A nation without pride

A nation without pride

I can never forget the face of the security official at the luggage scanner belt at San Francisco Airport. This was after the 9/11. He looked peevish...

I can never forget the face of the security official at the luggage scanner belt at San Francisco Airport. This was after the 9/11. He looked peevish with a marked snarl when he speaks with hawk like eyes cutting through you. My handbag was detained on the other side of the belt. As I was about the open it, he virtually shouted: ''DON'T-don't touch it. I will do that'' he warned me as though he had already found a pack of heroin or a firearm in it. I was stunned. He went through all the articles in the handbag, found none to object and handed it to me and then said: "Thank you Sir!''. That was as much respect I could muster for all the discourtesy I was put to. This is the person who stopped our Indian matinee Idol, our very own Sharukh Khan, not to say our President of India A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, not once but twice. These are the very words of Sharukh Khan- hurt, of course: "�being shoved into a back room of a vast American airport� stripping, frisking and many questions later � explained 'Your name pops up on our system, we are sorry'. 'So am I' I think. Now can I have my underwear please?' I don't blame him. He is a small nut in the biggest jigsaw puzzle- doing his duty. I find he shares all the anger and commitment of his President George Bush at his level. He oozes all the commitment his system expected of him. Look at our representatives at vantage positions. A prime accused (Ram Singh) who had earned the scorn of the entire nation- revolting against his barbaric act and makes the government bow to its demand of amending the constitution by making a law against rape, who was kept in a highest security prison of this country was found dead committing suicide. It doesn't matter whether it was suicide or murder. Both are reprehensible to happen in a maximum security prison. A criminal (Bitti Mohanty)who raped a foreigner and sent to jail, jumped bail and disappeared and lived in this very country for 7 long years. He lived in 4 different states unhampered and unidentified. And then, somebody wrote an anonymous letter to take cognizance of his identity! Two Italian marines who dare to kill two fishermen in Indian waters and duly arrested later were allowed to go out of the country to cast their vote in an election, which can be done by post, as per their country rules- as the system never bothered to defy their country's persistence! Their lawyer Harish Salve resigned protesting the breach of faith. The Supreme Court restrained the Italian Ambassador not to leave the country. The ambassador invited the stricture as a god sent allowance. In this country, we are not proud of ourselves. At the other end of the system- the person representing the establishment does not represent his country, but-sadly- himself and his vested interests. More unfortunate is the fact that an officer of the status of DGP (Director General of Police B.B.Mohanty of Odisha) served the interests of his son (Bitti Mohanty) and made the system bow to his dictate for 7 long years. This criminal could produce a birth certificate, degree certificate, domicile certificate and shockingly the identity card of the Election Commission of India with a local address duly attested by a gazette officer at Puttaparthy.
He worked as a teacher in Puttaparthy, did his MBA, passed a banking examination. An IAS officer recommended him for a local job. And how many dozens of people must have involved in this fraud to safeguard a criminal! This DGP unabashedly said before cameras that he had no idea whatsoever of the whereabouts of his son and he had forgotten about him, while he identified himself as his son's uncle at Puttaparthy. The culpability is not as much of the criminal but of the entire entourage who abetted the crime. After 9/11- in America- not one- I repeat-not one incident happened that threatened the intelligence of the country. Correspondingly, after the unspeakable Delhi rape incident how many dozens of rapes have come to light? And who cared? The U S A's government, on the other hand, could dare destroy another country- Afghanistan- meticulously and could dare aggress into another country(Pakistan) to kill the enemy(Osama bin Laden)without their knowledge and could get away with it. The world was stunned, but could understand. Why? They were impressed and could comprehend that country's sorrow and anger. What happened to 26/11 perpetrators? We have stereotyped corruption in this country and it has become dangerously over-simplified. The common man is weary and resigned to the fact that even if he defies the corruption at his level, he has to succumb to it at another level. The corrupted know it. The corrupt know that the corrupted had no choice. His inability and helplessness strengthens his brazenness. He doesn't even know that he has a voice which can be heard, but sadly, he cannot afford it, because he doesn't have the semantics. The individual honesty, dignity and the collective pride of the country is the only answer to the moral degradation. But where will it start? With the DGP, who is compromising the system to save his criminal son, with that minister who is in jail for looting the coal mines? With that chief minister's daughter who was kept in jail for starting a channel in the name of his father subverting the system? The common man compares his helplessness with the mindless plunder of his leader. For him it is a question of existence. For his boss, it is glitz, glamour, power and cool, calculated deceit. The stinking leadership cannot breed a proud follower. Filth begets filth. The security official at the scanner in the USA represents his ultimate boss because his identity is felt at the helm. ( OPINION
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