I read a banal piece that reiterated that India is a country of contradictions: Formula 1 car race happen in a country where the poverty line is Rs. 32 per capita per day (technically some one who makes Rs 33 per day is above poverty line and is relatively richer).
The newspapers celebrated the birth of 7 billionth living human being of the world, Nargis-a girl, 1.2 billion of them are Indians anyways. It is a reason to worry.
A German friend was cursing Indian middle class, now about 250 million people, for indulging in wasteful expenditure. "They are worse than Europeans," he said.
I would call it complexities of urban life in a fast changing society. The need to look good is intense. People are willing to pay huge price to get structural changes done to their bodies to look fancier. The need to seek external references seems to be the most potent motivator. It can really get nagging.
The amount of success achieved in life is directly proportional to the size of the car one owns. Richer people move in bigger cars. Very rich people have private jets.
While the middle class (this term is used very loosely, i must say as lose is the whole concept of middle class) is busy setting new standards of material success, the streets in the bigger towns are traffic jammed by big cars, as there number of successful people is on a rise, is rising all the time. Delhi alone buys a thousand vehicles every day, air therefore is polluted, food is contaminated for different set of reasons. It is normal for young men to die of heart attack because they demand a lot from themselves and they take these demands rather too seriously. Consumerism is become rapacious. The hate crimes, passion crimes and incidents of road rage is far more brutal. The number of stab injuries inflicted per murder is exponentially higher. It is not happy times as people carry huge amount of latent anger within, waiting to explode.
And what do we do about it? What can we do about it? Those who survive another day are glad they did. Ignore the rest of humanity as if it does not exists. People are happy because they are immune to the miseries of others, also to the collective miseries. It is perhaps a survival tactics.
A brat in his late teens makes a passionate case: all beggars should be shot down as they are parasites. The civic agencies are committed to the beautification of the cities, considers homeless people an eyesore, dump them in sub-human conditions on the peripheries of the cities.
Prices of essential commodities are at a all time high, living is expensive, death is getting dirt cheap.
The economy is sliding down. Economist prime minister is busy playing political games.
Corruption: kingpins roam around freely, scapegoats are send to the jail. Whistle blowers (opposition MPs) who exposed MPs were bribed millions of rupees to vote for the government in a crucial no confidence motion in 2005 after Left parties deserted Congress lead UPA, are in jail. The mastermind, the most powerful political wheeler dealer in the country, is doing what he is best at, making money for the party fund and to buy MPs if need arises in the future. Corrupt are protected. Government even makes a case for special immunity against law to certain industrialists who indulge in shady deals, in other words it should be an acceptable practice to bribe ministers and babus to get government to act, if the country is to maintain double-digit growth trajectory.
Corruption crusaders over bill fraudulently to pay for their charity.
China is belligerent against India. Pakistan, a rogue state, loves to hate in India. Friendly Bhutan's king is on an official-honeymoon visit to India.
Right winger RSS is meeting Mawlanas to assert essential unity in diversity before elections in the state of Uttar Pradesh where Mayawati, a Dalit, rules with iron fist.
So much is happening but really nothing is moving forward.
What do you say when you don't want to say anything but have to say something? Keep maun vrat (vow to keep silent). Silence can get deafening, sometimes.