This is perhaps the first time that I am at a loss of words to usher a new year. Normally one is filled with hope and dreams and resolutions. But this year seems different as it has placed on our shoulders responsibilities we all have been shirking for far too long. Somehow 2012 can be divided into two parts: before December 16th and after December 16th and though the later is an infinitesimal part of the 365 days that make a Gregorian year, the last 15 days of the year gone by have shaken us of the comfort zone we had allowed ourselves to slink in. We were rudely awakened from an almost catatonic slumber that made us believe that all was well. Suddenly the conscience we had conveniently parked somewhere in the recesses of our minds was stirred and we had to accept the uncomfortable reality that we had we had failed in more ways than one. What was even more troubling was the fact that it had taken the most brutal and barbaric death of a beautiful young girl to make us come to our senses.
It is apposite that the young braveheart has remained anonymous and unnamed. She thus becomes every one's daughter or sister and makes our irresponsible behaviour that much more unpardonable. For years we have been passively accepting rapes and other reprehensible acts without the outrage that must be felt by any self respecting human being. We conveniently brushed these aside by telling ourselves that such aberrations did not happen in the tiny confines of our lives. We clucked away news of children being abused and hurt when we should have screamed our indignation. As supposedly educated and aware citizens we never lend our voices to ensure that justice was done. We accepted corruption, inefficiency and venality in every realm of our lives. At best these made juicy drawing room chats and never went beyond that. We accepted the arrogance of politicians and bureaucrats and found ways of circumventing things when it concerned us. We too surreptitiously became partners in crime.
This how we have been shaken to see ourselves and what we see is not pretty. It makes us hand our heads in shame. But at the dawn of this new year we have been given a chance to redeem ourselves. I hope we will. If we do not then we are doomed.
It is a new year and I cannot but hope and pray that my family and my extended family and all my friends and supporters have a wonderful year. Is this not what one wishes fro those we love? As for myself I hope that I can walk that extra mile that would make the two Indias we live in come closer and learn to accept and respect each other just like the two little Angels in the picture, Utpal a child of the dark and Agstya my little grandson.
May 2013 bring the wisdom, sagacity and healing we so need.