Some political parties called for a bandh (shut down) today in India. I thought I would be able to have a relatively more free ride on the roads of Delhi due to the bandh. Of course, I know that bandhs don’t affect Delhi whatever political party may call for it. Even the ruling party cannot carry out a bandh successfully in Delhi. This is one of the main reasons why I love Delhi. Delhi does not belong to anyone, to any political party, to any religious community, to any linguistic group, to any chauvinist. That is Delhi’s greatness, according to me.
Delhi is selfish. Delhiites mind their own business. There are exceptions, no doubt. There are rapes and thefts happening in Delhi occasionally. Given the population of Delhi and given the incessant migration to Delhi from all over the country (and even from Pakistan and Bangladesh and elsewhere), the crime rate is not beyond comprehension.
Ayn Rand is a philosopher-writer who called selfishness a virtue. I have always agreed with her on this score. Selfishness is indeed a virtue. If every individual on this planet minded his/her own business and lived life according to his/her own (genuine) individual vision, there would have been no crime, and no need for any bandh. Has Delhi arrived at that kind of selfishness? No, not at all. Delhi’s selfishness is still about how to win by defeating others.
It is selfishness, nevertheless. And that selfishness defeated the national bandh called by quite a few important political parties in the country against the rise in the price of petrol. The traffic in Delhi was not a bit less today than any other day, bandh or no bandh. Nothing really changed in Delhi because of the bandh except in a small area where a few leaders like Prakash Karat were taken away by the police.
Nothing will really change in Delhi whichever party comes to power and whichever party opposes that power. Because Delhiites have learnt the virtue of selfishness to some extent at least.
Why did they call for a national bandh today? Petrol price. I was stuck in the traffic today with my scooter for as long as I used to be on any ordinary day in Delhi. The petrol price has not affected any Delhiite, it seems. That’s the greatness of selfishness.
It’s better to be selfish than be stupid. It’s better to be selfish than be political (the Left parties), religious (the Right parties), or pretentious (the centre parties).