India is the most noise-rich country in the world. None, I repeat, none can shout an Indian down, so much he talks that his rival will vanish without trace. Think of our politicians and the sound pollution they make, you get the idea. If talks could solve issues that are essentially a sick social psyche, India’d have solved all her problems long ago. The Biblical Tower of Babel is what India resembles to today. Too much talk and too many laws are the cardinal banes of this country.
So, when the cerebral hero Aamir Khan began his talk show on social issues on television and radio recently, I thought of all those billions of words our netas and celebrities uttered all these years, and yet the debilitating corruption, the cruel killing of females in womb and in in-laws’ homes, irrational umbrage at gays, lesbians, neuters, all continue unabated. Why?
Any right-thinking person will know the answer: The system. It is the system of governance; law and justice have led us to this pass. We have made the system a sieve where all the nails, pebbles, and thorns escape but the grains are captured.
We have made the justice system so long winding and expensive that no ordinary injured man can seek redress. The rationale of law and justice is fear that proves a deterrent to crime. But we have, by abuse, erased the fear of law. This, in essence, is the reason for the continuing female foeticide, though it is not all.
The other reason is insatiable greed — from the alms-seeker on the street to the mantri in the mantralaya — are all greedy beyond words. This is what gets reflected in dowry demand and torture of mothers.
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar was not off the mark when he said, “Indian audiences don’t like to see reality on screen. They see enough of that in life.” That Aamir gets `30 million per show is besides the point, that he vows to donate the money spun through SMS to Snehalaya, an NGO working towards eradicating female foeticide, is heartening. But the point is that reality shows have never changed the reality based on facts like unworkable system (like ours), morally bankrupt but a staunchly religious society (like ours) and absence of fear of law. This will change only on two counts:
- Stringent punitive action
- Positive incentives
Carrot and stick, both are necessary in good governance which our rulers have forgotten. Those indulging in female foeticide must be punished ruthlessly and those having only girl children, ought to be protected with incentives.
The token sum deposited in a poor girl’s account, as is done today, is of no use on maturity, which is 20 years, because in all probability `2,000 deposited in a poor girl child’s account will, if we count the present inflation rate, buy her a 50g packet of peanuts!
Incentive has to be in providing higher education and jobs, everything else will be ineffective. And, so should a small family be rewarded for the sacrifice it makes. Nothing of this sort is considered by our politicians because more heads to them mean more votes. Here, therefore, I plead — let us change this head count and do away with the parliamentary system. You may quiz, then what? Ask the pundits, not me.
Tailend: Commenting on the Aamir Khan show, one wag on Net wants to know if Aamir Khan will do a talk show on the tonnes of money our netas and babus and criminals have stashed away in various proprietary banks in the world? Another bird is eager to know Aamir will also talk of the deep-rooted corruption in cricket and also on massive black-money generation in each election. If he does, they say, Aamir will need no more films because he will himself be in the Forbes rich list soon!
The writer works for Postnoon.
About the Author (Author Profile)
PK Surendran is senior editor at Postnoon.