Sounds of our times...

It's been 60 years since 15th August, 1947. India is an economy that's marking itself in the set of global powers. Our economy is rising against the "developed" ones. We are deemed as a force to reckon and other global powers are (finally) realizing that we are not a country where there are monkey kings, or where people eat monkeys. India is now featured in the global map. We are now not merely reckoned by the educated abroad for having the very first civilization or for the oodles of tradition that we have.

The Indian rupee is becoming strong and the Indians are finally realizing that India is the place to be in the next 10 years, where tradition and development is intricately interwoven. And yet...

it's time we realize that every citizen of India has to contribute to achieve true greatness that has since the dawn of time been the "potential" of Hamara Bharat Mahaan.

It's truly our time to wake up and take responsibility for our actions, for our doing, for our being. It's time to contribute to our growing economy, to help it become strong and be its placeholders. It's time to stop complaining and start acting. It's definitely been a harsh realization for me this one.

Just last Friday, I was standing at Bellandur, Outer Ring Road, in Bangalore, waiting for my bus to take me to work. That's when a bunch of auto drivers decided to go vigilante for their own reasons. They started running amok in the middle of one of the busiest roads in Bangalore - the Outer Ring Road, and began to flag down independent tempos and buses. These are the Qualis's, the tempos, the Indicas, the 36 seater buses, which companies and firms hire as a modicum of transportation for their professionals. There's a business running in Bangalore, where in these vehicles decide to "contribute to the public transportation" and take people flagging them down to and from the major IT corridors within Bangalore.

The auto drivers, seemingly having lost "customers" to this mode of transportation wanted to claim back their passengers and decided that the only way to do that is to

a. disrupt traffic
b. flag down these vehicles
c. Force the people travelling in them to get down
d. Threaten the drivers of these vehicles with choice words and
e. Have a sense of exhilaration running around them thinking that this is exactly as they wanted.

Apart from the shock that registered that these "morons" [for the lack of any other socially acceptable pronoun] were allowed to just run amok in one of the busiest roads during one of the busiest times in the morning, there were quite a few realizations that morning.

1. No one, yup not a single soul were reacting to this. Not the drivers of these vehicles, not the people travelling in these vehicles, who were forced to get down, not the crowd for being subjected to unnecessary pandemonium and further delay than the jams caused by "contained infrastructure".

2. Unfortunately the muteness of the people was overshadowed by the sheer incompetence of the police force. I called up 100 - the single number that's supposed to bring in the enforcers of the law. Albeit the call being patched to the Police Control Room, they were very determined in their stance that this is to be handled by the traffic control room and were "kind enough" and professional enough to give me the number of the traffic control room.

3. Of course the traffic control room is on a continuous engaged tone.

In effect, the auto drivers got what they wanted - they caused ruckus and forced people to get down from cheaper modes of transportation, pay dear - 1.5 meter and 2 times the rigged meter prices and get away with it.

Unfortunately this is not what shocked me, but the muteness, rather the disinterest of people. It was an eye opener and has made me realize that I shall _not_ take part in this charade of silence anymore.

I have a request to all the people reading this. Please take responsibility for your (in)actions. If something is wrong, rather than complain about it, take responsibility and correct it if possible. India is shining, maybe, but it's up to us to make sure that it stays that way. Sorry to use the metaphor, but cleaning is a continuous process and we _cannot_ rely on somebody else to clean up the mess to which every single person in this country contributes.

P.S. It's ironical that this post almost seems like a rant!