Country first , Religion later…..

It is rather shameful that people from North East have to panic and run for cover in their own country because their fellow countrymen have chosen to show solidarity to Muslims from Bangladesh by threatening to kill or hurt them across the country if they stay put.

And after what has happened in Mumbai and Lucknow it is evident that they could well mean what they say. I fail to understand why Muslim organizations throughout India have taken upon themselves to protest against the violence in Assam where people from both sides got killed over an issue which we all know is linked to illegal immigrants from Bangladesis encroaching upon the land and resources of Assamese people. It is known that the Muslims in Assam are from Bangladesh and this can be very well validated by the census records

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegal_immigration_in_India.

The Muslim population has grown at twice the rate of growth of Hindu population in Assam proving that there has been an influx from Bangladesh. The congress has been supporting this since independence under its  appeasement vote bank politics but now things seem to have gone beyond their control as there are more Bangladeshis than Indians in pockets where violence has broken out.

Now here comes the part that hurts. When it is a conflict between Indians and foreigners who just happen to be Muslims why do we find Muslims in India supporting the Bangladeshis going to the extent of damaging government property, fighting with Indian policemen and even vandalizing martyr’s memorial by rampaging and tramping all over it !!  Even if I believe for a moment that the rally was against the violence happening in Assam what does it say when you disrespect what the Indians hold so close to their hearts.

http://www.mid-day.com/news/2012/aug/140812-Mumbais-most-wanted.htm

If you read the report above you will know the theme of my argument. Even as Muslims your protest is for violence against Muslims not against India,the country you live in and which allows you to carry out your protest liberally. The martyrs memorial that got vandalized was erected in honor of a Muslim freedom fighter so is the anger against the Bodos fighting with your Muslim brothers from a Foreign land or against India as a nation regardless of the fact that our freedom was won with sacrifices from Hindus as well as Muslims. The last line of the report says it all – Several Muslim leaders have also condemned the act. As if they were supposed to applaud the act but have somehow chosen to condemn it.

Two important questions :

1. How many Hindus came out in large numbers against the violence in Assam and why most of them still either don’t know what the actual problem in Assam is or feel that it is a local conflict between 2 groups fighting for control in the region ?

2. Why only Muslim organizations felt the need to come out so aggressively and protest when essentially the fight is between Indians and Bangladeshis .

Threatening the north east people in Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad is cowardly and treacherous as obviously these folks have nothing to do with the violence in Assam and have come out of their homes like millions of other Indians in search of a better life. The right to move freely and settle in any part of the country is guaranteed by our constitution so who are these enemies of the state to force them in their own land ??

Anyone ,whether Hindu or Muslim who has chosen to be an Indian citizen has pledged to have country before religion as India was and remains to be a secular nation.I strongly feel that all Muslims in India will have to resolve and choose the nation over their religion, unconditionally and without exception else the patriotic Muslims will have to bear the cross for those who seem to have a doubtful stance…..

I am not Anna Hazare…I am just me

Although I seldom watch TV, the events of last 3 days have forced me to switch on the Box so I can witness what Anna calls the ‘2nd movement to free India”. The congress has proved to the country that they are nothing but a bunch of good for nothing morons who double up as thieves when the opportunity arrives. I have maintained this belief always campaigning for the BJP in all the elections. My simple principle is that spineless people are no good as friends or enemies.

Media today is no different than sensationalism at its best not reporting the facts but what gives them the TRP’s. So if it’s good to make Anna a hero today they will do it and if tomorrow the tide turns they will end up making him a villain as well. With all my patriotic emotions bursting at the seams I was forced to do some soul searching, the prime driver being that whether I am qualified to support a movement against corruption. The answer sadly was a NO I am not Anna Hazare. How can I say something I really don’t believe in – Have I not paid a bribe ever ? I have. For some clicking a ‘like’ button is just something that makes them look good in the eyes of others but for me I will fall from grace in my own eyes if I did something like that.

But then I thought that perhaps I was being too hard on myself. I had paid a bribe but why did I do it. Am I a victim or a abettor of the crime. Well to set the record straight I have tried my best to avoid paying up wherever and whenever the system allowed me to but then there have been times when there was nothing I could do. I have to work to make the money to pay the government its ‘hafta’ and to keep myself afloat. I am not wired to quit my job and go around circling the of government offices living in a state of poverty. And who is it that I will be proving a point – to the 3 monkeys ?? Another consideration is that with no money the question of paying or not paying a bribe will itself wither away.

I have realized that for me paying a bribe has more to do with convenience than with morality or ethics. The concerns of my conscience are far larger than currency notes.

Going into the total recall mode I remembered how I used to keep a 50 Rs note handy so I can roll it as soon as a traffic cop approached asking me to go to the Police station with him or to take my driving license away only to be retrieved after appearing in front of the magistrate. But now with Bangalore Traffic cops having Blackberrys with printers I have graciously admitted my guilt each time I am on the wrong side of law, paid 100 bucks and happily walked away with a receipt. In fact I have some 5 of them with me as a symbol of a hidden pride in an efficient system that lets the citizens as well as the authorities do their duty with efficiency and honesty. To me the BBry traffic receipts are a symbol of a ‘free and fair’ India.

Let’s try and understand the concept and how things have changed for me. In the first instance when I was paying a bribe I justified that the penalty of wasting a day at the court and paying the fine as well was not commensurate with the offence of jumping a red light when it was almost orange. The law in this case was on the wrong side itself. But with the bbry I knew my sin, the penalty was just and I could absolve me and my soul by paying up and getting a receipt as a souvenir. And  what is at the heart of this – transparency and ease of operation that drives compliance with convenience.

I have been canvassing about the wonderful experience I had with the Bangalore passport office. I paid up extra for the ‘tatkal’  but I got a receipt and my passport was delivered within the 2 working days as promised. I spent half a day at the passport office where everything was well organized and all of us understood that the delay is only because of the numbers getting serviced. That was not too bad either as it just took me 2-3 hours for the whole process sitting in a clean and comfortable air conditioned environment.

However for certain other cases I will continue to pay bribes. I cannot change the law which says that I should pay the government a property tax which is 15 % + some other taxes of the rental income even when I am already paying a 30 % income tax on my rental income itself on a house that I bought after paying all my income tax..And why the hell should I pay the property tax anyways when there are no roads or water in lieu of the registration and stamp duty already paid. The funniest thing is that we pay exorbitant amount as BWSSB charges not to get a drop of municipal water ! The guy at the property tax office wants a cut for looking the other way and I will do what’s best for me. Don’t you think that the options are pretty straight forward for a sane mind ? The system created a monster and I am just dodging it and moving on…I can fight it when there is an equal chance of winning but would not sacrifice my life for nothing.

In the book Shantaram Bhai Abdul Khader says – I don’t see how much crime is in the sin but I see how much sin is in the crime. That’s my guiding light when it comes to paying bribes. End of the day I care about myself and my family and not the Congress and its corruption brigade which garbs itself as the government.

I sincerely request all of you who read this post to keep a hand on your heart and dig deeper into your soul before wearing a Gandhian cap or a fancy T shirt. The fact is that the power we give in the hands of those who are supposed to serve  will drive us again and again to the brink of Pay up or else ………