Friday, April 8, 2011

Are you listening, respectable Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ji?

Don't be a Spooked Buck, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ji.
Let me start afresh as if born again; erase memory as if nothing ever existed; and grow up right as if there are no strictures. These have been occasional thoughts in the last one year. A friend called it a mid-life crisis. As for being born again, it’s scary; it took years of whip-whap before arriving somewhere close to autonomy. Would it be wise to undo what has taken almost half the life? Life experiences say no. As for memory, there are moments when the life has been full of light, positive energy and joy. Would it be worth erasing all that for a memory of the future that may not even have even a speck of light? The brain says no. And as for growing up all over again, there’s no indication of a human being ever being fully autonomous because we learn depending on where we come from, where we are, what we see and how we have been oriented to see, ie, growing up without strictures is a notion. The biological clock, too, says no because there is only decay in the future, protect all the learning and keep exercising the gray cells. An acquaintance called it a mid-life wisdom.

This is, and will continue to be, my personal dilemma. The issue of starting afresh, however is not limited to private lives. Striking a balance between the past, present and future, and issues in acknowledging the rights and wrongs are a common dilemma in the public life too.

So respectable Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ji, if you do not rise today we will fall, not just you. We will allow achievements of the last six decades to go waste because you want to negotiate afresh as if the corrupt past never existed and today is not tainted. We cannot start afresh or hope for a corruption free future when we know that we stand on a corrupt ground. Use your imagination to gain from the experiences of the past and apply them for the betterment of the future just as you use your financial acumen when you deal with the statistics of the industrial growth rate or monetary and fiscal policies. Own everything; take possession of all things, right or wrong, in the full faith that they are actually yours because the governance institutions under you created them or practice them. If you would do that we would able be to draw inspiration from the positives of the past, learn from the mistakes of the past and stand with the strength of the past to visualize a future in which we would be able to deal with corruption.

The notion of starting afresh evokes beginning, the right formation … there’s a freshness about this notion. It indicates a learning based on a particular experience, a new way that would set the future right. It smells so spring-like that the exact troubling events get obscured by the idea of ‘the new’ and the problems, abuses and misuses, humiliations, embarrassments, conflicts, and all that is wrong get buried under the layers of ‘the new’. We forget that the past is like fossil fuel, which with one match-stick, goes on fire and with that goes that artificially created ‘the new’. These are the fears of starting afresh. Right or wrong but it cannot be denied that starting afresh without recognizing and addressing the problematic issues we cannot go far. The stench of yesterday always catches up with the fragrance of tomorrow.

So respectable Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ji, no doubt you are one of the few political leaders to have achieved almost universal respect for your integrity but it’s not just about you, it is about the conduct of the institutions you deal with, and you know that what rots needs to be parted with.

I felt for you the day you had to sit with the media and say that you are not corrupt. You don’t have to do this. We know you are not. But you need to open your eyes. Please have the courage to take the responsibility of the wrongs and deal with them. Move from token actions, make amends. Reparation is a forward looking basis when the loss is reparable. When it is as it is now, indemnify, make amends, be good, restitute trust, .... and look forward, take up the past, own the present and the future, start again, start afresh!

There are many other issues on which I would like you to lend an ear, like, the naxal movement and the state violence, development induced displacement, the quota for women in the legislative bodies and public services, education and child labour, violence against women and girl children, and so on. But today, I will be content if you would show some humility to accept your mistakes and limitations related to the issue of corruption.

Are you listening, respectable Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ji?

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