We the People

Odes have been written to our greatness.  Yeh jo public hai yeh sab jaanti hai..

Journals have been filled with theories on what happens when we rise.  Uprisings have happened, revolutions have upturned crowns and usurped governments.  We the people, are a sight to behold right now.

We are the very people who were reminded by our mothers every time we left even a little food on our plates, that somewhere a child was going hungry while we had food to eat. In our heads, there was limited food in the world, and if we had it, somebody did not.  

Same case with wasting water.  The noise outside my bathroom door if the shower went on for too long!  Collective good was a real thought, gifted to us who grew in close neighbourhoods, joint families, adjusting to each other’s whims, giving in and taking with a rhythm that I miss so much today.

I wonder when the rhythm changed.  As a generation that grew on the backs of hard-working parents, our privilege in just being able to live a better life is obvious.  So when did privilege become entitlement? 

Somewhere we have begun to believe that our privilege has been earned through fair means and hard work, and those left behind didn’t deserve it. So they don’t deserve our action, empathy, our enablement too. The magic of logic.

Working for self, distanced from others in spirit, the additional physical distancing has completed this amputation, as we believe that a good deed (maybe through charity) can purge our guilt and justify how we turn our eyes away from societal responsibility.

If you don’t like a situation, block out the situation, turn your eyes away, switch the channel, scroll down, Netflix and chill.  Create our private fairy tales with more ease than ever before.  Snow White has gone to sleep for eternity and there’s no Prince Charming coming to kiss her awake. 

We the people are now lone wolves.  We were built to co-operate.  Now too many of us are on a solo trip.  The ones left behind can fend for themselves, can they not? While we scale our own Everests.  

And if we feel too depressed with news of poverty, inequality, tyrannical governments, falling GDPs, we have enough toys to give us joy.  Most of the entertainment that is passed off as news, feeds our soul and puts our minds to rest.  All is well.

A proud adult recording himself beating a minor, Asif mercilessly for drinking water from the wrong place.  Tsk. tsk. Tsk. 

News of masses unable to afford basic necessities due to inflation of prices.  Not my problem.

Farmers protest still going strong even 100 days after it started.  Can we stop this please?!

Maha-episode of Sasural Meghan ka.  OMG did you see that!  

Yes... our priorities are fairly clear.  We are consumed by chhoti bahu ka dukh and Ranima ke khandan ki maryada.  Hours spent by us now on outrage to stay woke, without spending a minute on our own biases that are glowing like neon signs on our souls.  

From old school to modern, 

From collective good to each one for himself, 

From We to Us-and-Them.

Progress has many faces.


naghma mulla

Owner of the loudest laugh in the room and a development sector professional by day, Naghma is a by-mistake CA, who writes what she feels and feels what she writes.