Based upon a real conversation between a Crusader and a Cynic. What makes this conversation interesting is how in the beginning every line manifestation of the two strong willed characters both sounding confident and convincing in their respective point of views and by the end you see a reversal of roles which contradicts the earlier manifestation. One wonders what these people really are and what are they trying to achieve in life.
Cynic: You read Aamir’s new post, on his decision to run with the Olympic torch? I heard Kiran Bedi also saying the exact things Aamir wrote in his blog – that the Olympic torch doesn’t belong to any one country, it doesn’t belong to China, while you run you could be running for the spirit and brotherhood of any community or cause that you support.
Crusader: Hmm. Whatever. It matters little, to me, what Aamir or Kiran say. Tibetan’s aren’t benefiting from it. People will read them, go wow and end it at that. It matters little what goes on our revolutionary blogs too, anyway. The real people who are suffering are out there.
That’s where blog is a total failure and where things like an army of people with a do or die attitude should come in. As a platform for writers and getting the message across, the blog is great but from the 2500 people that visit it, how many of them are stakeholders in the country? How many of them will read and understand what we’re saying and actually do something about it ? Forget THEM, how many of US, the writers of the blog, are doing some thing about it? Zilch.
Crusader: First step is to get people to read it in print. Second step is to mobilize a mass movement and get people to meet offline, discuss national issues, citywide issues and implement it, things like boycotting the rickshaws, using public transport, etc., things like renouncing the forced usage of religion. We need a strong mass movement of all these people. Coming together and doing it physically.
Crusader: Someday it will all be very different. Someday there would be a revolution. I don’t know if I’ll be the one doing it or someone else in India who thinks like me will do it. May be its already there and I don’t know. But the day will come. There will be a mass citizen movement against injustice at the grass root level, we would stand nationally united.
Cynic: Hmm. I don’t’ think there will be any such mass movement ever in India. The world is done with its share of Renaissance and revolution.
Crusader: Why not?
Cynic: Well, you see, like most things in nature the human race had a certain beginning and is sure to head for a certain end. We were designed to evolve from the stone age to nuclear age, the revolts, the freedom struggle were all a part of the evolution but history won’t repeat itself. No it won’t. We would just go from bad to worse because the Armageddon is approaching. We can’t escape.
The mass would continue being shameless selfish zombies. People would only run for their own lives, they would never run for other’s. With time the mass would only become more selfish and cold. With the consumerism, all the luxury, all the globalisation, all the easy money coming in the hands of India’s youth – they would never see the shit they are in and unless they see the shit they won’t do anything about it.
Crusader: With the right people, the right leadership, anything is possible.
Cynic: Some would move to greener pastures
Crusader: If radicals like bin Laden could brainwash 40 people for 9/11 that shook the entire world, then anything is possible.
Cynic: Some would make their own green pasture within the shit and close their eyes to the stark reality, and those who are dying would continue to die.
Crusader: If leaders like Mangal Pandey, Bhagat Singh and Gandhi could mobilize a nation towards freedom, then anything is possible.
Cynic: The likes of modi would continue to win elections.
Crusader: It could take 50 years, let it be 100, no big deal, our kids will reap the rewards. Modi is an exception. The exceptions would be taken care of separately.
Cynic: See it this way – people revolt when they have nothing to lose but their chains. That is why they gave up their life to fight for freedom. The nation was not free nor were the people, they had nothing to lose but their chains, thus our leader could motivate them. But look at today’s youth, the one’s you see in the super malls, multiplexes and pubs. You are telling me they would give up their perfect life and be on the streets ready to shed their blood? You expect this youth to revolutionise?
Crusader: You are being pessimistic. When there is a cause, there is no room for pessimism. In such an effort, there is only pragmatism and hope. Conviction in it, commitment to it.
Cynic: May be I am. But all I know is individuals like you would probably keep hoping and fighting all your life, but how much an individual can do…sure you’d do something – your bit that will be, but ‘revolution’? I don’t know.
Crusader: I hope I will. I want to. We’d get people together. Bhagat Singh was only 23 when he died. Another twenty years of that gang of Bhagat, Sukhdev, Rajguru, and India would’ve been a different country. Am totally convinced. He would’ve read more, learnt more, understood more, idealised more, motivated more.
Cynic: Ya true, but then they killed him. They killed DJ and his bros too. Those few heads of revolution would be killed and the mass is too selfish to ever repeat a Jalianwala Bagh.
Crusader: We can learn from their mistakes and continue to improve.
Cynic: Look at the mass today. You can’t even get 50 of them together for a cause. I follow at least 30 mailing list where round the year I see arm chair thinkers and so called social activists are exchanging mails, writing, reading thought provoking articles, signing signature campaigns and most importantly giving their opinion on every thing going wrong in this country. But on the 4 to 5 occasion that I have frantically mailed them seeking contacts details of people I want to reach out for execution of a real project that I have in mind, I have received ZERO response. Not one to render me a help. They are either too high minded to even read my mails, or they have too much ego politics to share each other’s contact information.
Crusader: I can get 50 people together for a cause, by the way. I know i can.
Cynic: You really think you can?
Crusader: Yeah. If the cause is close to me, if I feel for it, and if I go and push out to people I can certainly get 50.
Cynic: 12th April is world street theatre day. The day for Halla Bol. You want to do a street theatre? What cause is close to your heart?
Crusader: Corruption. Bribe, in particular.
Cynic: Great. Let’s script a street theatre, I’ll get 10 people to act, you get 50 to watch. We do 10 days x 3 shows per day around Bangalore and I’d know we did something for a cause.
Crusader: Not this April, I am in the middle of a lot of chaos both in personal and professional life, the move is also scheduled, but in my second innings in Bangalore.
Cynic: There you go. Likewise everybody have priorities in life. Work, family, entertainment and that day would never come when privileged people like you and me will stand under the scorching sun for some one else’s cause…and by ‘you and me’ I meant the Indian youth. You would I know. I would too but not many like us would.
Crusader: Naw, the day will come. For sure. It’s a question of “when” and not “if”. You just aren’t convinced because you think the world is too materialistic to move away from it. And I am entirely convinced that when people identify closely with their purpose, materialism loses its grip. Everyone who has gone towards material pursuit at some point of time in life has looked for purpose. Ambani has and Mallya will.
Cynic: You live an utopian dream.
Crusader: If one doesn’t dream then there’s no point living.
Cynic: Am not saying don’t dream. Even I dream but am saying to expect that there would be many to stand with you for what you want to achieve – not likely.
Crusader: We’ll see about that.
Cynic: Yeah we will.