Thursday, April 27, 2006

worshipping false gods??

Are we living in a society plagued by a distinct shortfall of role models? Where are the statesmen - is the lament of our times. No matter who we turn to there are skeletons in his cupboard. There are so many questions swirling around in my head that I need to put them coherently in order for them to make sense.

The typical complaint is that the general moral fabric has been fouled for which we have fewer exemplary individuals who can stand upto lofty moral standards. Or is it incessant public scrutiny? Why do these 'icons' have to put up with this? Isn't it asking for too much? These are mortals, of flesh and blood like each one of us lesser ones, who succumb to the same temptations as any of us. Why then do we need to be cynical or disillusioned when we see these edifices (of our making) crumbling?

There were fewer scams/goof-ups/busts earlier because of fewer available opportunities. I see no logical reason to believe that if similar amount of money was on offer to throw cricket matches as it is now players would have put their country's interests before their own. The more the temptations, the more we succumb to it. Generalising people on this account is the easy way out because then you are overlooking the underlying symptoms of the disease.

People who are famous because of qualities they display in their professional capacity need not have unblemished characters. If we take objectivity to an extreme it wouldn't be far from the truth to say that Hansie Cronje was as dishonest as any public servant who cheats. If a match-fixing scam of such proportion would've been so blatantly exposed in India it would've been nothing short of catastrophic. We are champions at vandalising public property for the flimsiest of excuses anyway. But why such strong reactions? Almost everyone swindles money when given an opportunity. And every public servant's work - bureaucrat, cop, politician - involves the country's interests. If any minister in power is compromising national security by fleecing money alloted to our soldiers' coffins then every doctor who stays away from govt. hospitals to practise privately is equally guilty.

Continuing in the same vein, I believe there shouldn't be any double standards when we hold our citizens responsible for their acts. If there is a strong reaction against a public persona for his misuse of power/position there should be a commensurate outburst against the local ration dealer who sells adulterated kerosene to the deprived. This dealer, if given the chance, would in all probablity, suck us like a leech not less than anyone in power.

There is this almost patented Indian concept of demi-gods. Even the gods would be embarrassed at their petty fan following when they see how Rajnikanth is idolised in Tamil Nadu. Such levels of adoration put enormous pressure on public figures to live up to their frighteningly larger than life reputations. And then at the slightest lapse we come down heavily upon them. Not just what they do but every word uttered is dissected like an intestine under examination.

If we have to look for role models to inspire us, to egg our youth on and to reaffirm the faith of our embittered aged then we need to stop worshipping false gods first. And look closer instead. Every ordinary citizen who stands up for a just cause is worth much more than an applause and any act of defiance against everyday injustice deserves more than a couple of minutes of our time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To appreciate good around us first we need to appreciate the good inside us.

Cheers to all goodness within!