India’s New Year Resolution List
As the old year turns a corner and stops at the new year, hoping that the ride will have minor bumps and fewer parking tickets, we all resolve to magically transform this year. New Year resolutions rarely work because we still do lug our old selves into the new year. But what would the world be without hope. So this year, I hope India resolves to be better than its 2014 self! And given that there is a lot that India can resolve to do, let’s try and set an order that is not tall and is do-able in the very least. There are 5 practices/habits that India can definitely strike off its ambitious to-do list.
- Culture of Offense: Striking off our culture of offense is half the solution. The edifice of the great Indian democracy, as we have been taught throughout, is built on a culture of tolerance. But we as a people have become so intolerant. We cannot tolerate movies like PK and Haider, books like Rohinton Mistry’s Such a Long Journey and Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus:An Alternative History and well the worst of them all, we cannot tolerate each other. Every time India feels offended at something, let’s us do the simplest thing, look away! Every time you see a couple displaying their affection in public, let us look in the other direction. Don’t feel uncomfortable knowing that the couple at the restaurant is gay, look away and focus on how great the food is.
- The Conversion Dance: This past year was wrecked by India and it’s conversion story. Hindus being converted to Islam, Muslims being converted to Hinduism. As we danced this dance of conversion, many looked on in sheer amusement. India is one of the top destinations for spiritual tourism. Let’s not make a joke out of it. Religions aren’t local ‘wellness centers’ that you can check into and out of at your own behest. Let’s send a message to the politicians loud and clear: if you really want to convert something, convert those false promises into reality!
- Go LGBTQI : Repeal Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code! Simple and not so straight. (bad pun, right?) India knows that it’ll take a long time for her people to be less homophobic but well, a legislation can go a long way. Yes, there is the stereotyping in cinema, the homophobic slur by the politicians and a plethora of other such problems before the Queer community can enjoy a life of respect and dignity. But they must be guaranteed equal rights by the Indian Penal Code or else how will India work towards obliterating it’s homophobia?
- Charity Begins at Home: This one might sound a little more preachy than the rest. But what is preached is mostly true. Indians 4 Social Change constantly advertises for and writes about the Non Governmental Organisations that work on various issues that affect us as a country every single day. Each of these organisations are always looking for a little help and volunteering. Help out in any way you can. Afterall, it is your country and they are your people, so if you don’t pitch in, who will?
- Follow it through: We Indians are great at not following through. Let’s shock ourselves this time. After all, we have seen what can happen when we don’t deliver, let’s see the effect of the opposite now! Happy New Year!