Thursday, April 7, 2011

Anna Hazare as Gandhi and We as Sharad Pawar(s)- 100 ways in which we corrupt ourselves

This morning I woke up and found out that Anna Hazare’s fasting unto Death against corruption has shaken the conscience of the middle class Indian. The newspapers say that the Indian middle class is up in non-violent arms against corruption. Are we really? I thought of jotting down hundred ways in which we in our personal lives practice corruption. Shall we able to do away with these following corruptions from our personal lives? If so we build a better India. If not we are doomed to be just newspaper readers and cheerless cheer leaders. As a semi-cynic I couldn’t have escaped this thought of seeing this anti-corruption sentiment of the middle class as another craving for another spectacle just after the world cup cricket. But let us think about the following points:

1. Refusing to take a deep look at the bathroom mirror when we face it for the first time in a day, and to contemplate on the question, ‘Who are you?’
2. Keeping your Tullu water pump on for hours even after you know that your water tank is over flowing.
3. We refuse to believe that anything excessively consumed by us is a way of denying others a chance to even taste the same.
4. Taking bath in a bathtub when you are sure that your neighbor is sitting before a dry tap praying for some miracle to happen.
5. Cleaning our house and throwing the garbage right in front of others’ homes.
6. Throwing the garbage from the car’s window at the desolate patches, which we also know that would soon turn into a dump yard. We just don’t care about the people living in the vicinity.
7. Ogling at the neighbor’s guests and pretending that we did not even hear a whimper when the neighbor is in real trouble.
8. In the name of religion, blaring remixed bhajans in Bollywood tunes into others’ ears.
9. In the name of cow protection, throwing the left over food in front of others’ houses. We expect the cows to eat them until the food get rotten.
10. Writing poetry on the ‘death of a pet dog’ when you see a dog run over by a car lying before your neighbor’s doorstep and rotting. We just don’t care about burying that corpse.
11. Deliberately scratching on the body of a new car bought by one of your neighbors.
12. Fighting over parking lots. Earth doesn’t belong to anyone. Tsunami has proven it twice before us.
13. Speeding up and honking horns when you know that there is not an inch for the other vehicles to move forward.
14. Feeling a secret happiness over the distress of those people who couldn’t jump the traffic light before it turned red.
15. Thronging around an accident site and enjoy the thrill of somebody’s pain and gore and doing nothing to alleviate the victim’s pain.
16. Refusing to be a witness to anything.
17. Jumping queues.
18. Taking advantage of gender. Some women jump queues, especially when they are dressed ‘modern’ and wear a pair of shades, thinking that their ‘class’ would deter people from complaining.
19. Speaking loudly over phone while traveling in public transport facilities.
20. Behaving and proving that you are many times better than others in the places like airports and railway stations.
21. Trying to prove that you are unlucky that’s why you had to catch a train; you just had missed your flight (Spice Jet) to Mumbai.
22. Stopping in the middle of the road and exchanging words with your friends sitting in the other vehicle, as if the roads were your father’s property.
23. Refusing to pay toll tax at toll bridges citing that you are somebody’s somebody.
24. Flaunting the symbol of Police in your number plate thinking that you could get away with your misdeeds.
25. Writing ‘Press’ on your wind screens, when your relationship with the press is your daily dose of newspaper reading.
26. Claiming yourself to be a doctor or an advocate when you are just a property dealer.
27. Walking along the aisle of an aeroplane in flight and speak about your achievements in your life to a friend sitting in the 32nd row. You don’t know you look like a hawker who sells one ball point pen, one screw driver, one Hanuman Chalisa and five rubber bands for ten rupees in a private bus.
28. Letting your children play wherever they want, especially when you are in an airport or flight. You think that your child is the next Shah Rukh Khan or Aishwarya Rai. But others need not necessarily feel so.
29. Occupying both the hand rests in a flight seat.
30. We think that middle class women don’t do rash driving. They do. They claim their equality with men in this.
31. Being abusive on road.
32. Talking over mobile phone while driving and think that you are very smart.
33. Showing the middle finger to your elders when they object your rash driving.
34. Fishing out your mobile phone and talking to some invisible power center when you are caught by police for violating traffic rules.
35. Escaping punishment by giving a few hundred rupees to a policeman.
36. A policeman receiving bribe.
37. Any kind of bribe giving and taking.
38. Refusing to attend clients and their grievances when you are in a position to help them.
39. Pretending that the government has given you a job to earn salary and believing in it.
40. Refusing to work before and after the office hours.
41. Extending lunch hour into lunch hours.
42. Playing cards or other kinds of games in the office premises.
43. Using the government facilities for personal purposes.
44. Asking for a work of art against an article written in a hardly read newspaper.
45. Gallerists refusing to give the works back to the artists.
46. Gallerists sending out bouncing checks to the artists.
47. Artists trying to pretend themselves as cutting edge when they are in fact traditional or modern.
48. Artists trying to speak in accented English while they know that they had spent their half of the life speaking their mother tongue.
49. Artists pretending to be gays when they are in a gallery run by gay couples.
50. Artists taking money in cash (if they pay tax, it is fine).
51. Gallerists paying artists in suitcases and designer clothes stuffed with banknotes (Those good old days look so remote and sepia toned).
52. Attending seminars and pretending that they understand everything.
53. Writing in convoluted English to make others believe that anything made difficult commands respect from the readers.
54. Not questioning authorities thinking that it would deter our progress in job or profession.
55. Accepting offers which we are sure that we are incapable of performing to the client’s satisfaction.
56. Lobbying in the name of culture.
57. Calling names to the ones who blow the whistle.
58. Believing too much in Milton who has said, ‘they also serve who stand and stare’.
59. Not going for casting vote.
60. Refusing to give the voters’ id card to the deserving people.
61. Gallerists refusing to acknowledge critics and curators.
62. Art teachers specialized in miniature paintings, terracotta sculptures and folk art running special courses on contemporary art and drawing salaries without any prick of conscience.
63. Using public platforms for private ends.
64. We don’t allow untrained pilots to fly planes. We don’t allow unskillful doctors to operate us. But we allow untrained art historians to teach our artists.
65. Drawing salary for thirty years for doing nothing to the students.
66. Hailing below average humorists as world class graphic novelists and artists.
67. Considering white skin as the best thing ever happened in the world.
68. Considering anything from outside your country as truth and best.
69. Artists from moderate origins smelling wine before they drink it and at times refuse it as if they were born in a castle in Scotland.
70. Businessmen calling themselves art experts.
71. Tired artists becoming Biennale organizers and refusing to be transparent and tell the world how they use up the government funds.
72. Refusing to consider bikers, cycle wallahs, rickshaw wallahs and so on as human beings.
73. Pretending to be intellectuals.
74. Enjoying David Dhavan movies secretly and talking about Iranian movies in public.
75. Covering Mills and Boon books with Arundhati Roy’s or Noam Chomsky’s book cover.
76. Feeling guilty after extra marital affairs (if you do it, don’t feel guilty).
77. Torturing the partner during the divorce process.
78. Teasing women.
79. Refusing to treat old people with grace and dignity.
80. Old art critics wearing young girls’ clothes.
81. Eating while talking over phone.
82. Spending unusual amount of time on pornographic sites and prevent children from even looking at Modigliani painting.
83. Making partners to act out what you had seen in your net during the day.
84. Being a male chauvinist in public and private spaces.
85. Being a female chauvinist in public and private spaces.
86. Speaking in Hindi to dark skinned artists thinking that dark skinned people don’t speak English.
87. Spitting all over.
88. Speaking when it is not necessary.
89. Keeping silence when it is not necessary.
90. Refusing to show discipline in public and private life while showing a lot of love for the country.
91. Giving and taking dowry.
92. Spending too much on marriages.
93. Refusing to believe that a society without charity is possible. That means one needs to strive for equal rights and justice.
94. Flooding the roads on week days in the name of religion.
95. Not respecting others’ religious sentiments.
96. Cleaning roads for the religious leaders to walk on and littering the same with the food and plastic waste once the leaders pass.
97. Trying to behave cool when you are not really cool.
98. Forgetting love.
99. Forgetting sex out of love and vice versa.
100. Helping to establish Brahminism even in the field of art (one good thing about this is that former sudras could have membership in this newly formed brahminical structure. In religious brahminism, it is not possible).


Artville said...

You get may be another 100 more if you take a walk of 10 minutes.

We are very good in blaming each other. An auto driver demands more fare and he blames the constable the constables blame their senior officers they blame the bureaucrats and they blame the politicians and politician points the common man because you corrupted the system initially by paying extra to the auto driver.

A small thought from me and I thought I will share.

And still I support this 72 year old man's effort. If this can bring a slight difference, that really matters!

Roshan said...

you r wright sir .i think our education system is wrong now days we r study for get marks/job only .actually now we need real Indian education for recover of our all problems .we all live under fear .we need that education by which we will learn how to live without fear .how we will think for our family ,village ,city ,state ,country & world .

we need bhagbat gita ,veda(art of living ) in our education .
we have to change first ourselves
and think the problem of root .

JohnyML said...

Dear Roshan,

You are absolutely right. It is a vicious circle. My point is that if we make an effort from our side, however small the gesture is, it would contribute to a great movement. For me, a sea is a congregation of billions of drops. One drop matters. Each drop matters. So my humble effort is to underline this point. Thank you very much for giving a very good example of the auto wallah to the common man.

@ Khitish....We need to think about our education systems...and we need to think how we allowed them to rot...

Chitra said...

No.53 & 70 are being seen a lot nowadays. we have such double standards for everything : )

Pandit.Aridaman said...

good one

Anu Jane said...

Good article.. but its nice to see the support that this Gandhian has got from the country..vicious circle has to break somewhere..

Some of the 100 points you listed are about the hypocritisim in our society.. I think corruption is mainly because of the " Chalta hai attitude " and unwillingness to be the change that we want to see..

I have a post on Anna Hazare at . Do drop in


ART said...

No. 70 is good,
I found most of New paper art Critic are bad.
I wonder if they know anything about art. I met a art teacher in Delhi who told me that it is impossible to make Nude classes.
Thanks JohnyML for this 100.

Mahabba said...

This is a great article. So many little things cause problems to other people with no benefit.

I disagree with number 40 about refusing to work outside of the agreed upon work hours. If you have a set amount of time you have agreed upon, your duty is to fulfill that agreement. Your employer's duty is to pay you what they agreed to. It's no more corrupting to refuse to work for free than it is for the employer to not give you more money than you expected.
Maybe your employer should hire enough people to do the job and give other people opportunites.
Time is finite. You have other obligations in life. Maybe your children pay the price for the extra hours you are working.
It IS corrupting if you take a job and don't do what you agreed upon, or do the bare minimum while other people have to work harder or work unpaid overtime to make up for your laziness.
In that situation, I don't think it's corrupting to refuse to be the person working overtime.