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Old 28th September 2013, 05:17   #76
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Default Re: Why should I be the sucker?

@ Hellmet;

What you’ve penned are thoughts and frustrations of millions of discerning and thinking Indians. It also points to the almost supernatural capacity of Indians to tolerate these almost intolerable deficiencies in our society, generation after generation. You are fortunate enough to have the option to consider immigrating to another country. Multi-millions don’t have that in our country. I cannot even fathom that level of frustration.

I have always found it difficult to respond to posts implying ‘be the change you want to be’, in the case of the Indian society. But, aren’t most of us just ordinary people who just wants to provide a good standard of living to our families? Doing that alone can take almost all the time in one’s life. Not everyone is cut out for the hardships that come with being a standard bearer for societal norms especially, when no one cares. The best most can do it seems, is to do your small part and be contend with that, whether it had any impact or not. This has essentially forced like-minded people to live in cocoons around the country with almost zero impact on the larger society. And any impacts there are; it is uncertain whether it’s mostly positive or negative. I do not see many near term solutions to this, considering the incredible gulf between the various strata in our society. At this stage, we have to accept the fact that, time spans spanning generations will be necessary to even out the disparities and come anything close to being somewhat of an egalitarian society, if at all it ever happens.

And I hope that, people will stop comparing the standard of living for the general public of the Indian society with the US and other developed nations. It’s beyond ridiculous, I have lived in both societies for more than two decades. And are we really in a position to sit back and critique the deficiencies of other societies when clearly, we have so many ourselves? We should be incorporating the best of other societies into our own. We’re decades, if not a century, behind in our attitudes and what an ordinary citizen can expect from our government as routine services, whatever the reasons may be. When such comparisons are made, it almost always points to suggestions of accumulating sufficient wealth to create your own cocoon and be insulated from the majority or, becoming some kind of crusader. We can compare ourselves to developed nations when we don’t have to do that.

Last edited by VLOCT : 28th September 2013 at 05:24.
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Old 28th September 2013, 08:59   #77
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Originally Posted by prasadee View Post
This is such a disheartening thread. There are always two paths in life - the hard path that is right/ethical/moral and the easy shortcut that is wrong/immoral/unethical

Following the hard right path (paying taxes, following the laws, and treating other humans as equals, etc) does not make that person a sucker. In feeling like a sucker, what are you looking for? Camaraderie of people who are not suckers who take the shortcut? Feeling like a sucker for taking the long way is just one short step away from actually taking the shortcut.

I agree that our social fabric is divisive. Kids are never taught the power of a community at school, it is the responsibility of parents. With people traveling all around the world, there is so much awareness about the power of values based on social science. We should not hate other people we don't know by default. We cannot fall into the trap of hate based on class divide, religious/caste divide, language divide, etc. Frustration is understandable, but one should not feel like a sucker for staying on the right path.

Unfortunately, I see several teenagers celebrate posts of petty groupism on Facebook. The success of groupism is conditioned and programmed at all levels. This is done by the means of elections based on religion/caste, caste based school seats, laws based on religion, language based discrimination etc. Ask any child how highly he thinks of his language and lowly of the language of neighboring states. The hate is ignorant and baseless, it is not in the best interest of the society. People end up keeping their houses spotlessly clean and piss on the compound wall of a house on the next street. Or even worse piss on the compound of a government office. They own that office, because they paid some tax, how did they miss that lesson. Was it ever taught?
I think what the problem here is, and what the OP is trying to convey, is that the people who are supposed to represent us, in our government, are taking the easy way out. The vast majority of them are wrong, immoral and unethical; but why should that surprise anyone. Most of them are the scum of the earth and uneducated people, who have only gotten into politics because of their ability to make money and threaten/know the right people. The people who suffer the most are the uneducated people, people who dont have internet access like us here, people who dont use forums, people who have barely nothing and are fighting for their very right to live a decent life every day. If even a few of these people, who dont know how these crooks really are, get to know, then all of us will be much better off. Why do you think Politicians in India dont try and appeal to educated people, because they know they will see right through their BS. They play the vote bank politics game and scoop up everyone else with false promises.

Consequently, the common man sees how his or her representative acts and thinks, "hey if they can do it, why should i be a better person, i'll be a jerk like them and i will succeed!". I agree with you, it is disheartening, but this is the state of India today. The problems stem from top to bottom. Its basic values and attitude towards one another that needs to change. Its getting worse with every generation. Children are only becoming worse, not better.
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Old 28th September 2013, 09:10   #78
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@VLOCT. I totally agree with you. We Indians have this bad habit of criticizing everyone else yet when our situation is in much dire straights, we dont do anything about it. I guess we just love to shift the blame, as it were. The problem is that, there is nobody to represent the 100's of millions in India who dont have an option of leaving. That Ana Hazare movement had some traction, but it pretty much fizzled out. These days i dont hear anything about it. What will those masses do without somebody to lead them. The more well off and educated people in India got to step up, they have to challenge the political establishment. They have to go to the polls and at least vote for somebody else, anybody else.
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Old 28th September 2013, 11:00   #79
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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
So your vote really does not matter. More so when the real election is decided at the rural level where the masses are either bought by false promises or more commonly some cash, food and alcohol.
Yes the rural folk take the alcohol, and food from any candidate who offers them. But, their vote goes to the person from their caste who goes to their temple and sings their song. It is not based on issues that matter. If votes could be bought so easily we would never see an opposition party win.

Every vote counts, and the basis of the vote matters. We cannot blame villagers for everything. How many city dwellers vote? And, how many vote based on qualifications and the stand of the candidate on issues that matter? People vote based on groupism, and the candidate's favorable view of their group. That can never be in the interest of greater good.

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Old 28th September 2013, 13:25   #80
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Originally Posted by prasadee View Post
Every vote counts, and the basis of the vote matters. We cannot blame villagers for everything. How many city dwellers vote? And, how many vote based on qualifications and the stand of the candidate on issues that matter? People vote based on groupism, and the candidate's favorable view of their group. That can never be in the interest of greater good.
I am not blaming the rural folks. They have there own valid reasons. Infact they are also smart enough to know that all of the parties are equally bad and hence they make best use of the situation and sell there vote to the highest bidder literally.

What I saying is that today I really don't see any candidate worthy enough. All of them appear equally useless to me. A handful of politicians whom I can dare to look up to are not fighting from my constituency. So who really should I vote for? Infact it is with this in mind, that the SC has passed the judgement to provide none of the above option from now on. Infact they should go one step ahead and make sure that every none of the above vote actively deducts a vote from the candidate's total votes. Would probably encourage the parties to field better people.
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Old 29th September 2013, 21:59   #81
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Visited after a week and looked what I missed out on!

Hellmet, my thoughts exactly. After reading your post, I had to put in my thoughts.

I am one of the 3% who is paying through his nose and used to consider it as my duty. I have patiently stood in line, often with 2 kids in tow, waiting for my turn, while others gate-crash. I have tried to optimise the use of time spent in these queues by explaining the virtues of being patient to my teenage daughter and by telling her that she should consider herself as an ordinary citizen. Right values, but then I am not equipping her to face the world. Since the past week, I am undergoing a change of heart.

Last Sunday, my car wash guy did not shut the car doors properly. When I pointed this out, he banged them in. I was shocked - if this was in front of me, what would he be doing when I was not present. I ticked him off saying that it costs money to get things repaired and he should be more careful. This guy literally starts arguing with me and I let it go at that point.
There are about 800 flats in the society and roughly 1000 cars. This chap lives in the society as a caretaker and washes 100 cars and charges 300 per car per month. Simple maths : that's 30K a month or 3.6LPA. As this income is not reported, there are no taxes. Further, his kids go to a good school (RTE), he gets cheaper rations and is also assured of 100 days of employment(NREGA) by the government.
So, essentially I would be paying for all this while he and the others of his ilk live it up? Well, that's sucker, in caps.

This has made me question not only the taxes I pay but also the CSR initiatives (school-kits) that are supported by the company where I work. I know I would be branded as "stingy" by my colleagues, but I don't intend to see my hard earned money going waste.
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Old 29th September 2013, 22:22   #82
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I guess it is safe to say it is better if we went abroad. However, I don't think the middle class is spared there too. There are working class who pay taxes and there are people who live off benefits. The tax payers crib about this even there too.
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Old 30th September 2013, 11:47   #83
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Fantastic thread to summarize our day to day. I stay in bangalore. Once I was standing in traffic, and a guy from the crossroad simply banged my left rear door. I got pretty pissed off. He was a cab guy with AP regustration in bangalore. When I confronted him, he called few of his henchmen or shall i say goons, and said what do you want. I told them (keeping my cool, dont think i had any other option), give me your insurance details, I will get my car repaired, file FIR, and claim the repair charges in your insurance "what was i thinking??". Offcourse that did not happen. And my wife was in the car, so better sense prevailed, and i left the place. But i did not want to let them get away. So thought will try my luck with the authorities "again what was i thinking". Went to the nearest traffice police station. The guy in charge first told me where do you work, I told IT. He started giving me lecture first, its because of you guys, you guys earn a lot of money, then buy cars and block the road. These kind of incidents happen because of you only. I tried telling him, boss this was an AP registration car, if you try you can easily catch hold of him. Help me out here. He told, leave you car here, and file a complaint. Our guys will assess the damage and then decide, whether its worth chasing the car or not. I was like, by that time you car would have left bangalore. Why dont you hurry up, and we can still find the car and the driver. As usual the request fell on empty ears. and again "better sense prevailed". I thought this is INDIA !!!. Live with it or leave it. So here was my Indian Middle Class story
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Old 7th October 2013, 14:48   #84
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I guess everyone of us (including me) has several examples of how we were 'wronged' on the road, how flagrant the violations were and how unrepentant the wrong-doers were. I have gone beyond being frustrated and am now seriously considering action! (As was pointed by several others, we are part of the problem by not doing much about it). These are some of the things I have in mind though not sure how many are doable -
1. Start a YouTube channel that will be a video upload of traffic violations (grouped by important junctions - being in Chennai plan to start of with some of the ones happening in kodambakkam, the place I live)
I am hoping that a large enough collection may shame habitual wrong doers and/or push the police into some kind of action?

2. Spend some of my free time(with like minded friends) supporting police in disciplining traffic
There is a time bound one-way bridge in kodambakkam and several motorists enjoy breaking them. I am seriously considering spending an hour daily on this bridge to prevent wrong direction entries

3. Talk to corporates to see if they can 'adopt' important traffic junctions. This can involve donating time (to use their employees for traffic regulation in that junction for specific hours daily) and/or money (to pay for Home Guards to regulate traffic). How would it be if we have a Tata bridge, a Reliance stretch, an Airtel junction etc? The pride of the company is at stake to ensure a trouble a free road stretch. Would it work?

4. Road stretches can also be auctioned for collecting traffic fines. If we can thingkof a good enough way to properly fine traffic offenders by a team of private contractors, I am sure we will generate enough revenue to put in place better road management systems. Technology like video cams etc can prevent the fines being pocketed by the collectors". Probably reputed media houses can bid for such contracts?

With enough effort, money and people - and loads of will - we can slowly bring about a change.

While it is fashionable to blame 'others' for their horrible road sense, it will be a good thing to watch ourselves too. Some times we are guilty of what we blame too.
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Old 24th October 2013, 19:44   #85
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I remember reading this thread earlier and just dropped in to see what I had missed. With Pakistan so blatantly violating Ceasefires, Loads of Scams unearthed, the INDIAN democracy has truly changed its motto to:

"BUY" the people, "FAR" the people and "OFF" the people.

I have had all the experiences and always ended up on the receiving end and heck yes - We live with it and MOVE ON with it. A thread perhaps to vent your frustrations or just get the feeling of satisfaction that many more are in the same boat! Yes I am a "Sucker"!

Thanks HELLmet.
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