Hope, prestige and empowerment

Written by T V mohandas Pai | Updated: Dec 31 2011, 07:11am hrs
2011 was a remarkable year for India. It marked the turning point in our democratic journey when the middle class rebelled against the established political order and came out in the streets to protest against corruption, bad governance and a dysfunctional Parliament. Hopefully, this will result in their better participation in politics and change our governance for the better.

The year also marked the apogee of an activist judiciary. The judiciary espoused its own version of the Doctrine of Necessity, took charge of investigations into corruption cases and made sure, for the first time, that business leaders connected with corrupt practices were put into jail. It was shocking and heartening to see so many business leaders and political leaders in jail as we were brought up to believe that they were the ruling class and beyond the reach of law. The law was for poor people who did petty crimes, not the ruling class who openly practised crony capitalism. Hopefully, this will make us a society governed by the rule of law, not the rule of man.

Our media found its true strength. Breaking News created excitement in our boring lives, created news too, making heroes of some people. Suddenly, Anna Hazare became the New Mahatma, a creation of the media, making this humble soul the answer to all of India's ills. He was perplexed at this turn of fate but revelled in the spotlight. It also meant that the tyranny of an established ruling class who could commit crimes and get away due to their control of government and manipulation of legal processes was suddenly under public glare. Our fundamental rights became more secure and strengthened due to an activist media.

Dhoni and his boys gave us what we craved most, the World Cup and global respect in sports. After 24 years, India were the world champions again and we strode the world like a colossus. Everything fell before us and we were on top of the world. Our IPL league was the money-spinner globally and our financial muscle meant that we called the shots, a soothing balm to our bruised egos!

Bollywood came of age with multi-crore blockbusters. The economics of movie-making changed with huge sums invested and unbelievable sums earned. Bollywood became more of an organised industry with access to funds, slick marketing, a global reach and leveraged technology. India showed off her world-class animation/special effects industry. In future, there is great hope that Bollywood will spread our soft power like never before.

In business, the biggest question facing us the successor to the throne of Indias biggest industrial empire was answered by the choice of an in-house leader who was in the next chair. There was great anxiety, a committee of wise men was formed, many names were bandied about, a global search was launched and we all held our breath! Finally, a young man, part of the family, unknown to the outside world, became the anointed heir. True to form, family and blood triumphed and we were saved. Due process was followed, fairness and transparency was ensured and the desired name chosen.

Overall, many seminal events happened during the year. Of course our economy tanked, the rupee was hammered out of shape, the stock markets lost their coveted trillion-dollar mark, investors lost money, our Parliament did not work, monuments were built out of public funds, attempts were made to capture governments in the South, republics were created in districts and there was continuous excitement. We, however, never lost hope of a better tomorrow, for we have lived all our lives in the eternal hope of a better tomorrow.

* The author is a citizen of India