Calm ATM queues tribute to aam Indian, stark contrast to US riots….writes Bikram Vohra
I have no problem with prime minister’s choking up with emotion. See it as a sign of strength, not weakness.
It’s okay. Just not too often or else it becomes theatrical. Jawaharlal Nehru cried when Lata Mangeshkar sang, “Aye mere watan ke logo”. Lal Bahadur Shastri not only wept when he had to sign Tashkent Pact, he died of a broken heart. Even Chief Justice TS Thakur broke down over the stress the judiciary was under.
Here is a man who has put all his a notes in one basket. He can get choked up. He can feel the pain.
I also think we could take a step back from the flawed implementation of the current fiscal exercise, the rights and wrongs of it, and talk about the public and their conduct.
That means we have a moral fiber, the so-called common man has enormous patience and maybe he can see the greater good fifty days ahead with more clarity than we give him credit for.
Even though there have been provocations, mostly unproven, about violence and death by despair linked to the wiping out of the Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes and an occasional scream for ‘vengeance’ and ‘outrage’, it hasn’t caught fire.
Good for the people.
I get a video of a lady leaping from the top of a building. No money and her wedding next week. Horrific but is it true. A baby dies in a hospital because they would not take a Rs 500 note. If that has happened, arrest the Dean. A farmer kills himself in Raigarh because he had no small notes to send to his two sons. Unverified.
Now almost every act of despair is linked to the demonetisation. But there is no spike in self-destruction. Indian are taking the punches, rolling with the blows, doing a heroic job of helping each other, walking together and showing the world what mettle they are made of, traits to celebrate.
We tend to let ourselves down very easily. At the very same time that we, the largest democracy in the world, loaded to the gills with poverty, unemployment, hunger, over-population and a hundred other warts are showing immense grace and patience and an almost historic fortitude, there is another democracy, far more advanced as a nation and seen as the leader of the free world that is engaged in rioting at this very moment.
And why? Because it does not like the outcome of a democratically held election done with total transparency.
Two democracies in action. One displaying a maturity that demands attention because it is so easy when there is no money in the pocket and the tinder is dry to light a match and let it go whoosh. And yet, despite the efforts of some professional political arsonists to ignite the keg, the people have not fallen for it.
On the other hand, a refusal to accept the constitutionally granted rights of the winner, an immaturity that compromises the dedication to fundamental rights as enshrined by their founding fathers and makes a mockery of the electoral process.
So even if we are suffering in relative silence and will continue to bear the hardships for a while longer let’s take heart in the starch in our spine and the calm we have shown under fire.
Imagine a nation of 1.2 billion hanging in there.
For once, Indians have conducted themselves in exemplary fashion and we should be proud of ourselves.
Perhaps because even the poorest, most illiterate are inwardly happy that the dirty money, hafta making, mobster-run parallel economy and the seeds of that poisoned tree are being crushed.