Indian Rich

I belong to that generation who first read about things like cellphones, computers, internet and some parts of space travel as mere fiction. It was fascinating and we imagined a world of touch sensors, intelligent houses where the kitchen would have your coffee ready before you woke up and would automatically switch on lights when you weren’t there.

A decade later, most of the things I read as fiction are now true. Computers came into existence and were mini-sized and could do things that their predecessors could not even dream of doing. Cell phones were born and became tinier and then became bigger again and began to work on the whole ‘touch sensor’ idea. And they even began talking back to you and responding to only your voice.

Why this realisation today?

That huge increase in fuel prices the government shoved in our faces yesterday.

It brought home all those things that have vastly changed in India and that we are paying a steep price for progress. India grew too fast and without a chance to curb the corruption so we would have a chance to grow evenly.

What is the relation to all those sci-fi things I read? I also read some books that pictured extreme anarchy and that is exactly where we are headed.

India is trying to gag its citizens. Old cartoons are being touted as defamatory while the people on whom the cartoons were based had absolutely no problem with it. Harsh laws are being implemented about the internet, with the government wanting to know every single thing that’s being ridiculed about them.

Are we too far from when they will ban people from talking about the government? Oh wait! It has already happened once and the people at the helm of the country are descendants of the same woman who imposed those restrictions. Irony, anyone?

We’ve come a far way from a mere two years ago when corruption was an accepted thing. Then more scandals broke out, people’s tolerance finally broke. Or did it? I still find majority of the people apathetic to anything that is happening around them.

This fuel hike hits everyone hard… but if we had all questioned why the government has no money when the people IN the government have more than enough money for 3-4 houses in the poshest areas and 3-4 cars about costing 20 times beyond their annual income, perhaps we would not be in this situation.

What if… What if… we do the math for each person, give them a 50 percent benefit of doubt (maybe they are investing geniuses) and seize the rest of the assets of all these people in the government and put it back into the coffers. Would we be able to tide over the next decade then?

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