Systemic change is the need of the hour

Only Systemic Change in our body-mind systems can help us survive as individuals and as a nation, says Minnu Bhonsle

The Elite

Current Scenario
The rich and famous/V.I.P.s have suddenly peeped out of their well-guarded elite fortresses, because for the first time, the attack was on a private commercial premise.The dead and the injured in other terror attacks were mere numbers for them, till terror struck their own favourite hangouts, and terrorism became ‘real’ for the first time. Some celebrities have been shaken out of their slumber and are whining about their disturbed comfort zones, whining about their favourite gourmet restaurants with their signature dishes not being available, while the ordinary citizen is dying at a railway station or in a municipal hospital.
The elite lived in the delusion that they were somehow ‘special’, and therefore would not form part of the terror statistics, if only the airports, first class lounges, and airlines were kept safe for them. It is the same elite who want to be kept secure by others, who flout security rules, who want to be spared frisking, who want to be dropped exactly at the portico of a hotel as an exception to the rule, and challenge the audacity of any security or law enforcement personnel who tries to enforce the law with them citing ‘powerful’ connections.

It is the same people who believe that magically their well-being should be ensured without the slightest bit of inconvenience being caused to them, even if it amounts to a lapse in the duty of security personnel. If they encourage a security lapse when it comes to their convenience at all times, how can they question a security lapse now?
They are the ones who have encouraged and promoted a culture of comfort zones, for themselves and for others by greasing the palms of underpaid police personnel to overlook their misdeeds or to make their own life more comfortable.

This philosophy of the insistence of short-term comfort, often results in people behaving unethically, which then creates an unethical world, and it is the same unethical people who are then affected by such an unethical culture. When will each one of us realise that it is in our own best interest, and in the interest of our own survival, that we promote an ethical society by being ethical ourselves? – ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.

Systemic Change scenario

We need the elite to be law-abiding and not expect to be spared any inconveniences like frisking for security reasons, to pro-actively discourage corruption, and to encourage all those who perform their duty. We need celebrities to model moral and ethical righteousness. We need the elite to sensitise themselves to the immense human tragedy and loss of lives; the life of every poor and middle-class Indian, and not only the attacks on 5-star fortresses in elite localities .
We need wealthy individuals to fully realise that they are not above the realm of terror, and to contribute much more without cribbing, to the nation’s coffers, in the form of a national security surcharge, along with the taxes they pay, for upgrading and modernizing our national security system, for increasing the pay scale of our security and law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies, and armed forces, and thus for the ‘equal’ safety of all the children ([ncluding themselves]) of our motherland.

The Urban Middle Class

Current Scenario
By far one of the most affected sections of our society by terror attacks across the country, are the middle class citizens who use the public transport and who make a living in urban India. However, they have never ‘stopped long enough’ after every terror attack to reflect on what they can do to prevent it, but have gone on with ‘business as usual’ to bring home their monthly pay.
The voice of the urban middle class is probably the most powerful voice today, because it is this voice that can get translated into a powerful vote bank during elections. Therefore, it is imperative that the middle-class think and ‘choose’ wisely before casting their vote, and not vote for the one who promises immediate gratification in the form of tax-cuts and easier loans for a better immediate material lifestyle, but vote for the one who asks you to make some sacrifices in the ‘here and now’ to have ‘holistic’ and sustainable well-being in the long-term.

We need to ask ourselves-about the basis on which we vote people to power. Are we then not equally responsible for putting incompetent and corrupt people, and often even those with a criminal background, in charge of governance because of our ‘creed and greed’ criteria? Has not ‘our need’ supeseded the ‘need of the nation’? Are we then not equally responsible for our ‘choices’ which have endangered our nation and made it vulnerable to terror? Thinking only about ourselves in the short-term, can cost us our security in the long-term.

Systemic Change scenario
We need a middle class which cannot be divided by ‘creed or greed’; a united and aware middle class, which co-exists with all in harmony, and which believes that one’s well-being is in the well-being of the entire nation as a whole. We need the middle class to cast his vote with wisdom, for ‘unison’ and not division; to vote for the ‘holistic’ and ‘sustained’ well-being of the nation, and be ‘responsible’ in shaping the destiny of our country.

Minnu Bhonsle
Dr Minnu R Bhonsle, PhD, is a Mumbai-based consulting psychotherapist and counsellor. She conducts training programmes in Personal Counselling [Client-centred Therapy] and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, and also workshops in Stress Management, Art of Listening, Couple Therapy, and Communication Skills. Minnu has co-authored the book, The Ultimate Sex Education Guide along with Dr Rajan Bhonsle.


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