He lives in mundane anonymity, braving each day with a resilience that seems indomitable, bearing the brunch of inflation and quotidian corruption. He lives with the knowledge that a single bomb is enough to reduce him to a silent number, that all it would take is the advances of a demented lecher to make his sister yet another gory statistic. Yet he lives, hoping against hope, that someday, somehow, things will become different, that his cape will flutter in a wind. The wind of change.
He is the aam aadmi, or giving in to the recent trend, ‘The Mango Man’. Lately, there has been so much fuss around this three-word phrase that it makes me question. Who is this aam aadmi? Is he a faceless entity struggling to find a channel to get his voice heard or is he a cloaked superhero, emerging like a phoenix from its burnt ashes of the past? What we know is that, while at onetime he may have preferred remaining in denial, or portrayed ignorance and complacency towards the working wheels of the governing machinery, now he is angry. He has reached a saturation point where he is ready to turn onto the streets to avenge every single injustice meted out to him.
Fearing his outrage, the political parties are trying very hard to prove how people-centric they are, by disguising austerity and deifying the very concept of aam aadmi, but he is still not appeased. He has come to realise that in the quest to appear more superior, the political parties give in to their habit of maligning every other part of the governing system, while links of the already weaken chain still become weaker. Here criticism does not lead to improvement or competitiveness, rather it leads to more criticism and a never ending volley of blame game ensues. With every subversive incident, the under lying flawed veins of the debauched government are becoming clearer in his eyes.
But, after this bitter realization, what does he do? Running down on the streets in retaliation, though a turn for the better, won’t make him the precursor of change.
A deeper action is required; the mango man needs to further realize that he is the ultimate arbiter of power, that in a democracy, he constitutes the demos. The system should not change him, he must change it by changing himself. If every single Indian rises above the lines of caste, religion and state, if every single Indian unites and takes an unfaltering stand against corruption, lechery, poverty and all the other vices that cripple our country, only then will we be able to create a true democracy, and will be able to proclaim, “Hail thee mango man”!
About the Author
A final year engineering student and a strong supporter for the cause of empowerment of women, Shruti presently heads the Women In Engineering (WIE) execom of the IGIT IEEE student branch. She has presented a paper on ‘Women and Academics: Breaking the Glass Ceiling’ at the 14th Regional Conference of International Network of Women Scientists and Engineers. Also being an avid reader and writer, she co-heads the editorial board of the annual newsletter of her college. A self-motivated and centered individual, she aspires to make a difference in the society and carve a niche for herself.