What is it about gallantry that commands respect and admiration from all? Some heroes live immortally in the public eye, some names are besmirched wantonly with skeletons of a long gone-past, while others carry their truth to unmarked graves.
As we see a fireman rushing into the doomed building, going up the stairs as we civilians rush down, knowing full well that the chances of his survival are bleak; don't we wonder if we deserve this sacrifice? When it comes to light that such catastrophes could have been averted had the persons involved been diligent, it takes only a little time to condemn, condone and then forget the incident altogether.
The question here is, why are we content to applaud, condemn debate and watch from the sidelines forever? The public memory is short; bureaucratic memory is shorter. However, blaming it all on the system is suicidal to a growing democracy like ours.If we believe that the system should change, what can we do to deserve the change? Public apathy is the worst sin of a democracy. We have produced a million success stories, but what progress has been made has not trickled down to all strata of society.
We as students have taken much from the country, but why is it that we are the ones who complain eloquently about the state of things. Many swiftly cross seas in search of greener pastures, leaving without fulfilling their responsibility. The audacity of such to complain about the state of things here is despicable. The change should come from within. As John F Kennedy said, ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.Everyone has a choice at the threshold of his/her career: to draw a straight line to the summit, helping only those who can help you as you scale greater heights in foreign lands - or to draw an arc, helping everyone who deserves it, rejoicing the peaks conquered and braving the pitfalls with equal poise. Life's an adventure in the company of friends. Its purpose is the betterment of all and sundry. It is the pursuit of happiness - that elusive quantity which grows as you give. Let us learn to stop complaining, and start thinking. The road less travelled beckons us. After all, we are here to make a change, and thus deserve a change. See the true hero as you look into the mirror- as Po does when he looks at the dragon scroll in kung fu panda.
Aparna is in III year, BME SRM university