Monday, 31 December 2012

Another year comes to an end

Today is the last day of 2012 -- what should one do on such a day? Look back at the year that has gone by -- anniversaries, special events, trips to new places, small pleasures at home and at work, with family, friends and colleagues, ...well...many memories of many events and experiences...almost all of them nice... therefore a day to say thank you to whoever it is who is in charge of these things...

But many others were not so lucky --the girl who just died in Singapore, succumbing to her rape-injuries, those who lost their dear ones and their homes in the violence in the BTAD area earlier this year, the boat that sank near Dhubri, the flood victims,...the list is long and frightening ... but the question is when such things happen what should one do -- we have seen many protests against each of these events in recent times, but at the end of the day, does anything change? We saw the same kind of outpouring of public sentiment a little over a year ago when Bhupenda died, but then what happened? Even before his first death anniversary he was almost forgotten again. Will the same happen to the others too? 

I don't know what the answer is, nor do I know what to do about it, but somehow I have the feeling that nothing will change if we just protest; nothing can change unless we learn to take responsibility, every single one of us, to make sure that such things don't recur. The government, the police, the politicians, the law-makers, all have to do their bit, true, but for everyone else, is it enough to just protest and demand that justice be done?  Some easy examples -- a man died a couple of years back because he fell into a man-hole at a flooded intersection in Guwahati -- everyone protested -- but there are still many open man-holes in Guwahati. Why? Are we waiting for the next person to fall in before we protest again? The garbage that everyone throws on the streets of Guwahati to make sure that their own compounds remain clean -- is there nothing we can do to prevent that? How many of the English-speaking, golf-playing, rich elite of Guwahati go to vote during the elections? Whose fault is it then that our politicians are as bad as they are?

I can only speak for myself, but I have the feeling that if we want others to change, then we have to be willing to change ourselves -- each one of us must look within and ask ourselves what we can do to make sure that things we don't like don't keep happening over and over again. Surely we are at fault in some way too for what is happening around us; it will not do for us to just close our eyes to our own weaknesses and try to pass on the blame to the rest of the world. Days like this, when a step from the past into the future  is being made, is the time for us to promise ourselves that we will really do something (besides crying and protesting) to be better human beings and more responsible members of society in the new year than we have been in the one that is ending. If we love our dear ones and wish them well in the new year, surely we can promise them this much!

This is my one wish for myself -- I hope the new year will help me find the strength to realise this wish. Here's wishing everyone luck in realising their own dreams and hopes in the new in peace 2012, and welcome 2013...

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