a select few who benefit from such policies wouldn't have anything to complain. The majorities of us, whose opportunities are snatched owing to such policies, either don't have any vague idea about its consequences or are callous. From an over charged, substandard commodity and adulterated food items at our markets, non-deliverance of small change back to us in public transport tariffs or other services, non-adherence to citizen's charter in govt. institutions, demand of bribes in essential services by the govt. employees to big policy decisions we seldom raise our voices. This gives a wrong message to our tormenters and exploiters who believe it's their birth right to do what they deem fit. Big promises are made and broken in no time with regards to people's welfare. No person big or small worries about the consequences of his misdeeds, as our Islands is a morally dead people territory with its inhabitants lacking soul or conscience in the face of oppression.
The Tunisian fruit seller's self-immolation bid, who laid the foundation for Arab Spring revolution was not about daily tormenting by authorities about his weighing equipment but about human dignity. There is a limit to tolerance to any sort of injustice in a citizen. Ours is a society with its roots in the colonial era. Our parents and great parents didn't protest as they were suffering from colonial hangover. Opportunities then were aplenty and their rights were considered as a favour from the authorities. The third or the fourth generation of the Islanders too have had enough of gross mismanagement or detached governance from its policy makers, custodian of laws, service providers and even our public representatives. Majority of the islanders are in some way or the other connected to the Administration by way of Govt. jobs. Raising voices for unjust treatment and vague policies would mean trouble from the tormenters. There are instances where just movements for justice and equality have been stalled with utmost of ease by applying pressure tactics in the form of serious consequences, manipulations or outright lure. People occupying high pedestal in the Administration or even ones with monopoly in the market control us. Political parties will never be non-partisan. Their initiation of a protest is based on the nature of an issue, if it's populist then there will be a Photo finish fight to the line amongst them. For them it's an arm twisting exercise to control officials for personal favours and waivers at the cost of the public. There is no place to get justice apart from God, who when delivers shakes the mighty and strong.
Our future generation faces a prospect of trying times ahead. Severe resource crunch, no job security, low standards of living, no representation in decision making, downward spiraling moral values and loads of frustration will be their fate. Stemming this rot has to start right now. We cannot let it all slip away. Why would we not be consulted for our welfare? Why wouldn't we raise our voices when public exchequer is drained by way of procuring worthless things and exorbitant expenditures on facilities for common public? Why would we not demand greater transparency and accountability from all concerned? Our islands which are geographically detached from the seat of power at New Delhi have to wake up very soon. We need to make decisions here and interpret all the Flagship rudderless programmes of the government as per local conditions. We cannot let ourselves being taken for granted this long. Strong non-political forums need to evolve in the Islands taking up issues of public interest. There is no dearth of leaders without followers in these Islands and we should be wary of them. Let's wake up to be Kingmakers who'll chart their own course for human dignity and prosperity in our present and tomorrow.

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