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Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life is when dreams are surrendered to reality.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Society and Me



The other day TV channels beamed images of police enforcing their rule of law in a manner that brought viewers to exclaim in protest. Moral policing, in any areas of societal living, is a highly debatable issue, but what happened in the city of Meerut in the state of UP was highly deplorable. Couples were routinely rounded up by these so called enforcers of the law and beaten up on the premise of immoral trafficking. In this day and time when the judiciary works under the tenet of 'innocent until proven guilty', what happened has to be condemned and stringent action should be taken against the perpetrators of these dastardly acts.

This event led me to thinking about how passive we have become and how much we have accepted because we are afraid to raise our voice in protest against the inequities of a society that has become highly right winged.

Why is it becoming increasingly difficult to swallow moral policing by the people who have taken upon themselves to preserve and safe guard culture and heritage?

Since when has groups of various shades and political convictions taken upon themselves to enforce their brand of cultural imperialism on the citizens of a free state?

There are so many examples of these impositions, be it vandalization of movie halls and commercial establishments, physical and emotional injury on respected people of the community, tarnishing respectability of media and public celebrities. It didn't start with Arundati Roy nor is it going to end with 'Operation Majnu' but it is a perfidious assault by a society that is becoming highly insular in its thoughts and increasingly myopic in its visions in an age that is supposed to be becoming more open and liberal. Political parties across the spectrum is becoming highly manipulative and using the latent communal divide to gain vote bank. We as a society are in danger of being subsumed by our own inertia at owning up to our weaknesses and our inability to raise up in protest to seek or ask for the freedom that we deserve. It is a right...but thru years of inaction and passive acceptance, we have have become impotent to seek freedom of thoughts and expression. In a global world where the driving force is greed there has developed a highly incestuous relationship between the policy makers and the corporate machinery to further enhance their hold on a highly commoditized population, it has become difficult to look at things in black or white..right or wrong. In a society where PPP is the only indicator of a successful economy...we have become inert to the basic wrongs that we see in front of us or read about in the papers. If there is protest, it is highly localised and ineffective and there is a marked lack of focus on pushing it thru.

Protests in its basic form is frowned upon by an elitist society..but lest not close our eyes to what is happening around the world and learn. In developed welfare states workers rise up in protest to fight for their rights..be it in Europe or in North America or even in countries like South Korea. During trade summits and WTO meets there are protests that show that we as individuals in a group can create a difference. But are we ready to take it upon ourselves to protest and raise a combined voice.

Societal living demands equal opportunity for all of us and a highly developed egalitarian society demands peaceful co-existence between various thoughts, opinions beliefs. But there is work to do and we hold it within ourselves individually to contribute to make this piece of rock that we were fortunate to inherit a better place.

For those of you who are interested, the two police officers who were involved in the inhuman behaviour in Meerut were suspended pending enquiry for taking the 'rule of law to an extreme'

Where are we going..

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