Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Who's the Prez?..er...Duh!!

I was generally killing time last afternoon watching Mtv-Roadies. Some game was on, a quiz. There were five girls in one team. All twenty-something barbies, smartness-personified, very well turned-out in their snug jeans, racer-backs and “we are ready to take on the world” attitude. One of the quiz-questions was- who is the president of India? The barbies were stumped! Not one of them knew who the president of India is!! I could not believe it!
A couple of them answered Abdul Kalaam.
One replied Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma. God rest his soul!
One actually said,"Some lady...sushma, I'm sure."
One chose to not answer…wise, I should add….better to keep your mouth shut and have everyone think u're dumb, than to open it and remove all doubts.

My head reeled on witnessing this astounding spectre of stupidity and ignorance by people competing on a reality-show which will make the winner some sort of an icon. What is wrong with our generation? Does the urban-sprawl really throng with such dim dolts in spite of the IT revolution, the internet and newspapers? Looking good and making money seems to be the only goals that interest us youngsters today. Whatever happened to national-duties, patriotism and social responsibilities? What kind of a brick-work are we laying for the next generation? How can the young educated townies of our country who will lead India in times to come and spawn the succeeding generation not even know who represents India on the world’s political arena?

Some months ago, Pratibha Patil took on the leadership of India after much furor and debate. She is the first woman to become the President of our nation. Though, personally I feel Abdul Kalaam was the prudent choice, i admit i know nothing of either Patil's acheivement-profile or political-prowess, it was a proud and happy moment for me, not for any other reason, but because ours is a country where women have been oppressed for centuries. I took this huge event in history as a sign of all great things to come. For me it reflected education and sense in our “middle-class” India, and an open acceptance of new ideas without gender-bias.

I believe that in a democracy the political leaders are the face of a nation, pretty-much the mirror-image of the populace. They are what we are. If our leaders are a sorry-lot, its because we have, as citizens of India, chosen them to portray us to the world. And that makes us all a “sorry-lot”. How can we complain about the political-insanity and poor-leadership that pervades our nation when we, the future pioneers, have washed our hands off all concerns that are the root-cause of the macabre-madness? We deserve the uneducated-idiots, the Laalus and the Rabri-Devis; the foolish, pan-chewing politicians who have grasped our “awakening” nation by its head to drag it towards doom and darkness. We deserve it simply because we, the youth of India have shut our eyes towards any patriotic responsibilities. We are oblivious of who is the first citizen of our country, content sipping our coffee at barista and commenting at George Bush’s policy on Iraq.

We need to buck-up and get our act together real quick, guys.


  1. hey thats a great article u wrote,very thoughtful indeed.by the way i know whos our president.

  2. well written sumati... best so far.. gets us thinking...:)

  3. i know beauties who think being dumb is cool.. hope atleast ur blog will make them realise that its so passe..

  4. hey gud one... better than mtv-roadies in content :)

  5. Hi(whatever your real name is)!.First of all I would like to congratulate you for writing such a wonderful article. It was just coincidence that I came across it. Well the its not just the barbies who are guilty, the guys fall in the same category. Everyone want there 15 seconds of fame rather everyone today wants something to brag about,make their peers feel like shit and what better way than media and money. The other day my father asked me “Why do they want to be Roadies?”…good question I thought…Why exactly they want to participate…Is it the money?Is it just the spotlight?Is it just for kicks or is it because they like to bitch in public(as seen in almost all reality shows).Do you really think youth today use newspapers and internet for the purpose they were actually meant to be? Women want equality and you see election of our prez as an indication of that…if this is the case can u tell me why are seats reserved for women in buses, colleges and even the Parliament. If women want equality they should earn it and if nothing else they should atleast stop whining.If they want equality they should be ready to be treated like equals.I have nothing against women but this is what I feel. Nation and society is what we make it. Everybody including me and you curse India’s politics but nobody wants to step into it.Change dosent come by itself….You have to be a part of it.You ask wat foundation are we laying for the generation that would succeed us. How did we become this when gr8 freedom fighters and visionaries preeced us??Going by your logic we today must be an evolved lot coz they laid a really strong foundation not only by words but by example.There is this famous dialogue from RDB”Zindagi jeene ke do taike hain…pehla jo ho raha hai hone do kuch na karo or chup raho aur doosra……”

    So you just want to write blogs or are you ready to walk on the second path??

  6. "I took this huge event in history as a sign of all great things to come."
    Get this , a new all-girls IIT is proposed in the constituency of our Honorable President ... named ....Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology . Since when did we start naming IITs as well after the Gandhis ?? After cricket stadiums and agricultural plans apart from sex education schemes , seems like the Congress wants to leave no stone unturned .
    And coming to Ash's point , seems very very valid to me ... you doing your part at all ? Anything at all ?

  7. that's a nice topic and well written. i had the same thoughts when i saw that episode. the youth of today are more concerned about their clothes and looks rather than being a bit more concerned about serious issues. and its unimaginable that how can one not know the name of the president of your country. hope some of such people will read this and make some sense about it.

  8. i remember seeing that episode, and the quizees lack of very elementary information had struck me too (although it hadnt quite incited the patriotic fervour as it has in you). they have especially given a very bad account of metropolitan girls. apparently the yo generation is much shallower than even i had given it credit. the media generated images of "being with it" (mtv roadies is very much part of it) seems to fill their entire mental horizon. i dont know about "duty towards ones nation" but at least one owes it to oneself as a thinking being to assimilate more of the world than glitzy glamour disco bouncy youthful images.

  9. i read the article and i am still readin it...
    will our youth or even the matured ones care to pause and try to understand the real reasons for so much of chaos with indian politics ....in my view point ....the moment we decided to ride the two horses of capatlism and socialism ...the pandora s box was open to all for torment..it will take me another thousand words to describe it fully but i think i need to ...this lady doesnt seems a confirmist which is what is required to change the ethos of indian system ....nicely articulated one!!!!


lemme know what u think...share your thoughts on the post. Comments, critisicm, all is welcome...so let it loose!


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