Entitlement versus Engagement

By: Soonya

I have been hearing a few rumblings in the recent past about the entitlement that is being expected from people who participated in the T movement.

The questions that bother me probably are borne out of my experience and my family of orientation and procreation that sociologists refer to.

Family of orientation is what I am born into and family of procreation is what I am married into, simply put.

My father who was a Gandhian and a Sarvodayan, lost part of his leg and had to live with permanent limp – or what we call physically challenged!

I asked him how come he does not leverage his ‘freedom fighter’ status to leverage the entitlements that were offered by Government of India.

A FF is eligible for among many things a free pass on Railways in India and concessions on air travel etc.

His simple statement was ‘I did it because I thought it was right,‘not because that in future he was going to get some benefits!

How come such ideas do not resonate with us today? I do keep seeing AJ’s of the world talking about a ‘martry’ who is neglected etc.

The question is if I sacrificed something for a higher cause, is it right for me to expect that the government ‘recognises’ me and gives me some ‘ benefits? Is it not a transaction? A commercial one at that?

I am appalled at such a thought. Call me old-fashioned, lost in a time-warp or whatever, I am OK, but I cannot digest where there is a sense of entitlement from those who ‘contributed’ to the movement!

If we did something expecting something, then we are in a ‘contract’ or in the world of business not in the world of idealism or changing the world.

I can empathize with rants or criticism borne out of expectations of good things that ought to have been done for people at large, for whom we fought.

I can also understand when people say that I expect this thing from the new government of Telangana. But an entitlement? I am not too sure.

The Andhra Media is playing with the need for ‘entitlements’. We can see it transparently. Should we fall for it?

The key questions that bother me are:

What extent can we expect the GoT delivers for our own personal benefit?

What extent do we expect and demand from the new GoT to deliver to the people we fought for?

I wonder at the strikes by the JUDAS (sounds, ominous and familiar, cant help it)

And the closing of OU by PDSU and ABVP on 29th and 30th of October 2014. I am not a stickler for ‘lakeer ka phakeer’, but wonder if the student bodies have engaged the VC and the government before calling for a strike?

I am not against strikes or the right to strike. But the moot point is whom are we benefiting with our call for strikes?

Once again let me re-iterate, I am not against the right to strike or to protest.

That is fundamental to a democracy.

But to call for a strike or a Bandh without considering the impact and the collateral damage and going for the jugular without considering alternative means of mitigating an issue, sounds a little illogical to me.

I may be old-fashioned. But I believe that patriotism and a feeling for our mother land is worthwhile to consider before we decide to non-cooperate or shut down things.

I would request the Junior Doctor’s leadership to introspect and also our ABVP and PDSU and others before they resort the last weapon to be used.

And our demands have to be reasonable. Within the bounds of rationality.

Anything else, there is a likelihood that we play into the hands of the enemy who is waiting to say ‘I told you so’ or you folks cannot govern yourselves! It takes the Andhras’s to rule you!

Think about it. Whether you are an intellectual, a functionary pl do think.

That is my ardent appeal.

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