Anger and Fear are the predominant emotions of our times today.
We are a nation of scared people. The generation above us was scared for economic and social reasons and our generation seems to be scared of change. Contrary to what we might say, many people do not want the system to change. They hold on to things and claim it in form of tradition.
I asked a Hindu friend of mine at a dinner party, “Would you be ok if your only daughter fell in love with a Muslim?” And she smiled and said, “I’m sure that won’t happen.”
I asked another friend of mine, “What if your only son told you he was a homosexual?” And the man turned to me and replied, “Why even think of such things?”
I asked family members who had attended Anna Hazare’s fast, “Have you ever given a bribe to get off a speeding ticket? Or to get your passport done early? Or to an `agent’ to process your license?” And they laughed and said, “Everyone does that.”
So why are we not changing? Why are we not progressing? Because it is easy and blissful to remain in a state of unawareness. Our parents were fearful that their kids would marry different caste or religions. Somewhere we’re still fearful of that. Otherwise why would there be so many matrimonial ads slotted into a person’s religion, caste and region? Let us stop doing that at least.
Our parents were fearful that they would not be able to save up enough to give their kids a secure life. We are fearful that there will be no security.
Lawlessness stems from fear. Fear stems from anger.
If we don’t get our way, we have no faith in the system to provide help. We help ourselves. That is what we are being taught now. A boyfriend murdering a girl’s ex lover, spouses shooting each other, bomb blasts, rapes, theft, and burnings. It stems from anger at not being able to get what they want and an impatience to want it right away. And it is not only in urban areas, the rural villages are imitating what they see and hear from the urban centers. There was a recent incident in Karwas village, 20 km from the Jaipur-Delhi highway that shocked the entire village. Two teenage girls watched as their lover slit their parents’ throat because they were not allowed to have sexual relations with him.
Where does this come from? People are asserting themselves but in the wrong way. Everyone has an attitude. Adolescents’ mottos are “I don’t care” and “I want it now!”
We fear “What will people think?”
We fear “What will our neighbours say?”
We fear “What if we make a mistake?
We fear “What if it doesn’t look nice?”
But it won’t be. Uncomfortable situations will arise. Delays will be imminent. And feathers will be ruffled. So what?
We need to do the right thing for our country. Not just for ourselves.
We need to stand up for the greater good and not just for economic benefit or cheap publicity. 
We need to start believing that it is ok if Big Brother USA does not like what we do. Once we start believing that we will not take a single bribe or that we will not care if our kids marry Pakistanis, or that we will not fear the hand of the UN, we will rise above the pettiness of everyday and become a stronger nation.
And it needs to start today. With each and every one of us. We have to believe in the right things. We have to have an attitude of caring for a stronger future. We have to demand answers. And ask the right questions. We need to elect the right people. We need to work together.
We have to stop being angry. With religion, caste, creed, sex or a system. And channel the energy into being productive.
And we have to stop being afraid of the outcome.


mesushovan said…
Hi Madhuri,

Nice read! :)

Would like to raise a few issues though, which either you may agree to or just pooh-pooh out. Entirely your call. :)

The line 'Lawlessness stems from fear. Fear stems from anger', in my opinion, is 50% correct. It's just the other way round, I guess, where 'Anger stems from fear', or should I say, from a strong yet suppressive sense of 'insecurity' n 'inferiority'!

Plus, I think the use of 'WE' is actually not, as well as over done. Because WE should stem from the factor 'I' first n foremost. If I CAN be the change, we can be the change n as a result things can change too. Gradually, if not in a flash (in the pan). :)

Frankly, I (that is WE too) always had n still have two options: a) To be the change, so as to see the change b) To see the change, as brought to me by someone else.

Just like the 'samosawala' at my locality said one day, "Dada, change chailey change ta majhemajhe nije niyeo asben" i.e. "Dada, if you want change, sometimes bring the change as well." He didn't mean ‘the change’ that you and I mean, obviously, but there was something in his statement that truly applies to any change for that matter. :)

And 'what people say' has ever been THE BIGGEST event in our life, in our history. Otherwise, even Mr. Ramchandra wouldn't have organised ‘the catwalk in the fire’ for Mrs. Sita on her return from Mr. Ravan's guest house.

Sharing a personal experience on this –

1996, passed engineering with a rank, wanted to be a copy writer, family got afraid of what people will say if I fail in my profession. 2007, got ABBYS' nomination for my DM on Microsoft, family remain afraid of what people will say if I win or don't. :)

Hence, it's not so crucial whether we are changing collectively or not, but yes, if I'm changing individually, I can certainly be the change agent in the lab of mankind and humanity. Eventually.

Because a real leader follows himself first n last. To lead n complete the cycle of life, lifelong. :)

Hope you didn't mind for my lines. In case you did, I'm on my knees, holding my ears, and saying sorry! Please pardon me then, as I apologise, sincerely!

Cheers n regards,

Meher said…
Madhuri, you have no idea how coincidental this post is. Just today, I had two of my friends freak out only 'cause I said its alright for their siblings or the kids they have in the future to be homosexual. They said they'd accept a homosexual friend, but a relative being gay, no way. In spite of being highly educated.
Loved your post. Could totally relate to it.
JANU said…
Be the change you like to see in the world- Mahatma Gandhi.
Change doesn't happen if we do not change ourselves....we have been conditioned for so long.
Great post.
Yash Aggarwal said…
Today I would like to salute d genius... dis is wat a writer ought to write nt on absurds like love sex celebrities n ol...
Keep up d gr8 work...
Luv u ...
Naina Gupta said…
Such a fantastic post.

The irrationality that we have in our community really upsets me, because you would think that both in the UK and in India we would have progress.

From the small, like when I was in India and I shook a guy's hand when I met him for the first time because that is what I do here. I think I got some funny looks for that, and no one else in the group extended their hand to greet me.

In India when you watch Bollywood movies and the actresses are half naked, but just a little too much flesh and people think that you are walking naked down the street.

To the really big like why people think that murdering someone will restore their place in society. I'm sure going to jail is a lot better than your son/daughter having a relationship outside of the community.

And here in the UK, people try so hard to stick to the ideal life they thought they would have if they never left the homeland that people resent them. Both famiy and otherwise.
Pesto Sauce said…
Very very strong post based on rationality. I too wonder when (and if) we will change

You know today I had put in a matri-ad in a local newspaper and just few minutes back I received call from a Muslim family...they are OK marrying outside their religion but not me or my family. After reading your stuff I pity myself
A Kumar said…
I think 'What will people say/think' is the greatest of all fears. Once we overcome this, rest all will fall in place.
bob said…
which school of liberals do u belong to??
vivek said…
this post if written by a muslim..
u shouls ask question from urself..about what u do when ur daughter marry a hindu and ur son marry a israeli and both get converted.ur rest of the post was worth reading..
vivek said…
this post if written by a muslim..
u shouls ask question from urself..about what u do when ur daughter marry a hindu and ur son marry a israeli and both get converted.ur rest of the post was worth reading..
vivek said…
this post if written by a muslim..
u shouls ask question from urself..about what u do when ur daughter marry a hindu and ur son marry a israeli and both get converted.ur rest of the post was worth reading..

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