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Re: 1 out of 150: Reply

Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
Hi Arindom,

First of all,I find it very interesting to debate and argue the way we
are doing here, especially because no one, neither me nor you are trying

to prove a point here, we have our considered opinions, our own
perspective about this matter, and finally our goal is same, approach a
step closer to what finally we both would consider a better solution to
the problem we are attempting to define and debate upon.

Now to your point. I guess it is common human tendency to get nostalgic
about what we have left behind. For example, everyday when I sit here
several thousands of miles away from India, I guess it is the nostalgia
that somehow filters the bad experiences and allows me to live in a
wonderland, and I begin to see only the beautiful, lovely, rather ideal
part of what is my homeland, India. This, I know has changed very
quickly when I have tried to live there again myself, and every time
when I go on my annual pilgrimage to the homeland, I get a good dose of
reality that is somewhat contrary to what I think of it when I am away.

I wish to draw a parallel with our recent history and remind you of our
common nostalgia of history, where we tend to generalize that everything

that was part of the past generation was better then now, or everything
that happened in the previous generation was morally, ethically better,
or it was less corrupt.

I don't want to generally dispute your position that you find a lot of
"Corrupt" people around, and this needs to change somehow, but the
premise that when we were not around, or when we were too little to
understand all this, or when the media was not as free to report, or
when the definitions were rather different, the world was necessarily a
better place.

I sincerely want to believe that, I try to face the people of previous
generations who are alive and active and in positions of power, or
otherwise, try any means possible to get as close to the truth of the
"more moral" generation, and so far I have found it to be a mixed bag.
You rather get to pick and choose depending upon what inferences you
want to draw. So, I guess, my point is, even though our world is
difficult, but generalization of a generation to be better ignores the
wrongs that are in it, while it does not help in anyway to the hard at
work people of the present generation who want to hope against hope, and

want to change their world for better. They deserve some words of

On your point :
"... An example.The honest few amongst government officials, who still
do not take bribe, in cash or kind, do not mind a little 'Nashta-pani'
(tea &snacks). Our fathers'  generation  would have despised such

I disagree. Even if you start just with your own example as someone who
tries very hard everyday not give in to temptations like you described
above, then you have proven the above mentioned assumption wrong. I
don't want to blame the older generation for the problems we face,
although they certainly have a lot to do with it, but I do not hesitate
to claim that I am not corrupt, and I do not take "Nashta-Pani" and that

I believe in leading by example, and that I do take pride in the fact
that there are a few people in India, who wouldn't mind taking some
inspiration from what I personally stand for and do everyday. That gives

me a reason to hope. (I know you did not mean to say that everyone is
corrupt, but I am trying to show you the full side of the glass, which
is certainly half empty too!)

You can popularize something in a real, and meaningful way first by
leading by example, then believing that the world needs such people to
be effective advocates of good deeds, and someone needs to tell
effectively that it is still possible to stay honest and succeed in
life, and that doing some short-cut via corrupt channels to achieve
material goals means doing it at the expense of other human beings, and
that it is important for even a small segment of the society to do the
right thing even if others are not doing it, and that it is okay to
choose failure if the only other choice is corruption.

More later.


This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
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