Saturday, November 29, 2014

Silence ~ A Passive Approval...

Well, NO! I'm not writing this post as a 'causatum' of watching the movie 'Ungli' last night, but believe me, my 4 years of association with the Government sector has been quite an epiphany. The following post is a direct lift from my diary and this dates back to 2011, that almost points to the 'salad days' of my career as a Consultant working towards e-Governance...that is effectively simplifying the existing cumbersome statutory as well as regulatory compliance procedures for the citizens, thereby reducing the process time and enhancing the accuracy. Yes, our task is to build a new India that thrives on e-mindedness...the path hasn't been smooth though, we have been facing setbacks at every step...right from sensitizing the stakeholders at the grass-root level to obtaining approvals of the age-old re-engineered Government processes from the highest levels. But as they say- "There are hurdles, there are handicaps, hardships you have to face in life, but you hope for a great future", we haven't really stopped in course. And the reason why I wrote this post is abstruse...one, I discovered a new vigor in me as an outcome and two, I broke the convention of maintaining a 'customary' reticence in-front of your client...yes, it was a true manifestation of the ingrained insurgence in me. Yes, we do know that offering speed money for obtaining an approval or a clearance in the Government sector has almost been a customary practice and we were, in effect, trying to eradicate the same in our own laconic way; those resistances are bound to show up.  I have tried to keep the language and framing of the post intact to bring out the surge of emotions that I was undergoing while writing the post...it's straight from the heart.

Place: Ranchi, Jharkhand
Date: October 23, 2011
Time: 23:11

"It is rightly said that every-day in itself is a lesson.
You can read all those quotes, thrive on all those principles, bring in all the 'forced wisdom' together; but your real self manifests itself when you face the world, when you experience life in its full-throttle.
Quite a dramatic beginning: Right? Let me head over to point in a jiffy. It’s been over a year since I have been working as a Consultant and believe me it’s been eventful. The exposure, the kind of assignments, the challenges incorporated in them have proved to be the stepping stone into this world which deals with creating and lending trust. I have been travelling across the country since last year and this journey has been no less than memorable.
I would like to portray one specific incident out here which might appear to be insignificant to many, but it showed me the way to apply myself and handle critical situations rather than succumbing to it. And it happened today.
I was heading for an important client meeting with the IT Secretary of the state and it goes without saying that it was a very critical one. The transport strike didn’t help either. And to complicate my woes, the wardens at the “Bhavan” won’t let me enter without the official pass. In spite of repeated request, they refused to comply. I was literally in tears when one of them slowly walked up towards me. I prayed for a miracle.... but the sequence of events that followed, left me dumb-struck.

In utter desperation, I was just about to call my partner back in Delhi to inform him about the proceedings when I felt a gentle tap on my back. I had just turned around in reaction when I heard those lines; believe me, they are still re-sounding in my ears, even when I am writing this.
“Saheb, yeah Mobile kitne ki hogi?”- his greedy eyes were shining brightly as they were fixed on my brand new Nokia X7.
“Eh...Why?”- I was completely taken aback by his facial expression, it was dripping in red.
“Saheb...itni baadi project lagne waali hain...aur aaap hain ke ek mobile ke upar aatkein hain”- there was a sudden sense of anticipation in his voice.
“How the hell did he know this?”- I murmured; he was not supposed to know anything about this project, under any freaking circumstances. Honestly, I was still recovering from the initial shock, and this was even bigger.
“Saheb....sab khabar rehta hain hume....dimag pe zoor maat daaliye”- as if he read my mind.
“Ek mobile ki to baat hain...mobiles ke kaam hain pockets mein rehna...chahe wo KIS KI bhi pocket ho”- Those were hard hitting words...delivered almost effortlessly. No fear, no hesitation, WHAT SO EVER.
I was almost half an hour late in the process and still he wasn't ready to let me in. I closed my eyes to imagine the exigency of the situation, my boss' raring expectation, my company 's reputation at stake and last but not the least, my own reputation. If I return without any fruitful dividends, even my position in the company would be under scrutinization. It could dent into our client-relationships as well, and that could be disastrous. What about my family, who looked up to me... their hope? their resort?!
“Wait! Am I entertaining the thoughts of breaking those barriers of ethics just to fulfill my personal goals and ambition?” - A voice in me suddenly screamed.
“To hell with those materialistic goals.”- And I retorted...I was pretty much on my way.
“No, I won’t do it”- asserted my conscience.
“Wait for a moment”- There was a sudden spark in me....I asserted as I rapidly ambulated towards the main entrants. The couple of other guards tried to stop me but I forcefully entered into the premises and headed straight towards the secretary’s chamber.

Bang..the door flew open...!

“Sir, sorry for being late, I had to deal without your guards before entering. By the way, I guess you should plan for a customary hike for these poor gentlemen...you know, just to make OUR lives easy"....I rushed through my words. He could sense my aspersion, my cynicism.

He was absolutely dead- silent!"

- Well, I'm not trying to conclusive in the remotest way through the above mentioned account, but believe me...it stings. When you are trying to 'make things happen', these encumbrances come along as a braking force and people yield under the impact. That is where I could relate to the latest #AbMontuBolega campaign launched by Strepsils. Yes, all of us have faced the atrocities of social, economic or political filth that have impended our lives in some way or the other...ask yourself..how many of you have volunteered on your own and defied the 'obvious infringement"? I would perhaps like to bring in the reference of the #hokkolorob movement raged by the student of Jadavpur University against the unpardonable barbarity wreaked by the University superiors and the Kolkata Police, they were the ones to raise their voice against the 'masked criminals'. Salute to them for their indomitable spirit. Infact, I'd also like to draw light towards a recent incident that raged across the social media like a wild-fire; a young photo-blogger stood up in protest against the Government of West Bengal in accordance to the principle of IPR (Intellectual Property Rights)...the case of a shameful photo-plagiarism incident that took place a couple of months ago. His persistent protest posts and messages yielded rich dividends in the end.... and forced the officials to accept their mistake. Thus, the #AbMontuBolega campaign is more than just a drive...it's almost like a crusade against the prevailing malfeasance in any form; it inspires us to rise up in remonstrance and perhaps decontaminate the stinking physiognomy of our society. "Your voice is your idiosyncratic virtue...make your presence felt my friend, your silence is your passive approval"- This is indeed their punchline. Find out more about the campaign here. And talking about filth, perhaps we can stitch a better future for these kids through out strong & dignified voice. Actions should speak louder than words...an online stampede to start off with maybe?

Speak Up: Let's 'raise our voice' and 'clean' up the impurities at least for their sake....
Speak Up: That's the new enlightening campaign by Strepsils..their well designed creative...
Disclaimer: This post has been written as a part of the #AbMontuBolega campaign brought to you by Strepsils & Indiblogger. You can connect to Strepsils on Facebook & Twitter and explore more about this campaign & their products.
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