Saturday, 9 January 2010

Who has stolen our conscience ?

As I sit once again at midnight, with Begum curled up asleep near my feet; I have finished writing a paper to present to young school students on the future of India. In a time span of eight minutes allotted to each of us five panelists, I have tried, in my time slot, to put across the urgent need to comprehend how crucial the small deed is, in contributing to change; and how nothing can ever be possible unless we situate self accountability as vital in shaping how we take our nation into a more enlighted future.

But right now I have just watched on TV the recorded event of a policeman who begged for help as he lay decapitated and bleeding to death from an assault on a road, whilst a convoy with two ministers and a municipal collector kept aloof and watched him die; wasting twenty vital and precious moments that could have saved this man's life. I have written in my presentation to this young audience, whom I will meet this morning, that I choose to always hold a spirit of optimism and hope with all that I engage with in life. However, right now, it is one of those anguishing times where I have to dig really deep within myself to find the energy once again, to resurrect the hope and optimism. Within such climates that showcase to the entire world the break down of any vestige of political will to act responsibly and with no conscience of service to others, I wonder what role models we can place for the youth to emulate.

Once again it is up to the media to stoke the conscience of the relevant state government and invite the voice of the people to bring to book these ministers for their lack of accountability to their constituents. What better time could there have been than this, to display the humanness that is promised in every electoral speech that is sold to the civil society as a pledge of service of the future? The ironic and tragic contrast of the dying bloodied officer in uniform, writhing on the dusty ground pleading to be helped, whilst these elected officials stayed aloof in their crisp white unblemished mundu's; told the sick story of what Indian political governance really amounts to in reality today. Is this what Gandhi's India has become?

And so we must look into the eyes of our youth and hope that somewhere they will be outraged enough, and desiring of, a need to propel a future that is different: not just by empty mumbled promises written by others that we hear mouthed; but by knowing that they must push their sleeves back and dirty their hands at grass root levels, if we are to truly erase the horror of such images where someone dyes from the neglect and disregard of those who should have saved him, and we merely watch it as another news item, soon to be forgotten.

1 comment:

  1. Where does a social conscience come from? I think from our families and our friends, and their influence on the individual, perhaps not from society as a whole. I purchased one of your paintings about 8 years ago. I call it big naked lady. She holds a pot in one hand and a cup and saucer in the other. She is naked, but it is a prepubescence naked. I never buy nudes, but this spoke to me. I was told that you started to paint nudes to protest the government's censoring of your husband's exhibit. It was an individual act, yours, but it had an impact on me. Brenda from Michigan, USA