“The world suffers a lot. Not because the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of the good people” – Napoleon Bonaparte
What has happened to us? Why are we so insensitive to the violent attacks on innocents? How long are we going to say the country isn’t safe for women and not do anything to make it safe? From where do anti-social elements get the spine to threaten social harmony and peace of the state? The goons know that the law would take its course but why aren’t they afraid of the law? How long are we going to say it’s the job of the government and just remain bystanders without doing anything?
70 innocent children died in Gorakhpur and no one protested. People indulge in violent activities against the arrest of a rape convict, Baba Ram Rahim Singh. Thousands get on the streets to defend a rape convict. Did they even think of the victim and the pain she would have gone through to bring this out to the courts?
Whose side are we on?
More than the government, the people are to be blamed. It’s the people who form the government. As Abraham Lincoln said, the government is “of the people, by the people, for the people”. It’s we the People who are the reason for the existence of the government. By remaining silent, we are as much responsible for these violent happenings as the anti social elements.
Did we forget that it’s the duty of every citizen to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India? It is our duty to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious and social diversity. It is our duty to safeguard public property and to abjure violence. That’s what the Constitution says; but most of us are unaware of it. It’s the job of every citizen to ensure the safety of another citizen, especially in times of violence.
A man who indulges in violence is feared. All these people who follow the Godmen and all those cults want to prove to the society only one thing – they are above the law of the land. Is the law of the land enough to stop this and prevent all this from happening in the future? I would say, no, that’s not enough. Laws are never enough, unless the citizens get involved in safeguarding constitutional values.
There are no two sides to bigotry. There are no two sides to hate. There’s no way one can justify injustice and violence. There is no way one can justify the killing of innocents in the name of riots. There’s no way one could defend a rapist without supporting the act of rape.
Leaving things only to the government (especially, when they are complicit) is not enough. People would have to actively resist. A mere message of condemnation is not enough. You can’t just sit and say you’re neutral. There are only two polarities – right and wrong. The side of the rape convict or the side of the victim. There’s no in-between. As Desmond Tutu said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
It’s our call now. It’s a responsibility we can’t run away from. You either resist or you join hands with the fraudsters and goons. If you tremble with indignation at every injustice and acts of violence by anti social elements, then resist. Resist them in such a way it strikes fear in the mind of every anti social element, who tries to disturb social harmony. Resistance doesn’t mean taking up arms and fighting violence with violence.
The resistance I refer to is a rejection by the citizens and rejection by the society of these anti-social elements, so that it affects them psychologically not to harm others. Harm none and you are good; harm one and you will be rejected by each and everyone one of us, including those in your family.
The resistance should not only be rejecting the anti-social elements. It also should be a rejection of those blind believers and those Godmen, who use their beliefs for selfish gains. The only way to prevent such things from happening in future is to create awareness. Awareness can only be created by teaching people to be rational. Parents should teach the kids on how to think and not what to think. Our education system teaches us to obey and not question. Children should be taught and encouraged to question everything. Unless one questions, there is no way to understand things. And what of the grown-ups? It’s never too late to start thinking and questioning things. As the saying goes, “A man who questions is stupid for a while but a man who doesn’t question remains a fool forever.”
As per the Indian Constitution, it’s the duty of every Indian citizen to “develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform,” which most of us are completely unaware of. What good is education if it doesn’t help us and others.
Yes, religious beliefs are a private matter as long as it doesn’t affect others and it doesn’t disturb the harmony and integrity of the state. The freedom to swing your hand ends where my nose begins. One can’t destroy public property and tell people it’s a private matter of faith. The followers of Ram Rahim have literally threatened the integrity of the country. If the violent actions of the followers aren’t considered an-anti-national, I don’t know what else is.
If you read the letter the victim had written, you will notice that the girl’s parents wouldn’t believe her because of the blind faith they had towards the Godman. Is this what we want our kids to go through? Their inability to share their problems with their parents? You don’t have to be a parent to understand this; you should just be a human with a heart.
Some lessons are learnt the hard way. It’s a fight against inhumanity. It’s a fight against blind faith. It’s a fight against innocents being brainwashed and turned into violent mobs.
Enough of being gentle, enough of going soft on them. It’s time we put an end to the cult culture. It’s time we stop creating god men. It’s time we spread awareness against blind faith. If you still think it’s the fault of the government, remember people deserve the government – it’s this government you voted for.
Always remember rationality is the only way to counter blind faith.
The writer would like to be known by his nom de gurre, Arrow. He is a proclaimed liberal from the South, a political observer, and an engineer by education. Twitter: @asyounotlike.
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