Trusting my government
My primary emotion towards my government is that of TRUST.
Any government, to do what it aims to, needs the trust of its people.
* What is the basis of this trust?
We’re a constitutional democracy and the preamble captures a beautiful high ideal.
In that is fraternity — the agreement that all Indians are my brothers and sisters (all except one, as we said in school!)
Me and my siblings have agreed to a process of choosing who conducts affairs in this country.
After decades, we have a 300+ seats government in power — a space to move in a single direction in what is surely a diverse country.
One of the most important things I can do as a citizen is to be constructive in my engagement with my government rather than hinder it.
** But what about other issues — development narratives and rising communalism? Privacy and digitization?
Surely these are disagreements I have with my government — and there is space in our democracy for those.
One is by funding with my own hard-earned money, the voices of dissent (because the voices in power already have so much access to media while voices of dissent get lost and marginalized)
Second is to assume by default that all data is unsafe — because eventually everything digital is ‘hackable’ if one wants to. Can I reduce what I need to ‘hide’?
For the deep disagreement on development itself — for which I continuously seed conversations and circles that rethink consumption and what has consumerism cost us as people.
Finally the way to balance communal disharmony is to work towards harmony — Blue Ribbon’s events actively do that by connecting across divides (Events like Fools Forum do this)
*** So am I explaining away the government and its shortfalls?
No, quite to the contrary, I am trying to open a space for a much needed dialogue across the country.
Rediscovery of India is one such project already underway (more about that in another post). Can we as a nation revisit our common minimum agreement (the preamble of the constitution) and act from there?
Meanwhile running a government is a hard and thankless job — imagine yourself being in power of a country as diverse as India. Can’t keep everyone happy all the time.
As a prime constituency of my government (Mc HiHBAM — Metro-Middle Class Hindu Hetrosexual Brahmin Adult Male) I realize my privilege and how much I gain from its work.
The best I can do is to balance it by serving the last guy (antoday) — the farmer (Rurban), the soldier (SAYC), the mentally affected (Kehkasha) and the alienated city person (BucBuc). In my own city I can engage in civic issues (CCF), work on making it safer for women and build sensitivity among boys (Gender Labs).
We can claim our own voice (Media Lab) and take charge of learning how to change our world (Social Artivism — People’s University)
Together, this giant celebration is connected globally (One World Rising for eg) and locally (with Ekta Parishad for eg) — together, we’re gonna dance our way into a world that works for EVERYONE!!!
And I TRUST that it will happen, it begins with trusting those who I may Other the most