In a world where apathy is the main cause of the rise of extremism, in many different forms, is an explosion required in order to bring change?
Having just watched Rang de Basanti, with the soundtrack by A.R.Rahman, (Slumdog Millionaire,) I feel forced to recommend the film unreservedly. Although not a true story, a fictional one is fabricated around the core of one. The film is quite long, but it contains bits of everything you could want from a film, without making it feel like it's all stiched together.
In my current situation, I'm hearing of much injustice and corruption causing pain and death to innocent people. The questions we end up asking ourselves everyday are not those of whether or not the abuse can be stopped, but only how far can it be lessened. My elders may claim that I've finally been made aware of the 'real world' - but my discomfort lies in the fact that if they've know this awful truth whilst I've been ignorant, then why is it still not fully addressed?
I've been looking over statistics, some from a joint report by Unicef, Save the Children, and the Indian government, which state that over 53% of all children in India suffer from sexual abuse, and over 25% of India lives beneath the Indian Government defined poverty line of 12Rs. a day. When the international level is set to $1.25 (60 Rs. at today's rate). Despite being the 12th largest GDP in the world (the statistic that too many people are focusing on), Indian freely admits that it has a poverty issue that needs addressing.
It's not just India though. All too often in schools and colleges, in the workplace and restaurants, people fail to acknowledge that action to stop this is something that has to happen now. Climate change protestors are keen to admit that cutting carbon emissions by 40% by 2050 is too slow a pace, yet trying to contribute to fixing poverty and disease is normally a knee jerk reaction to either a humanitarian or natural disaster.
Part of what makes this more difficult is that it will require personal sacrifice. How can those in a privileged position be tackling the problem of obesity, when so many people are struggling to find food and clothing. I spoke to a man today, who suffers from persecution every day, has had friends killed and lives in an area where 50,000 people are living in makeshift refugee camps outside their villages, as their homes have been demolished by extremists wanting to kill them. Children's homes, housing poor and vulnerable kids, have been demolished. When the international media, especially that in the UK picked up on it, the man told me that the persecution slowed.. however, due to other news taking the airwaves, the lack of reporting has also affected the situation in the opposite direction.
Having read both Kate Adie's and John Simpson's autobiographies in the last few months, it's possible to see from the horses mouth that the change in the way that news has been reported means that long-running stories get a backseat ahead of dramatic and immediate ones. It's a massive shame, as long running media coverage would no doubt help these people's situation. Luckily for me, I get to go up and visit this area in November, and will hopefully be able to share with you the reality of life down on the ground.
Having grown up in a pretty affluent environment, it can be easy for me to point a finger and make disparaging remarks and be judgmental, however, I honestly believe that it's ignorance, and the inability to fully comprehend how dire a situation it is - unless you've seen it personally. I was very much the same until I was lucky enough to come out here and see for myself both the positive and negative side of what is being done to redress the balance. However, it's going to take much more than lots of individuals to make the change. We need a movement to help and fix this issue of poverty across the world, so that the new generations don't grow up and look at us and think "why didn't they do anything to help these people."