The world's largest democracy is having trouble. Over the past few years, we have suffered from dishonest politicians, megascams, embarrassing infrastructure problems, brutal rapes, apathetic people, a non-performing cricket team, and Ra.One. In the past three months, this has intensified. Ever since the Delhi gang-rape and the subsequent lack of action, and now gags on free speech, it seems like India is slowly changing into something different.
Into Somalia, to be precise. Somalia is the best example we have of a failed state, and it's scary that we share many characteristics with the disgrace of Africa. Here is a list of how we are similar, and what we need to change before bad things happen.
1. Lack of freedom of speech: If you say anything that hurts anyone's feelings, they can clap you in jail or ban your movie, or even kill you. This is a lot like Somalia, where they will burn you and kill your goats (and your family) if you say something offensive. Can you tell the difference?
2. Dynastic politics: In Somalia, there is a rich tradition of tribal warlords who kill and rape, and die within a few years, only to be succeeded by their sons, who do the same thing again and again, for ever. In India, our politicians do pretty much the same, only they also get garlanded and semi-worshipped. Sounds familiar?
3. Corruption: It is said that power corrupts. It could be changed to India corrupts - people at every level of society think only of how they can defraud everyone they deal with, and get a little money on the side. Any Somalian would find this frame of mind familiar; corruption is their national pastime, it would be the basis of their constitution, if they had one.
Will this be our state in a few years? Photo courtesy: Fugly.com
4. Violence against women: In Somalia, women are treated as commodities, they are sometimes bought and sold, and are generally not respected. But no woman in Somalia was brutalized with an iron rod inside a private bus, no religious leaders in Somalia said that the women were responsible for their own plight. India seems like its worse for women on this dimension.
5. Mute leaders: Somalia has figureheads in seats of power, puppets as their Presidents, rubber stamps as their heads of state. None of these people ever dare to speak out against the hellish state of their country, because that's a quick way to get killed by a warlord. We aren't drawing a parallel with MMS here, but you've got to admit he doesn't speak much...
6. Economy in trouble: Somalia's economy is like your great-great-great-grandparents; it died many years ago. The prices of basic commodities increase like the number of incomplete sentences on an Arnab Goswami interview. Inflation is a fact of life in Somalia, and we have all felt it in our lives in India.
7. Pirates: Somalia's greatest export - its pirates - have their counterparts in India, too. Rapidshare and torrents give us all our music, movies, TV shows, and porn. India might not have universal net connectivity, but every person with a net connection is a pirate. Just like in Somalia, where every person with a gun and a dream is a pirate.
Any other similarities you can see between India and Somalia? Tell us in the Comments Section!
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