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The Eternal Cynic

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The cynics are just incorrigible. You stuff them up to the neck with a whole lot of positive inputs, demonstrative facts, and circumstantial evidence; but they remain cynics, a species cohabiting our mother earth which does not know how to become extinct.

They start with a big NO to everything and end with a sardonic smile or grin. They are everywhere—homes, offices, bus stops, railway platforms, airport lounges, weddings, parties, you name it. They are not usually harmful, but do a genuine disservice to positive-thinking souls.

You encounter them in most trying situations too. Suppose you are stranded at a particular railway platform resulting from a horrific dislocation due to accidents or bomb blasts. You try your best to mobilize co-passengers and railway authorities to find a solution in terms of providing refreshments, arranging resting places, caring for the indisposed, and fast-tracking relief trains. A cynic will definitely turn up accosting you and saying ‘No! This is hopeless. Forget relief trains! It will never come and prepare for the worst!’ And with the accompanying grin to goad you on!

In the month of April, 2011 every Indian was overjoyed about Team India winning the Cricket World Cup for the second time. Amidst celebrations that never seemed to end you never fail to find the cynics. Their comments and bitter grins make you stop for a moment and ponder desperately. ‘The World Cup has been fixed all the way! You see, they needed India till the last match to rake in the advertisement revenues!’ ‘India’s win was just a fluke! That captain who never played well suddenly made it in the final!’ Spontaneous logic from your celebrating mood would hardly convince them.

Recently Anna Hazare, a 73-year-old devoted social activist from the state of Maharashtra in India, started a fast unto death in the national capital, New Delhi, demanding immediate drafting and passing of a long-pending Bill against rampant corruption. What followed was just extraordinary. People from all walks of life all over India came out in the streets to support him and Indians living across the globe gave such online support that it became a phenomenon. Naturally the Indian Government was put under extreme pressure from this mass movement and also from the fact that scams of all kinds had been making headlines for over a year now. On the fourth evening of Anna Hazare’s fast an agreement was reached with the Government bowing to the demand of constituting a Joint Draft Committee with 50-50 partnership between the government and the civil society. History was made as Anna ended his fast on the fifth morning. Celebrations again—and of course, the cynics.

The cynics tried their best to put doubts in your mind. ‘Do you think Anna Hazare is not corrupt himself?’ ‘The government wanted to divert your attention from the scams and so gave so much undue importance to this ordinary fast!’ Your charged logic that ‘at least a beginning has been made to fight corruption’ would hardly make any impact on them.

Examples and instances are endless with the same result. The eternal cynic will remain that eternally. What you can do is just to ignore them or laugh them off. Never make the mistake of arguing with them.

Meantime, be positive. Always.

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