Sunday, July 17, 2011

ఈల వేయండి, నిద్ర లేపండి

Politics is omnipresent, omnipotent and omnirelevant.

మూడు రోజుల political penance తరవాత acknowledge చేసిన core truth ఇది. What started as a chance meeting with Narasimha in a city bus, 6 months later converted into one of the finest experiences in my life. I was going to NDOrange for my internship in January and one day, I see this guy sitting next to me and deeply involved in his reading. After contemplating if I knew him for about half an hour, I gently tap him on his shoulder and ask him, "నువ్వు నరసింహ కదా?". He looks up from his book, while I notice it to be లోక్ సత్తా టైమ్స్, and says, "శిరీష్ అన్న." We talk for sometime and I get off the bus. But the thought of a serious Narasimha keeps getting back to me. All I can think of are the complaints he always received back in school.

I have always been interested in the works and activities of Lok Satta and wanted to get involved with them somehow. So, a week later, I ping the guy on Facebook and we keep talking about it. About this, his, organization called Youth for Better India(YBI) and the kind of activities he is involved in. Then something happens and I don't talk to him for a long time. But fifteen days ago, I go to the Lok Satta office in Hyderguda and there we talk about his wish to develop a website for the organization. I promise him I'd work on it, take a Lok Satta Primary Membership and walk out. He calls me the previous Wednesday and tells me about their latest training program starting this Friday.

I sign up and so walk into the first session on Friday at 9.00. There are brief introductions, a little fun activity and Mr. Naresh from HMTV walks up and talks about Corruption in India and as to మనం లంచాలు ఎందుకిస్తాం? I'm speechless at the end of it. The fact that he could identify the core primary reasons as to why we bribe was to me a masterstroke. Nobody had been able to do it before. After sessions by various eminent speakers on issues like the meaning and the state of politics, the need and the contents of RTI Act, and about the reforms needed in politics by people, I walk home at 9.00 in the night, spent but dazed. The kind of people I met all day were nothing like I expected. Ranging from 17 year old kids interested in the Defence Services to elder guys from the deeper parts of the state who had already set up their Youth Organizations, it was an eclectic mix. Initially, I was alienated but then somehow I got mingled into the group and I learned a lot about the state of rural affairs that I had ever been aware of.

The second day was awesome, thanks majorly to Karthik Chandra, who's background I do not share because I want to adhere to his principles. My idea of a genius, of somebody who carries his laurels easily without fuss and ado, Karthik fulfilled all of them. The perfect example of a wonder kid growing up to be a sensible, idealistic one. It will suffice to say that he inspired me into being composed and dignified. And today ended on a high note with all of us being addressed by Dr. Jaya Prakash Narayan, the man who inspired all of us into wanting to live life at a higher pedestal with a higher importance given to conscience and morality. There's nothing like listening to him talk. Jaw-dropping.

But the three days were grey cell invigorating not just for the experiences. They were worth every second because the speakers convinced us into something I always believed was not true. I've never been political as such, or maybe everyone is but I took the idea of a social life easily. I didn't care. Simply put, I lived in the isolated, protected bubble of a middle-class Indian family for who politics was a dirty business and protesting against corruption, something far too trivial to be considered. Three days later I don't know if I have changed much in terms of my ideology but I understand better the impact of a small action by a group in a larger perspective. The Government మన యజమాని కాదు, మన నౌకరు and వాడబ్బ, నేను కష్టపడేది వాడెవడో తినడానికి కాదు. ఈ మాత్రం చాలు మన చుట్టూ ఉన్న సమాజాన్ని మార్చుకోడానికి.

I'll write more about this again, soon. About the kind of impact politics will have on us and how we are responsible and creditable for everything that goes around in the world. My ignorance is not reason enough for me to escape the consequence. It is extremely important for people to be involved in politics, to know the kind of laws and policies our elected representatives are making and to be totally involved in the social life as individuals. Living is not an solitary process. మనము తినే పళ్ళు మనం నాటిన చేట్టులోంచి వోచ్చినవి కావు. And like somebody once said, "It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." That really rings true, especially when you consider the kind of unsung heroes everyday produces.

There's nothing like a free world where every man gets an equal opportunity to rise to his full potential. Importantly, there is no better world than a place where people live with a clean conscience and realise that మనం చచ్చిన రోజు, మనం దేనిని తీస్కుకేళ్ళం కాని మనల్నే నలుగురు మోసుకెళ్ళ తారు.

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