Silence of the Lambs
Next time, ask: What’s the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end. And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. ― Audre Lorde
A great leader once said, “Change only comes when people are angry. Think about how to make people angry.” As we look around us, there are many reasons for us to feel angry.
- Covid has disrupted our lives. To put it more precisely, government action has disrupted our lives. If we don’t open now, what will make us open? The vaccine? Which is still many months away in the most optimistic scenario. What happens till then? But we will be brave and put up with the pain for many more months.
- Why are we making Indian customers pay more for inferior quality products by putting restrictions and tariffs on imports? All of these are failed ideas from the 1960s and 70s. Closing India to the world will also hurt our exports. And jobs. But we are stoic. We will not get angry.
- Our opaque EVMs could come under threat, as I explained earlier. But we will keep our calm even if we don’t know if our vote is being correctly counted or not.
- Banks are barely lending, which hurts MSMEs. But we don’t care because we want the big to become even bigger. It doesn’t matter if the smaller enterprises are the ones which really create the jobs.
- Chinese soldiers patrol Indian territory, after having killed 20 of our soldiers. But who cares about some rocks in the middle of nowhere? We will not be angry. We have always welcomed foreign invaders – Mughals, British and now the Chinese.
- A few business houses handpicked by the political leadership can get all the benefits. But we will not get angry with cronyism. After all, some Big Business People are more equal than others.
- We have another government which discriminates on religion. Hindu temples and educational institutions need government interventions, but not those of other religions. Scholarships are not meant for Hindu kids. But we will control our anger.
- We have an education system that doesn’t make our youth ready for the workers industry needs. But we rejoice at a new policy that still retains controls everywhere.
- We cheer and clap at the words of our leaders, forward their videos and ignore their actions. Because we are above anger.
- We will not question our leaders on any of these points. Instead, we will discuss the trivial that the media dishes out at us to distract us. Because that does not make us angry.
We can go on. We are peace-loving Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, and the like. India is just a line drawn on a map. If we can afford it, we will send our kids abroad so they never have to come back – just like most politicians and bureaucrats do with their children.
When will we think India first? When will we become Indians and fight for the future of our country against the evils within? Xi taunts us every day. On the border, with the goods we buy, with the distractions our leaders create. Once upon a time, his people were as poor as us. Today, they can walk all over us. And we stand, stare in silence, and remove their apps from our screens on the instructions of our government. Is this our India that our forefathers had imagined in 1947? If not, are we prepared to do something about it? Are we even ready to fight? Or, like our political and economic leaders, have we too surrendered and decided to live life in our bunkers?
Tomorrow: Part 13