Thursday, May 08, 2008

How things look from a perch

I found this article in one of the blog posts following the Bangalore riots following Dr. Rajkumar's death:

When Bangalore Burnt! by Garima Gupta
Bangalore burnt with the police buses set on fire. Bangalore broke with every stone pelted on innumerable glass front buildings. Bangalore ached with every unruly push of the crowd. Bangalore mourned when five people lost their lives in senseless violence. Bangalore cried, when the film icon Rajkumar’s family found it difficult to perform his final rites with the dignity and grace every human being deserves in death.
Some say it was overwhelming grief that made the fans go mad. Some now say, that it was a politically sponsored and planned event. To me, as a Bangalorean, it makes no difference. It shocks me no less, that men can become beasts, together, for the slightest of reasons, be it grief or greed, be it language or religion.
When we shifted base from USA to India, Bangalore was the only city we were willing to relocate to. It was ideal. In many ways, it still is. Perched on 7th floor of a luxury apartment, knowing only enough local language to say ,”Kannada Gotilla” (I don’t know Kannada), having access to enough superstores and malls to never need to explore the city’s old Chickpet market, In a ever-pleasant climate and ever growing choice of companies to work for, life couldn’t be better for an average IT family. But when the other side of the coin turns over, and looks in your face with all its brutality and rawness, it’s difficult to turn the face away.
I ventured out today in the city after being in virtual house arrest for two days. The area near Kanteerva stadium, the center of all ‘action’, was full of devastation. Destroyed Cars , Shattered Glasses, overturned police posts and burnt Petrol Pumps. It brought me much closer to the ugly reality than the live TV images did.
Why did the mob do this? What have they achieved? Will they be ever brought to the book? Who is safe today? The questions that came to the mind were aplenty.
I am looking for larger answers. How can we create a better society where frustrations of the lesser lot gets a proper outlet and where the better lot is more involved. A society with opportunities for all. How can we end violence, corruption, inequality. How can we win over the obvious drawbacks of democracy?
I get no answers. There is no easy “Rang de Basanti” out there perhaps.
April 16, 2006

The authoress emphasises her definition of Bangalore - a luxury apartment isolaetd from he city's language and reality. in fact, she very aptly describes it as 'perched'.

Suddenly, she is looking for answers.

Answers ready-to-cook,within reach and over-simplistic like the RDB ones she rues for.

Unfortunately, I am also not far from here.