Monday 28 July 2008

Venting...


I am angry.
Yesterday I met a man who asked me what kind of work do I do. I said human rights. Human Rights? He gave an all knowing half smile like he knows all about human rights. The he said "Oh ha, something like human resource, right? So what all work do you guys do? Is desh main kuch ho bhi sakta hain kya! (Can anything happen to this country?)"
While I was swallowing my indignation, he merrily went on " In name of human rights these NGOs take millions of dollars and blow them".
Oh really? How many years of your life did you devote to NGO work Mister? For that you need to get out of that cushy government clerical job that you hold on to for dear life.
And as for the ish desh ka kuch nehi ho sakta bit, well with cynical, given up citizens like you I dont see much hope anyways. Why blame the very few who are actually trying to do some work?
A lot of people sound really cynical when they hear that I work for a NGO. The usual reaction is after studying so hard, why are you working for a NGO? What kind of money do they pay you? Like if they pay you good money then even working for a NGO is justified. And another point of view that I keep coming across is that NGOs are corrupt and people who make these comments have never ever worked for any NGO or social casue. It just makes me so mad. The government of India should impose something like the dreaded jiziya tax, only this it should be rubbish talk tax.
And then there are some who attack us for all the wrong in the world. Achaa so you work for a NGO, so what did you do in the Arushi case, or during Gujrat or during Nandigram? Where the whole bloody civil society along with the entire government machinary is a failure, you expect a NGO to put a stop to an entire carnage? Extremely unrealistic.
These kind of reactions are part and parcel of my life. Now it is my work area that people comment on, before it was the subjects that I studied.
Some dumb people trying to be funny people would go "So you want to do politics? Become the next Mamta Banerjee" when they used to hear that I am doing my B.A. with honours in Political Science. Followed by an immensely self satisfied laugh, like hey how witty I am. ( I felt like telling them that not only are they not witty, that they are jerks and that too big time, but my mom's upbringing always makes me mum at such instances).
Would you be asking a criminal lawyer whether he commits mruders?
The only time I got respect was when people heard that I am doing my masters in International Relations/IR, though that was also steeped in ignorance. IR? Oh it is something like Industrial Relations? No it is International Relations. Oh ok ok got it, you guys study India Pakistan relations. Achaa tell me what is your solution to the Indo Pak problem? Will it ever get solved?
Initially I used to get all excited and launch into a full analysis of the situation. But soon I gave up, cos I soon realised that people heardly are interested in any kind of analysis, what so ever.
After that point the questions for which no one expect wanted any intellegent answers would just irritate me. And I would make up sharp retorts in my mind, which sadly I never subjected anyone to, mostly cos I am terrified of my mom's reaction.
In my head I have rehearsed this millions of times "Do I look like a fortune teller or a tarrot card reader? How will I know whether the problem will get solved or not. If I was that brilliant I would be queuing up for the Nobel and not just doing my masters.And for your kind information IR is much broader, but yes we do cover Indo Pak relations while studying foreign policies and bilateral studies part."
I tell you, there is this block in our country against social sciences/humanities. The only careers this country recognises are doctors/engineers and now throw in IT. Bas. Nothing else, beyond this makes much sense to the without any imagination Indians. If you cannot be a doctor or an engineer or at least do mathematics or physics honours you life is not worth it.
I am so tired of all this stereotyping and ignorance and the worst part is that these people are sp proudly ignorant. Like if I meet a nuclear scientist I would not be presumtious of his work simply because I do not enough to be so. But this is too much to expect from others I guess.
Like the man yeaterday "...at this point of grwoth we do not need human rights."
Yeah right, so go on butchering people with the excuse of growth. How brilliant!
I may be sounding really offending. But believe me it is just my frustration coming out. I have developed a though epidermis but yesterday that man just rubbed me entirely the wrong way.

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