Some time back my good friend Shirish liked & shared a video of a news report by a prominent NDTV journo of rampant Caste system still entrenched in hinterlands of UP. I neither liked the report nor the journo and frankly told Shirish so. For me, the journalist and his usual reports are like “grains of sand in one’s the eye….painful, irritating and blurring the vision”
Shrish demanded an explanation and here is what I have to say in my defense.
Shirish being the literary kind, would have read both “The lord of the Flies(1954)” and “The Coral Island (1858)”, books published with a century in between with similar premise: innocent, teen-aged Christian boys stranded on an uninhabited Pacific island. The similarity, sadly ends there.
While the Coral Island is an endearing story of courage, adventure, friendship and heroism, the LOTF tale is about the group quickly degenerating to a barbaric state with groups and individuals lusting for power and not sparing even gruesome violence to achieve it. In short, it takes a very dim view of the human mind and reactions which I found very depressing. Now, in my view, human nature has such wide dimensions and possibilities of individual or group reaction to any event are infinite. But why wallow in the negative always? Why not listen, learn and train our thoughts towards the positive and the good?
Agreed, that the scourge of caste system is centuries old and still real in India. Surely it would still exist in many deep pockets of our country. Anybody with even a mobile camera can come up with several such instances and episodes in our villages to prove it exists. But what’s new in that dude? It as if somebody shows footage of “Slumdog Millionaire” to prove terrible poverty still exists in India. Duh. I think how Indians are overcoming regressive and primitive social customs is news, NOT how some illiterate Brahmins-Harijans still interact in some sleepy hamlet. So, my point is simply this: what new or unique this (or such) reports bring out? Merely highlighting regressive aspects of society still exists, for me serves very little purpose.
Thankfully, I believe that most of the country too, is eager to throw away the non-sense of caste etc based mindset. The nation has dumped such old moth-eaten ideas and instead got out and voted in huge numbers for somebody whose sole election plank was “Good governance for ALL” which is a great positive for India.
A new India is emerging with fresh thoughts like a butterfly from the restricting cocoon of old ideologies.
That's News Shirish.