The algebra of change
This change is not an event, but a process
Every nation is surrounded by problems at each moment in history, and we, in this part of the world are no exception. Rather we have set rules here by remaining stuck perennially into problems, yet we are exceptions by either not attending to our problems, or attending them impulsively. Such behaviour only lands us into a bigger trouble. On all the issues, we have not taken stock of whole situation ourselves; rather others hand down dictations to us. The result: disasters, blunders, catastrophes. Internally, we allege to be browbeaten by one of the largest democracies of the world, and externally, we have been inclined to a nation that has directed us towards failures. The result is that we have come to the same crossroad we thought we had left behind some time before. In the process we have caught many deadly diseases which have gripped us from all sides. At least, one thing seems strange: whatever we do we are certain to run into a cul-de-sac!!! Our history is laid out into a maze that converges into a dead end, always. Why does this happen? What are the reasons? Have we blinkers on? Are we vision blind? Do we have myopic perspective? Anyways, our society has acquired virulent and protracted diseases of all kind. There could be myriad factors, which, you will agree, are responsible for our problems, but I have tried to reduce them all to three main factors, each accounting for multitude of problems more or less, although there could be different, and even contrary, opinions about it.
Lack of Vision: Firstly, we have acquired a vacillating mindset. Our approach to issues besieging us is a bit awkward, or appropriately speaking, emotionally charged. Our collective behaviour is jittery and if we are on boil we become foam, rising and falling in moments. Boiling and cooling is a feat that we have mastered well, and with this our leadership loyalties also change. When we boil, we seem to get on a false vantage point and we develop a mistaken perspective of reality, when we cool down we are thrown on ground and develop different angle of seeing things again mistaken due to dejection, and our language attains different tone. Our misplaced vantage makes things look rational and logical; otherwise they are set at good distance from facts. This makes us appear opportunistic, even in our day to day dealings. We may have acquired this fickle attitude over a long duration, tracing its roots into earlier era. And I insist, if we continue in this state, we may well acquire a more virulent strain (you may presume we already have): state of helplessness, where you have false perception of anticipated failures, and lose hope of success altogether as society. Here, we require getting a visionary outlook where things are taken synoptically and holistically, developing foresight on the basis of available resources, ground reality and realistic goals. This mindset brings stability in action because it thrives on a broad-base of reasonability backed by complete awareness and knowledge of the situation. Intellectuals need opportunity and freedom to discuss and enunciate future vision. Unfortunately, our intellectuals and leaders have always baked and offered us fragments, parts, and sections of the whole reality and people, by sheer ignorance, have mistaken oratory for originality, emotionality for rationality, and confusion for revolution.
Lack of Responsibility: Secondly, our emotions and memories are deeply trapped in history (and it is quite natural), and our response at different stages in past and present, has been, one after the other, the reaction to the 1947 events. We start with a fundamental wrong played on us, and trace every issue we are accosted with from it. This gets us into a regressive mode. We see, think and proceed from this reference point only. You name anything from family planning to town planning, genocide to infanticide, power crisis to moral crisis, education to transportation, health to wealth, corruption to overconsumption, poverty to charity: turmoil eloquently explains all to us. Then too, it is not 1947 only, tell us when we were on our own. We are said to have suffered under Afghans, Sikhs, Dogras and British. 1947 does not explain every problem we face today although it has got deeply entrenched into a Kashmiri psyche. Besides other problems, it has given us one malady definitely: thrown us into inertial mode and lulled us into sleep accumulating problems galore viz. economic, social, educational, health, religious and many more. We have become irresponsible as we believe all these problems are either product of 1947 or the turmoil of 1989 onwards. Whatever does not seem to flow from these two we hasten to put blame on the current establishment. And we cleanly sneak through and wash off our hands from all responsibility. This makes us shirk duty. All this has made a cesspool of our society that stinks badly, and allowed thriving ground to people who are good for nothing, but enjoy royalty of irresponsibility behind the cover of turmoil. In this system incompetence smothers excellence.
Lack of Practicality: Since we have neglected issues of concern, so whenever, if at all, we take action it is always stopgap, certain to bear no fruit in the longer run. It is like beating about the bush. We must remember practical is always incremental calling for patience and reformatory approach. People talk about logical end and resort to illogical means all along. First and basic things are not attended at all, and hands are outstretched to the ends and goals, often imaginary. This makes the whole scheme weird. This has remained a fundamental flaw in our approach. Intelligentsia has remained obsessed with this and have nourished this hope without bothering to pave the way along the immediate. Leaders have trotted this line without fail. Social work groups, religious organizations, NGOs, mohalla committees, associations do lot of haphazard work but results are conspicuous by their absence. Our staple constitutes false vision, slogans, rhetoric, obstinacy, emotionalism, rumour mongering, and intolerance. Our schools, colleges and Universities pass students but hardly prepare them. Student is laden not equipped with knowledge. He is fit to spoil, unfit to nourish. He can take notes, attend lectures, pass exams but he, more often, fails in life, and in any vocation he takes. This sums up whole of our march towards nowhere!!! Politicians, bureaucrats, employees, businessmen, teachers, journalists, lawyers, doctors, agriculturists are all busy in their own way but do they deliver the needful? They all fall short by miles, and want results by default.
In light of the above new generation has to feel the pulse and take initiatives. Day to day issues need urgent attention. Teachers need to instill confidence in them to tackle these issues and we see new breed of leadership emerging. Visionary leaders and intellectuals have to play pivotal role.
This shall only happen when present circumstances are improved upon not backing out from them, facing them with vision, responsibility and pragmatism.
The author teaches at Govt. College of Education, Srinagar; reach him at (Feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Mon, 11 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 11 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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