My general practice every morning is to put on the TV to an Indian news channel, as I sip my morning tea in my bedroom. Today was no different and as I settled down to have an overview of the newspapers, I was stunned to listen to the story of people selling their blood to avail of water in Madhya Pradesh. What are we coming to as a nation?
The political news is completely focused only on the bickering of seat allotment between parties, and what pound of flesh can be sought for pledging their solidarity during pre-poll alliances with the majority party. No politician is caring to attend to the severity of this problem of water shortage, which is dehumanising people and making basic survival a struggle.
Why are such issues not thought to be a humanitarian crisis that needs immediate intervention from all political parties? Are we so shameless that we care a damn for the plight of the ordinary citizen, and are governments not meant to deal with such situations before they spiral out of control? Does nobody in power have an answer for this?
We allow for the pollution and contamination of our water bodies knowingly, and let the municipal services of towns and cities be corrupted and negligent. We view bribing and cheating as accepted methods of getting work done, so that today , if truth be told, an honest person becomes a liability within government service.
Violence has become the name of the game, and gun totting goonda's will make sure you are silenced in the blink of an eye, if you choose to raise your voice in protest of injustice. We have seen the fate of many whistle- blowers who become a statistic in a mortuary, for their efforts to be upright citizens. Our police stations are filthy and unkempt spaces that never offer you the safety you presume they should, and where fear instead can be smelt like rotten garbage in the lockups, that look more like medieval chambers of horror from a B grade film, than rooms of civilized detention.
Today a person sells their blood for something as basic as water. Tomorrow who knows what other indignities they may encounter for their survival. Is this the shining India we talk about? I hope that someone in power today takes stock of the situation and makes a plan that offers a credible solution to this problem. From our side, we must each of us become more acutely aware of the preciousness of this natural commodity, and use it with greater responsibility because if we don't, then we too become the perpetuators of the problem.