21 September, 2020

Our Tropical Sickness

The national habit of muddling through things has potent dangers

Illustration by Sorit
Our Tropical Sickness

Scandal and panic, but finally a pretty good show, even though criticism still persists. Already the anodyne banality resumes sway: “Oh, ours are the ways of the Indian wedding. Chaos and screaming, then everything falls into place!” Such complacency not only aggravates the faults so brazenly flaunted over the Commonwealth Games (CWG), but also imperils our stability, our security, and indeed our very nationhood.

Thoughtlessness, disregard for the national interest (even for minimum duty), cronyism, venality, shoddiness—make your own list. In the seven years we had to prepare for the games, not one sign of pride in efficiency, of doing things well and on time—or of shame in doing badly. Worse still, what ought to matter regarding a serious issue matters not a fig to the forces that determine what we do. Apart from a handful of dedicated people, the considerations that have come to prevail in decision or action are wholly unsuitable to the problems—and unworthy of a civilised nation, leave alone a great...



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