This one time I am going to speak for something that I truly believe in. I have never let out the person on this blog who people get to see outside the realm of online space. Frankly, I did not, and I still don't, consider it an ethical practice. The issue, however, is above what I consider ethical. It is about rights - the Right to Free Speech.

Unlike countries that pretend to grant rights to their citizens under the garb of democracy, we are a Nation that actually does it. No, not pretend. In fact, we pretend to have no rights at all in this Nation. As a race, we humans have always connected with adversity. And perhaps Indians lead the pack when it comes to making that connection. But the fact remains that in India someone can call the Deputy Prime Minister a murderer (as an aggrieved father did to Mr. LK Advani after the Gujarat riots) and not be sent to jail for it - a contrast to the scene that unfolded during a press conference in the White House post 9/11 where a scribe was arrested under the Patriot Act simply because he asked the President a question he had no answer to.

You take this right away - this right to free speech - and you signal the death of democracy. Drat, I shall not use the term 'democracy' again. I have seen it mutilated and abused so often that it has sadly lost the ability to generate the ethos and the fervour it once could. It has become a buzzword, something you use when you want to impress a gathering of 'socialites'.

All that humanity has so fervently worked for, all that we have done so far has been made possible because of speech (written or oral). You take speech away from man and you might as well put him next to a Chimpanzee on the evolutionary scale.

And that is why it makes the act of banning any medium of free speech ghastly, more so when it has the sanction of a government elected by the people. Like most of us, I am not going to go up in arms against the government for banning blog sites. Honestly, I don't have it in me to do that and I make no bones about it. But I can write out against it, hoping that I reach out to someone who can make a difference. I can't even appeal to the consciousness of the people to galvanise themselves into action because I have done nothing to do that either.

But I can do one thing. I can feverishly pray that people exercise their rights to vote. Only 58% of India's eligible voters cast their ballots. Put loosely, this means that we get people to rule us who are only 58% competent to do their jobs. Then we complain of the sad state of affairs we are in. Let's stop whining.

Current Mood: Gloomy
Current Music: Music-less