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Night…

April 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Because 55-words stories are fun, while not taxing the brain too much, they are a big draw for the imaginatively challenged and lazy person in me. Here’s one I wrote for a contest organized on twitter by the good folks of Flipkart and @vivekisms.

The theme was “Night”…

His eyes were red, face swollen. The lacerations on his wrists smarted. Larger ones on his back burned.  He was tired. Hurt.

 The monsters of the dark had come a-calling again. Hungry, violent, clamoring for flesh, unstoppable.

 But the sun was rising. He was safe for now. He could rest. He closed his eyes.

 Goodnight.

Apathy and the citizen – A call for help

April 4, 2012 4 comments

A few days ago, Purba wrote about a harrowing experience with the Gurgaon police. While an experience like that may not be something new to a lot of people, it caused me to stop and think about how much we are doing to improve the situation. The answer, unfortunately is, I think, not very much. I wrote her an email, which ended up being a blog post that she has very kindly posted up on her blog.

I am not going to reproduce it here. But suffice to say, the comments were interesting. Also heartening. It was nice to see that there are people who, in spite of the difficulties, do not give in to the temptation of taking a short-cut to get their work done. Here are a couple of examples.

I will admit, this is perhaps more than I would have done. I try and do my part. I avoid greasing palms to get work done. I stop at a red light even when there are no cops around, I am generally an honest, law-abiding citizen. On a personal level this works for me, and I have, over time, tried to recognize and remedy cases where I am personally failing in my duties as a citizen. Examples such as Rachna’s serve to renew my enthusiasm to keep up the fight at least at a personal level.

However, if I am really honest about it, it isn’t really enough. As I mentioned in one of the comments on that post, the country is my home. It is dirty and it needs cleaning up. It isn’t enough to just make my bed. I need to clean the room, the drawing room, and the kitchen too.

While I can do a bit more than what I am doing now (and I will), I am not sure if this is something that I can do alone. It is true that there is strength in numbers. However, I do not know how to mobilize the help. I need ideas on how to effectively organize ourselves to make an impact. I need help on (maybe) the use of technology to get a bunch of us together and make a concrete difference. I need pointers to something like this already being done elsewhere that I can contribute to. I need access to sources of knowledge about mechanisms like RTI that we can use as tools in this “cleanup” bid.

A part of the reason for that post on Purba’s blog is because my blog is read by all of 3 people. And the post was a call for help more than anything else. It was a call for ideas. It was a call for possible answers, or even pointers in the direction of answers. Because I do not have answers. Not all of them anyway. Not any of them, most likely.

To start with, I am going to refresh my civics, and dig some more around public policy laws that we can use, or that are, in theory, supposed to empower the citizen. I will find out more about avenues of information about what the government is doing with the citizens’ money. I will share what I find here. As a first step, the least I can do is increase awareness, mine and others’.

My request is, once again, for help. Spread the word. If you have pointers to this end, or stories, experiences, or know of programs that we can participate in … please, leave a comment. I will be eternally grateful.

I am resolving to be less apathetic, and more aware and responsible as a citizen. I hope you’ll join me.