“Zindagi jeene k do hi tarike hote hain…ek jo ho raha hain hone do, bardaasht karte jao…ya phir jimmedari uthao usse badalneki”- Aamir Khan,Rang De Basanti
Translation: There are only two ways to live life: Tolerate things the way they are… Or, take responsibility to change them.
This dialogue has such a heavy influence in my life that it has turned into an inspiration and an adage to live for the rest of my life. Ever since I first came across it, when I sneaked past the packed TV room in my school, I have tried my best to put the message in practice. And, if I am allowed to boast about it, have been successful as well. The foremost inspiration that got imprinted in my mind from this dialogue was that one can change the way it is by taking that one bold step: the audacity to take the responsibility in changing it.
Frankly, it was the most difficult scenario that I had faced. Deep inside I felt that the reform was necessary. That, something ought to be done to clean up the mess. That, someone has to be the catalyst. That, that someone ought to be me. Truth be told, it felt that ego was ruling my decision. But, ego it may be, it proved a turning point in the years hence. I simply did not gather courage to watch my counterparts (myself included) suffer the misery cast upon us. After I decided to take matter in my hands, thoughts gathered around me to at least muster some help from my bold peers. Together we went to the concerned authority and without any hesitation, at most times, I was able to start the conversation and backed by my friends’ opinions, they proved to be a pivotal point in witnessing the change we strongly desired.
|Taking the responsibility to start a change will surely start a revolution.|
Slowly, my involvements in such initiatives fueled my desire to harness change in the society. Sometimes, when my friends asked for a favor to start the conversation, it made feel really responsible. While some believed that I was trapped in delusions and even went as far to deem me a rebellion. I am not bragging about my idiosyncrasies. Instead I am making a point that most of us don’t gather enough guts to make the change that we long wished for by taking the responsibility to do so.
Whenever there are opinions which challenge the ideals held by a group and which can damage its reputation, I bet none of us stand up to criticize those ideals. I bet everyone will get trapped like the audience involved in the bystander effect. We just simply listen to what the opponent has to say and hope that someone will point out his flaws. In other words, we stand back as the story unfolds with fear engulfing our motives.
It is why I believe there are only two ways to live our life. First, the habit that we all revere: grab a popcorn and watch how the villain kidnaps the girl. Second, be the hero to free the girl and not just watch like the shopkeepers who have a faith that the police will surely catch the villain one day. What the shopkeeper misses is that he should be the first one to save the girl. In illustrating this case, I am beginning to feel that you have a point to make: Why should the shopkeeper be dragged into saving her? Well, that is where most of us fail to live in accordance to the second way. I believe that the shopkeeper should also be involved in the chase because it will set an example for other shopkeepers to follow thereby making the capture of the villain easy.
Another annoying example that I want to make point about is the case of many of us WANTING to end the Nepali culture of organizing the strike feast. All that we care in such situation is to end it immediately and expect the government to negotiate with the concerned folks. I see parents complaining to each other how menacing the strike is to their children’s education or the common people who sit in front of the shops and blame the system for creating an impasse. I have nothing to describe these people than calling them scums, however harsh that might sound.
These group are not living. They are dead. Don’t they have the courage to go into the street and put an end to the strike? I am sure many will lend their hands for the initiative to take shape. What they think is that there will be someone to stop this mess and all will be good. I guess this tradition has to end. Why are we so afraid of our lives? Weren’t we the ones who boasted of sacrificing our lives for the good of our country? Where did the chauvinism disappear? Why is it that most of the time we want someone to challenge the system? Why can’t we be the one to start the change? Why can’t we put an end to corruption by filing a report to the police? Why can’t we face the people who are spoiling the system? Are we afraid that the media will not take coverage? Or are we afraid that the person involved will send their gang to beat us up late in the night? Or are we afraid that it will ruin the reputation which we have tried so hard over the decade to establish?
We talk big but are afraid to implement them. We are afraid that talking to the teacher about their weaknesses will cost us our grades. We are afraid that the earnings we are enjoying will be cut short when the boss finds out that we were the ones who wanted his supremacy to end. We are afraid that filing a case to the police will develop fear of death in us every time the phone rings at night. We are afraid to do anything at all and sadly, wish the next generation to not experience what we experienced. We are afraid if the youngsters will take the initiative to end the taboo. Above all, we are afraid to take the responsibility to initiate the change.
By now, the dialogue must have already influenced your outlook in life. If we want the system to change, we should take the responsibility to change it. If we have an idea that could change the world, let us immediately implement it before we regret not doing so. Had Edison not moved on with his dream, we would never have seen the incandescent bulb! Had the activists of 2007 not taken the responsibility to overthrow the tyrannical Ranas, we would still be illiterate and the literacy rate would never had reached double figures! More important than that, had Prithvi Narayan Shah not taken the burden to unite the small states, there would not have been a country called Nepal! Hence, it all adds to the fact that we ought to be the leaders to initiate change before expecting others to start a revolution in the near future when matter becomes even worse. That is why the most important of all the life quotes you have ever heard of are subtle compared to the weight that the dialogue has.
For this to become reality, let us instill the thought in us and take the initiative to change the system that we feel is putting the prospect of development in dark. Let us make our generation the most exemplary generation and make the future generations feel that taking the responsibility to see change taking place is the best lesson that they will never forget. That way, after twenty years, we can be proud to be a part of the revolution that we took responsibility of and share our acts of valor to our grandchildren. But, only if we wish to end the culture of tolerating the corrupt system by taking the responsibility ourselves to make the change happen.
May the next revolution start right at this hour. May we all take the responsibility to see the change we longed to see.