I pity you; do I or should I? It is not my problem that you are born to poor parents, of lower caste, from abc religion, reside inside a forest that has resources beneath it, or live on the wrong side of the dam.
It is not my headache that you are a woman. Nor is it my worry that justice, education, access to health or employment is not reaching you. If your land gets grabbed in the name of development, so be it. Comfort of a few million people matters more than the survival of a few thousand. We need more industries, bigger towns and wider roads so that I can have a variety of job opportunities. I should be able to drive to those places in my private car faster so that I can come back home and watch TV.
All I am worried about is myself and my family; whether my children go to school; whether I have electricity to watch cricket match or soaps; whether I have a job that provides me with good salary and health insurance; whether there are ATMs in my neighbourhood; whether there is high speed internet and good cell phone connection.
I am not bothered that the farmer who is feeding me is dying hungry, I don’t care that my habits and routines are polluting the environment, I am not bothered that my shopping habits is ruining small businesses.
I know that I am the only species on earth who is capable of thinking. But why should I think or act when all my needs are taken care of. Do you know how much work it is to travel, to talk to people, to read, and understand a complex nation like India? I am too busy to spend time on such understanding. I am happy with whatever media or McDonald’s feeds me. I consume information and food quite effortlessly. I confuse my analytical skills with critical thinking skills and if someone opposes my thinking , I will call them pseudo-intellectuals, pseudo-liberals or, better yet, Congress sycophants.
I love peace. Have you seen how many anti-war pages I have liked on facebook? I am an activist. Have you seen how many online petitions I have signed? I believe in bringing in change. Do you know how much money I have donated to charities?
I know that someone has to pay the cost of development, someone has to suffer for my luxuries, someone has to die so that I can procreate. Colonization, racism, sexism, and slavery made the west a developed hemisphere. Look what happiness development has brought them! They can now buy make-up kits and antidepressants with free same day delivery. Credit cards and mobile phones have made such purchases possible virtually from anywhere.
What’s with the people living in villages and forests? What do they know of happiness or civilization? What is life without greed? What is life without the suffocation of living inside concrete buildings , breathing thick smoke or drinking contaminated water ? Why do they want to hide in the forests or villages? Why are they afraid of the comfortable life a city provides? Cowards! I want to show them, those who want to escape from the realities of life, how to face life and live it. After all, Ache din aanewale hain!
I want show that world that India too can be a developed nation by following the path of kindness. We are not cruel like some of the western countries. We, Indians, don’t have the history of invading foreign countries, subjugating their people, wiping them out if needed, and looting their resources. We believe in self-rule (swaraj) and hence in self-colonization. We have bred for a reason. 1.2 billion people! If we subjugate all the Indian poor, it is like subjugating all the people of USA and Europe put together. The carbon footprint of our violence will be minimal as the victims live next door. And yes, we will make those rifles and grenades locally. Local police and army will be brought in to rape the women, butcher the old, and jail the young. We understand our local people and culture better and hence we are more efficient at exploiting them. We will make the British wish that they had outsourced their colonisation to us.
I know that no other creature on earth can think or empathize the way we, the humans, do. But if I think and empathize, I am afraid that I might use that ability all up. I am saving it for all the people who are going to suffer so that they can think about how it all happened and empathize with their fellow victims.
OK, I am a homo-sapien. But what’s in the name of a species? I am an Indian (by that I mean Hindu + upper caste, upper or middle class + male) and that’s what matters!
Jai Hind! And yes, Vande Mataram!