Will we ever 'Halla Bol'?

I just finished watching Halla Bol, its a lovely hindi film starring Ajav Devgan, Vidya Balan and Pankaj Kapoor. The movie is loosely based on the famous Jessica Lall murder case and raises some very valid issues in society today. The movie, in itself, has a very strong screenplay that is backed by some awesome direction and strong acting by the lead protagonists.

One of the things that this movie got me thinking about is how we, the youth of India busy ourselves with chasing the quintessential dream of making money (often in IT) that we forget our social responsibilities. How often have we turned a blind eye to the goondaism in our immediate surroundings? How often have we bribed the government 'babu' to move things along than to go by the law? How often have we complained incessantly about bad roads, intermittent electricity, severe lack of planning by a civic body, and others? How many of us have really done anything to make a difference? I know of a couple of people in my family who don't vote because "My vote will not change things at the ground level". If we don't go out and cast our democratic right to vote, do we still have the right to be an arm-chair critic about the M.L.A/M.P we never elected?

During my B.Tech, I briefly heard of a party called Lok Paritran, founded by 5 'crazy' IIT students. The party decided to take political bigwigs head on in an electoral battle, I am not sure if it actually managed to win any seats, but it is definitely taking a step in the right direction. If we, the youth of India can create corporate heavyweights, I'm pretty sure we can manage a couple of reasonably honest politicians. I don't expect a politician to be completely honest (or even an avatar of harishchandra for that matter!), (s)he can be corrupt and I wont complain as long as (s)he fulfills the basic electoral promises.

This brings me to the last question that I have been wanting to ask for years. I have often had friends tell me about dreams of lucrative careers in engineering/medicine/management but never (not once!) have I had anyone tell me that they would take up politics, bring a number of like-minded sincere honest people together and try to change the system. Why is it that we (the youth) are content writing computer programs (or answering support calls) to rake in the moolah but unwilling to partly shoulder the responsibility for a new social order? Are we truly spineless? or do we just don't love our country enough?

As I wind up my entry today, my question to you: Would you be willing to join Lok paritran in its fight to uproot this plague that affects our country? I know I would (Provided I have some like-minded people to guide me through the dirty waters of politics) Would be great to have a few other responses.

Another step forward

For the uninitiated, I am doing my Ph.D in Molecular Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (for all future references known as UTHSCSA - pronounced Uteska). As soon as I started my first day here in August 2007, I was told I will be facing a comprehensive exam at the end of the year, an exam that will decide the fate of my future. My TAs filled me with horror stories of the exam being like death bingo with the faculty being potrayed as blood-thirsty wolves.
Here I was, almost 9 months since Aug. '07, the first student of my batch to walk into the 'death bingo room'. Soon I was called in and the faculty seemed most genial and helpful, making me feel comfortable with the easiest of questions. Nervous as I was, I made the tiniest of mistakes and they latched on to it like a pack of hungry wolves who haven't eaten in a year! Only then did I realize that I would have to literally measure every word I utter as each technical term I speak fuels a question in the minds of the faculty members sitting in front of me.
By the time I finished, I had been through 10 questions, 8 of which I managed to answer perfectly well, 1 that I really should have known and 1 that I really struggled through (and later found that no-one in the faculty knew the answer to that question either!).
Later in the evening, all my fears were put to rest and the results indicated that I had indeed made it through the first hurdle towards my Ph.D.
P.S: I have started working towards my Ph.D. thesis under my mentor, Dr. Yanfen Hu, who is a lovely polite lady. Hats off to her for being a wonderful teacher