Republic Day! The Residents Welfare Association (RWA) of my neighbourhood, in Delhi, as it usually does – invites a minister or an MLA or some elected representative as the Chief Guest of the celebrations.

As always – and to my utter disgust – is the usual display of subservience and if i may say, sycophancy; ‘garlanding’, different people in the elected RWA taking turns to welcome this official, wonderful words showered espousing the qualities this person, endless and absolutely boring speeches one after another follow.

The liveliness is because of the children who offer various dance, recitation, and singing performances. This is what i go to watch, and normally end up tolerating the rest of the nonsense that occurs around it.

This time around i completely lost my cool.

Dr. Yogananda Shastri – who’s actually a pretty nice person i would say – said something during his speech which was intolerable if not disgusting and absolutely irresponsible. “Aaj jo hamari halat hai, yeh isi liye hai, ki angrezon ne hamein bahut loota tha”, said he, during one part of his longish discourse.

This shocked me! I actually walked upto him privately and told him that he should start taking responsibility for his life and what people of his clan have done for the country. “We are in this state of mess because for 64 years you people have not done anything – not because the British robbed us off our wealth; please do not shirk your responsibility, and blame a circumstance which you have not worked to change in 64 years”, is what i told him. His sycophants obviously overheard me, and tried to engage me a dialogue a few minutes later; as usual they were people with useless intellect and thus their arguments were utter nonsense.

And ofcourse, as i was arguing the RWA people came to stop me – they could not hear a young person of 35 take on a and argue with people we have put on a pedestal and, worse if their age if 65.

I disliked, and am unhappy, with how i handled this situation – losing my temper. I could have handled it better. But all this is now in retrospect.

I must share one more thing in this whole episode. Our RWA president earlier had actually during his speech stated that “Dr. Shastri ki meherbani se 4-5 items hamari cololny ki improvement ke liye karne hain – which he has agreed to get done by March 2011”.

“Meherbani”? Is Dr. Shastri not an elected representative, who’s job is to ensure that the needs of people like us, living in residential colonies like ours, are met. If i were to do a job, and i have not been able to do it, my head would hang in shame – i would be apologetic about the delay i have caused because of my inability to carry out my duties well. Here, the world went topsy turvy! He was being “thanked”, and told that because of his intervention and help (almost divine grace!!) – our larger governance requirements would be met – finally! And Dr. Shastri, a nice and gentle man, as he is, was taking the appreciation quite gracefully! Phew!

Maybe i’m crazy! I thought we should be demanded things and holding him to account for things which we’ve been asking for years to be done – rather thank him that he has finally agreed to acknowledge!

This nonsense has to change.

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