Saturday, February 02, 2013

Blueprint for Change

The 5 problems/concerns/worries which I face everyday have been listed below along with a blueprint of how they could be solved/changed. I know some of the solutions could be a bit idealistic but we can always aim for the ideal, right?

I Security of Women

The recent happenings across the nation have led to this particular topic being discussed infinite times across various forums. According to me, the issue is not recent. It exists since time immemorial even when women did not step out of the house as they do today. And the reason it exists is the basic mindset of people which needs to undergo a huge change in terms of perceiving and accepting women. Women are still thought to be the property of men; they are not supposed to have an independent voice or opinion and they are supposed to obey men and the rules which society imposes on them. This leads to women being subject to all sorts of risks inside the house as well as outside, right from not being respected to being physically and mentally abused. Even a simple thing as travelling in public transport becomes a nightmare. If a woman puts forth her views at work, she is thought arrogant and overstepping her line. She is routinely subjected to taunts as she walks down the road. The prevalent gender bias makes things worse for her.

Solution: According to me, we can start by changing the mindset by making co-education compulsory for all. Right from childhood, boys should be taught to respect girls. This would also make it easier to them to work with women at a later stage. Women, themselves, should never think that they are inferior to anybody else. If they start demanding some respect, society would accord it to them. A woman should never feel guilty for speaking her mind or talking about her demands. Though the Govt. may frame rules and regulations for her safety, however, addressing the issue at its core would go a long way in making society safer for women.

II Duty of Media

The media is often called the Fourth Estate for the powerful role that it plays. A pen is mightier than a sword, it is said. However, it is observed nowadays that one cannot read through a single newspaper without being exposed to negative news of all kinds. It seems the media gets some special kick out of reporting only the negative news completely sidetracking the positive aspects of the society we live in. This leads to complete frustration and depression usually at the beginning of the day. We start questioning our lives and whether the world is a good place to live in and bring up our kids.

Solution: It should be made mandatory for the media to publish only positive news at least on the front page of the newspaper. News such as strangers helping each other, people overcoming odds to achieve success, Govt. schemes being implemented successfully, etc. would go a long way in inspiring and motivating people. At the same time, the media would actually help in bringing together people and not pushing them away from each other.

III Eliminating Corruption

Corruption is a scourge of the society we live in and unfortunately we are all exposed to it in some way or the other. Right from bribing the traffic policeman who catches us when we break a signal to paying money to the Govt. for getting our work done, it seems there is no escaping corruption. However, both the parties are equally responsible for this menace. While the person taking the bribe is seeking to supplement his sources of income, the person giving is looking at an easy way out of his problem. The consequence is that all are sucked into this vortex even without wanting to.

Solution: The Govt. needs to take strict measures to eliminate corruption. As members of society we should also avoid paying bribes just to escape our mistakes. Let’s not break signals and then pay money to escape punishment. Let’s report any instance of corruption to the Anti-Corruption Bureau. The sooner we eliminate corruption, the better our society shall become.

IV Respect for Elders

It is often seen that elders are not getting the kind of respect they deserve either from their family or from the general public. The youth nowadays feels that elders do not understand/know anything and keep interfering in their affairs. They forget that the elders were also young once and they shall also become old someday. Also, elders have a lot of experience gathered which can help the youth.

Solution: Respect for elders should be ingrained right from childhood. Also, because children act as they see, parents also need to be respectful of the elders in the family. Schools should have grandparents’ day where children can get their grandparents to school and tell their class what they have learnt from them. The Govt. should have more parks and gardens for the elders and organize programs for their entertainment as also for their welfare.

V Caste/Religion Bias

In our day-to-day living, we often discuss about religion and caste issues without realizing that these are getting ingrained in our system leading to certain bias and prejudices. For example, we often say that Gujaratis are stingy, Maharashtrians are lazy, North Indians are pompous, South Indians hate Hindi, etc. etc. This may affect our interactions be it in college, in offices or even where we stay. People often make rude statements about others’ religions or castes not realising that they are being insensitive. Thus, instead of the diversity becoming our strength, it is becoming our weakness.

Solution: We need to respect all religions and castes. In schools, children should be encouraged to celebrate all festivals and teachers should teach them the importance. At workplaces, festivals should be celebrated across castes/religions. Sensitivity in interactions should be taught. People should not be allowed to get away with remarks which may hurt someone else.

This post is a part of Weekend contest at in association with Chanakya's New Manifesto

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