Apoorva Joshi

PhD student - Information and Media; Environmental Science and Policy @Michigan State University

Independent journalist -

Environment, Science, International

Open Forum

I just had a long chat with a good friend about various things ranging right from the bomb blast last night in our home town, the Forest Department of India, poaching, politics, corruption, German Bakery, to higher education and NGOs. Our discussion made me think of so many things that don't usually come up in day-to-day chats. Our last point was, we won't even have to wait till 2012 for the world to end, at the rate at which we're going, we'll get there sooner. We're [read: humans] are doing everything in their capacity to destruct the planet. Self-destruct Mode is our current phase. No matter how much education we get, how much money we have, how well behaved we are in public, we're still the stupidest race ever. We inherited something, and we're so selfish, that when we're handing it down to our future generations, we're not even giving them 50% of what got from our ancestors. We have been so blind and so pathetic in our approach to development, that now, all we have left, is a mass of cement, concrete, iron, steel, and glass, along with our never ending fetish with gas guzzling vehicles.
Like the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force, isn't our Forest department also a Government agency? Aren't they also related to security? Don't they also have guards and guides who work dedicatedly? So why do we look at their duty and their personalities like those of our house help? Why do we pay them "per safari" or whatever "little" possible when we can afford convoys of 11 cars for each random politician and huge cinema premiers and fashion shows? Where does all the revenue go? The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and die. The rich leave their money to their family which spends it on alcohol, abuse, and law suits. Give the same amount to a Forest Guard and he will be able to live his whole life in that much. When the Government itself doesn't respect an agency that IT set up, how can other common people be expected to respect the FD? And yet, it IS the common people who respect (whatever little percentage of people) such work. And ironically, the middle class is the the largest and strongest sub-species in India. Sadly, this very class is completely unaware of its powers and abilities. Why do we restrict ourselves to The RTI Act? Why can't we muster the courage to seek answers? To improve the country WE live in? Why are we no longer safe in our own homes?
Because, we simply don't respect our fellow people, and our home land. For politicians to come and announce compensations for blast victims is VERY easy. They are not paying out of their own pocket. They're not even INJURED in that blast. They're protected by bullet proof cars and jackets, given top notch security and they come in convoys. We? We roam the streets. Alone. With a backpack that has all our daily necessities. We dont need 13 cars. We don't get bullet proof vests. We have only our hands and legs to defend ourselves. Why? because WE are the common man. WE are the ones affected by the decisions of the people WE elect to the Government. WE slowly end up killing ourselves because we elect fake, promise makers, non-deliverers, and absolutely money hungry excuses of a human being to the seat that has the power and authority to change [make or break] things. Point? Right to Vote. The word "right" is very important. It's a power we have. It's a power we are allowed to use.
Our constitution is nothing short of a comic book. And no, that's not what I think of it. I've grown up around lawyers. I respect it. May be you do too. But does everyone else? We're the only country that functions virtually without ANY law. Coz no one gives a damn about breaking it, or making it, or using it. Our political parties [read Shiv Sena etc] sponsor one way air tickets for Shah Rukh Khan to go "back" to Islamabad. If they put their so called "savings" in the betterment of our security forces, like Policemen, they'd be making someone somewhere less corrupt and prone to accepting bribes. Why are we so lawless even when we HAVE a constitution? Why are we such an insult to our own Constitution? Why can't we accept responsibility, take initiatives, and act? Why do we ALWAYS wait for someone else to do something first? Why are we so scared? WHAT are we so scared of??
This article is called "Open Forum" because I really wish to know what people think about all this stuff. Anyone reading this, and willing enough to answer ANY of the many questions I've put in here, is welcome to please comment. Anyone who has anything at all to say, is most welcome to say it.
Why are we expected to compromise on our Life? Why are we expected to bounce back to normalcy the day after a bomb blast? Why do we have to "accept" terrorism as "part of our lives"? Do we want our children growing up in THIS world? A world where people are just waiting for an excuse to kill each other? And for what? Religion? Caste? State? WHY?? How does that make them different from you or me? So you're a majority! Doesn't that make YOU responsible for the protection of your fellow humans in the minorities? Why MUST we go against something ALL the time? Are surnames and religions really so important!?
The Shiv Sena needs to OPEN its eyes and go back to history. Terrorism started in 1893. Why? NOT because of the Muslims. Yeah. Shocking. It was actually because of some very very selfish, sadistic and self proclaimed leaders called Brahminists. No. Not Brahmins. Not Hindus. But only THOSE of them who thought no end of themselves! Im a Brahmin. But I don't go around the world with that tattooed on my forehead! And quite frankly, I shouldn't. Because my religion, caste, or whatever, does NOT make me who I am. I make myself who I am.
I am a wildlife biologist. Not a Politician. Not an activist. Not a lawyer. I am an individual who is very clear on her goals in life, knows what she wants and 8yrs ago, if I hadn't decided to dedicate myself to conservation, I would have jumped right into Politics. But I wouldn't have lasted a day. Im not corrupt. Im not someone who licks people's asses. Im not someone who will fall to cheap, low levels to get work done. I dont give a shit about money. So if I had the power, I would shoot anyone and everyone I see as a potential threat to the peace and stability of my country, my people. Basically, it's a good thing Im not in authority.
But for those of you who ARE, someday, you no longer will be in authority. So while you have it, use it for the greater good instead of filling your pockets. 10 supportive humans make you wealthier than a bank locker full of currency notes.

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