FEAR: THE ALL-CONSUMING REALITY OF TODAY’S INDIA
It is indeed a pity that I have to start the first post in my new blog to express a negative emotion like fear. Let me first tell you how the whole sordid tale of this post came about. A few days back I had signed a petition challenging the incarceration of the Gujarat Cadre IPS officer Sanjiv Bhat in a 22 year old case.
Bhat has not been given bail for nearly a year in spite of several appeals. He has approached the Supreme Court several times but the honourable court has repeatedly pointed out that the matter is something that has to be decided by the Gujarat High Court. I for one sincerely feel that it is actually a witch hunt that is being carried out and Bhat definitely deserves to be give bail. When politicians committing much more horrendous crimes get bail, I do not see why Bhat should be denied bail and that too in a 22 year old case.
To cut a long story short I signed a petition in Change.org when they sent it to me as an email. Change.org frequently send me emails about petitions as I subscribe to them. I have signed other petitions also with them. I sign petitions when I feel that something wrong is happening and the cause is very dear to me. These include petitions demanding action by college authorities against professors for misbehaving with girl students, petitions that fight for farmer’s causes and several others of a similar kind.
After signing the petition recommending the release of Sanjiv Bhat, I mistakenly shared it as emails and ended up sending it to all the people in my address book. With the result, the petition went to numerous people. It was a plain mistake. Normally I share such petitions on FaceBook and Twitter, but I have never been in the habit of sending emails.
I am a techie and I have been working for the past twenty-seven years as an information technology professional. But that did not prevent me from committing the simple mistake of pressing the wrong button. I know many people might be wondering what kind of a goddamned techie I am. Actually the truth was I was distracted when I was pressing the buttons.
To cut a long story short one of the people to whom this email went to was my mother. My mother is a 79 year old woman who has very little idea about technology. But due to the repeated insistence of myself and my sister she has learnt the rudiments of operating a tablet which we have purchased for her.
Usually she never bothers with the tablet but yesterday she took it out for some reason and she found my email about the petition. The result was I got an one hour lecture today about how dangerous it was to take cudgels against politicians and what might happen if I continued along the same lines. The poor woman was terrified and she took my word that I will not do such things again.
Well, by writing this post I am breaking the word I gave my mother. Sorry amma, my apologies but I have a very strong reason for this.
You know, by nature I am not a highly emotional patriot, nor do I cater to this ultra sensitive form of desh bhakthi that is being touted nowadays. Through out my school days I was bullied badly by my class mates and had a very traumatic childhood.
I turned to my parents for help but somehow it did not work out. I could not turn to my teachers because they simply would not lend a listening ear. So I grew up in fear and trepidation and was a deeply disturbed youth when I joined IIT. During my four years in IIT I had the same fear and lack of confidence.
The rot continued throughout my career and the result was I had a rather chequered career. But now I am 53 and I have realised something which should have been evident to me long back. It does not pay to run around being frightened. The more a person tries to compromise due to fear the more he is likely to be put down by the powers that be.
Today I sincerely feel that there are a lot of things that are happening in our country that are not right. It is not that these things have not happened before. But only now India has reached a point where we are being told what to eat, whom to marry and several other things that are a matter of personal choice. People are being lynched on the streets. And that is the reason I have written this post though at the back of my mind I am feeling frightened. But then, I know what happens if you allow fear to overcome your sensibilities as a human being.