Monday, 13 February 2012

Status Quo

While my last post was inspired by a coffee place conversation, this time I got something to write about while having lunch with few of my colleagues. I will refrain from decorating the article with superfluous adjectives and breathtaking metaphors as the topic is grave and it will only be served by bluntness.

The discussion was about whether a common man should pay his taxes when he knows that the money will be laundered to some tax haven by the corrupt politicians. We were five guys and four said one should not (of course I was the fifth one). Though I do not disagree completely with their arguments, nor do I blame them but its more than just paying taxes. If you can't carry out your responsibilities for the society you have no right to blame the government for anything.

According to me the biggest problem in the contemporary Indian society is not corruption, its the mentality of the people. My dad, being an expert in legal jargon, calls it the Status Quo. Everybody wants changes in the way India is moving forward but nobody wants to change himself. They say "what's the point? Everybody else is corrupt, then why should I bother?" , "...even If I change, it will not change the society. So why should I?". For me its hypocrisy. You can't expect others to change without changing yourself. But everyone thinks "let others change first". Its like a vicious cycle where everybody is waiting for others to do something and in turn are destroying the country one by one.

Even before somebody brings out a good thought to change the way we live you can find guys saying "nothing will change". The pessimism is way too much for the positive energy that most people can arrange for. For instance, let's talk about Anna Hazare. I am sure more people will still call him a failure than success. Because that's how an Indian  thinks nowadays. Nobody will even think of what he has achieved already before labelling him with a 'stupid' tag. FYI, how many of you could have even imagined a citizen's charter being implemented in Delhi in the pre-Anna era? How many of you can even think of getting your driving license without paying bribe before this Anna 'drama'? Nobody. But still people will not change. They love living in their utopian world where they always have money to pay bribes but not to pay taxes.

I take it in a different way. For me people don't want to change because they are corrupt themselves. They say that the taxes will be gobbled up by the politicians because they don't want to pay it in the first place. However foul they may cry against corruption but deep down somewhere they are getting benefitted from the same crooked practices. They want to live in this gutter of status quo because they have not only stopped hating its smell but have also started loving it a bit. I have a very strange observation and I don't say that it can't be wrong but people from corrupt families rarely turn out to be honest. I have not seen a corrupt businessman who teaches his children to fight against corrupt bureaucrats. Neither have I seen their kids doing that ever. On the other hand, those coming out of poor families or honest citizens are the ones who generally fight for change in the society. Because they have tasted the humiliation that corruption brings to a common honest man. And they don't want others to feel the same.

Sometimes I am so annoyed by this pessimism that I feel like punching some of those guys who don't want things to change or rather who want things to change but don't want to change themselves. But my punches can't change India. I hope the common man of India wakes up and break the shackles of slumber and inactivity. Instead of blaming everyone, I hope he starts taking some responsibility on his shoulders. Amen !!!


Abhishek said...

Bad things happen in this world not only because of bad people's deeds, but more because of silence of good people.
I sincerely wish your dream for our India comes true. :)

mani said...

its a very pessimistic thought of yours to call INDIA a country of pessimistic citizens based on 5 COLLEAGUES of yours. Why are you trying to prove your pessimism here on your blog?
Try not to critisize people here. Your blog shows that you could not learn to behave when you were being taught that, so you dont have right to talk about what other should teach their children. Try not teaching the world how to raise children. BTW children of Currupt BUssiness men might have much better job to do Like building their living standard for which their Dad has set a bench mark, taking care of their parents etc than fighting against currupt bureaucrats. May be Their dad has already gone through their phase of fighting for a change when they were building their empire, and they learnt that the system works this way and to make a good living (the aim of our life) we need to go beyond the system.

One more advice, if you feel to punch any one..just do it..If I feel to do so, i never hesitate.

kautuk said...

@Mani: Don't take it personally. Its not about any of those with whom I had the discussion. FYI I dont even know what their parents do for living. I am entitled to have my opinion and you can disagree. I have enough brains not to get influenced by a 10 minutes discussion but talk about my experiences of 23 yrs. I am sorry if I had hurt anybody but I stand by whatever I have written. It has nothing to do with anybody I know.
And if I have to eat up somebody else's share just to build my living standard set by my parents, I don't think they will ever be happy.
And I would rather not punch somebody for my whims and fancies.

mani said...

Oh...So you think by saving tax..people eat up other's share? please justify this....please enlighten us with the sharp 23 yrs old brain of yours...
looks like you were hurt...ha ha.... :P

kautuk said...

I don't know if you are trying to be funny or stupid. My brain may not be as sharp as yours but it can differentiate between 'saving' tax and not paying the tax by illegal ways(what this post talks about in case you are still to figure that out). I don't know what is your point. It seems like you want to indulge in corrupt practices but still want to be called an honest saint. You cant sail in two boats at a time.
Btw, what was there to hurt me? I thought someone else was taking it personally.

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