Sreelatha Menon: Ten things I hate about you

Last Updated: Sat, Dec 29, 2012 18:41 hrs

Young men and women are outraged. Nothing can stop them. Not even comments by the people in power about protesters being “dented” and “painted”.

While one of the things that makes the youth angry is an act of inhumanity like rape and torture of a woman and her death, there are many other things. If these were to trigger a similar fury, it could change the nation forever.

One: Half the population and the youth in most Indian cities live in shanties, with no public conveniences at all. This “other” half does not exist for the governments and vice-versa. They have no local address proof, which denies them every other facility that the rest of the town gets. They are eternal destitute, and thereby non-entities.

Two: The first problem stated above leads to the terrible state of children, especially girls, living there. Children get molested in these makeshift homes and often abducted. Remember Nithari?

Parents go again and again to the police in search of their children but their pleas are seldom heard or registered. Girls are in danger as rowdy elements are on the prowl. Girls narrated such instances during the anti-gang rape protests in Delhi last week.

Three: The police. How can it best be made to work for the people, especially women and the poor ?

Four: The state of labourers who toil in construction sites, in factories... Does the angry youth know that in many factories in Gurgaon and Faridabad, workers making fancy bags or automobile parts get their tiny wages cut if they go to the urinal more than twice during the working hours?

Five: Farmers are leading a hand-to-mouth existence because the governments do not support agriculture. Thousands of indebted farmers have committed suicide in the past few years. Many of them are ready to abandon farming, which puts a big question mark on food security.

Six: Farm land is slowly disappearing from under our feet. The land that is meant to produce food is slowly being used up for other activities, as laws don’t protect farm land…

Seven: All development planning is centred in and around Delhi, which seems to be the sole arbitrator of how development should unfold in the country. This has resulted in Delhi getting more than its necessary share of investments in infrastructure related to health, education and sports, forcing migrants to make their way to the capital.

Eight: The education system does not lead to holistic growth of students, giving them an opportunity to delve deep into arenas of sports, music, dance, literature and science...

Nine: That women are forced to abort their female foetuses, fearing ill-treatment from patriarchal systems in which they are trapped through marriage.

Ten: The health care scenario that does not provide essential services to every single citizen, as it does in some states such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

There are many more reasons. And the fact that these don’t make anyone angry enough is the worst of them all. Angry anyone?

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