“I say ninety percent of Indians are idiots. You people don’t have brains in your heads… it is so easy to take you for a ride,” said Justice Markandey Katju in December 2012. No, Justice Katju, only 10 percent of Indians are idiots, the rest are smart and corrupt.
Obviously, Katju doesn’t get up at 5.30 in the morning to drive from his house to some park for his morning walk. Had he done this he’d have seen what one feels like when one waits at the traffic inter-section for the light to turn green and 90 percent of Indians zip by as if there were no traffic lights visible anywhere. Some even slow down to peer at me, and probably mumble, ‘Idiot!’
So what I’m trying to say is that those of us who follow rules and live according to some sort of regulation, are actually idiots. The rest, in their self-assessment, are sane, smart, and superior in intelligence. But the truth is that they are allowing themselves to be tempted every moment… and are falling into the bottom-less gutter of corruption. In a recent interview, I asked Arvind Kejriwal if the aam aadmi really understands that jumping a traffic signal makes him just as corrupt as Raja and his scam of crores? So does he think the aam aadmi really understands the essentials of corruption? Arvind Kejriwal answered, and I quote: ‘Two things are there. Corruption is bad and no one wants corruption to be in our midst. So a person jumping red light also needs to be criticised… and if A Raja siphons off one lakh seventy-six crores that also needs to be criticised. This is because an aam aadmi jumping a traffic light does not give licence to A Raja to indulge in corruption. One person’s corruption does not justify another person’s corruption. Both sorts are bad.’
Let me add here that there are two ways corruption can and must be handled. One is the way of the law which should come down heavily on the celebrity scamsters as well as the anonymous breaker of laws. The other is in the hands of the common man…
Now read carefully… if the common man decides to take the straight path. That is, stops at the traffic signals, opts to stand in queues and not bribe his way to get some work done, stops littering the nation, refrains from taking official stuff for personal use… the list is actually endless, but it is a list that has actions that can very well be adopted. Now if the common man does this, do you think the babu or the neta or any other official will even dare to take a wrong step? I think it is time for the common man to stand up and declare, ‘This is my nation and I am not going to tolerate any nonsense. I am not going to allow you to be corrupt now.’
But, coming back to my theory on idiots and idiocy… well, the truth today is that if you’re one of those who stop at traffic signals, never misuse official stationery, stand in queues to buy tickets or pay bills, and let others go stampeding for some unholy offer somewhere, then you’re the idiot that today. Mr Katju, the rest of India, including the ministers and bureaucrats, judges and policemen, businessmen and cricketing stars and all the others are the ones who go around calling themselves sane and smart and those who have the presence of mind to live a life of great comfort! In the India that the world sees today, it is the honest, the follower of rules and the disciplined who is in the vile clutches of idiocy. I am the idiot who stops at traffic lights even at 5:30 in the morning and watch helplessly as motorists, scooterists, motorcyclists, and even thelas and rickshaws sneak past me. These people have the temerity to glare at me and make signs asking me to move on. Yes, I feel like an idiot every morning!
This menace isn’t going away by just tweaking a few laws… who is going to do this anyway? Our legislators, if I understand correctly are already fed-up of even RTI and want to dilute it. They are not budging in to let the Lokpal bill come and create havoc. They are sitting there and smilingly saying, ‘Well, betting laws aren’t a responsibility of the Centre. It is a State prerogative!’ Our legislatures are busy bumping and dumping every sane law that could have been created to give the Nation some respite. No sir, just reading headlines in newspapers about some minister being chucked out or some cricketing official being asked to get lost isn’t going to bring about any tangible change that will rid us all of corruption. The change needs to come from the people.
Yes, it is the people who need to realise that small actions of theirs are what these big scamsters keep encouraging. They encourage and let you get away with a traffic light jumped or a few A4 sheets from the office supply because they know you are then weakened and cannot stand up to ask them, ‘Why are you so corrupt?’
Just imagine… an entire nation made submissive, an entire nation cuckolded to believe that they enjoy living the life of a petty thief! STOP being a petty thief. Only then can you summon up the courage to look into their corrupt glances and ask them to either shape up or fade away into oblivion!
Stop calling the rule-abiding citizen an idiot! And if this law-abiding citizen is indeed an idiot, I’d rather love to have a nation chock-full of idiots… and this sort of lawful idiocy is what will give us all the courage to tear off the clothes of false honour from our undeserving leaders and opinion-makers. But if you don’t change, then stop expecting a mere vote to change anything.
You can also read this article in The Education Post dates 08 July 2013:
First published in awazaapki.com on 11 June 2013