What's happy about the new year?

I do not want to start the year on a gloomy note, but the above question has been haunting me for the past three days. Here in Delhi, the sun did not shine on the first day of 2007. It was a gloomy, cold day. There was the inherent happiness of the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Azha. However, the thoughts that filled my mind were: Is'nt Islam a religion of peace? Don't all religions preach goodwill and tolerance? Don't they demarcate the difference between good and evil? Yet, at the end of the year, all the news we got was that innocent children were brutally killed by some barbarians in UP, people were injured in bombings in Iraq, and passengers were stranded for hours at Indira Gandhi International airport. Children who were "rescued" from exploiting labour, ended up returning to hazardous work due to lack of government support for their poor families.

Not that I sat out the New Year celebrations - I did meet friends for a quiet dinner. Surprisingly, the streets were rather deserted for New Year's Eve. Was it the cold or the overall melancholy? I cannot say. You could turn around and say that 2006 was the year of youth empowerment. Yet, from what I can see, two high-profile murder cases were solved. So what if they were those of Jessica Lal and Priyadarshini Mattoo? Justice is laudable, but every citizan has equal right to it - rich or poor. The judiciary must do its job with or without media glare. What I would applaud is the woes of poor Indians coming to an end. Give them water, give them food and give them justice. That's all they need. They don't want to appear on television.

While the Supreme Court took steps to initiate reforms, politicians obstructed them at every turn. Whether by sponsoring clashes during Delhi's sealings or opposing the development at Singur. Politicians have even gone to the extent of calling the proposed police reforms "unconstitutional" - probably because they can't do away with the idea keeping the police in their pockets.

Hopeful that human nature is, I will dare to hope that 2007 will bring some joy, a glimmer of sunshine even. Evil has always co-existed with good in this world. I want to see the good side more often.
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