Washington: As we end another annus horribilis, here is a suggestive list of resolutions for prime actors to adopt to make 2013 the annus mirabilis for India.
I will come down from my throne and actually answer questions. As the president of the main political party of India, I recognise I have a responsibility to speak to the media and be grilled. I understand that democracies want that kind of thing.
I will stop dividing India into urban and rural and speak for and to both.
I will investigate how many of my MPs have charges of sexual assault pending against them and take action. I will even consider weeding them out to put fear in the hearts of future political aspirants.
I will wake up before we are five days into the next crisis and speak to the nation.
I will use my position and my considerable political and moral authority to govern my unwieldy country instead of mainly watching as it lurches from crisis to crisis.
I will demand action from my ministers and bureaucrats.
I will not unleash the police against peaceful protesters who have few ways to register how angry they are with my government.
In light of the most recent episode, I will make a powerful speech to set the tone for all MPs, MLAs, party workers — indeed all Indian men — on how to treat women as equals, as citizens who have the right to work, play and be out of the house just as men without fear of being attacked.
I will encourage the states to implement police reforms. At least the Congress-ruled ones like the capital city.
We will be a responsible force and keep the government on its toes.
We will allow parliament to function.
Hard as it might be, we will try to avoid jumping in front of TV cameras to score cheap political points because we recognise that no one gets fooled anymore.
Instead of breaking down on camera as helpless, powerless creatures, we will actually take action because we are members of the Indian Parliament. (Not ordinary folk who actually face sexual assault)
Will ask our chief ministers to implement police reforms and forgo the temptation of using the police as personal property.
I will get a clue. About. How. To. Connect. To. India.
If I can’t, I will bow out gracefully instead of subjecting my country to more….
I will read copiously about my country and learn. I recognise that a family name doesn’t entitle me to the top job in the world’s largest democracy even though mummy/sycophants may think so.
Other Young MPs:
We will actually try to drill some sense into our old fogies.
Will speak up and claim our space, which is rightfully ours Gangnam style, instead of doing politics old-style.
We will undergo a neurological reset.
For starters, zero tolerance for rape by policemen.
Victims of crime, men and women, will be treated as fellow human beings.
Instead of writing maudlin poems, we will shun roles that demean, ridicule and insult women.
Encourage good scripts and discourage cheap, lascivious songs.
Even avoid “item numbers.”
Will stop passing the buck and actually help the political system get a grip on the bursting seams. (We know we can intimidate the politicians with “knowledge” of the system, so we will do it for a better cause)
Will actually do our current job instead of always looking for the next job. (A Raj Bhavan is not our birthright)
Will always, always ask tough questions of politicians. Will not be overwhelmed just because we are talking to a bigger celebrity than ourselves.
Will reduce the number of gabfests and increase the number of well-researched stories on television.
Will put our celebrity to better use in a fast changing society since TV is where it’s at now. Sadly.
All Of Us:
Will change our attitude and STOP ignoring sexist remarks, sexual abuse inside the house, in the workplace, on the streets.
Will stand up and speak up. Will come to the rescue of women being abused. (The more that happens, the less the power of the louts, the depraved)
Will vote in every election.