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We live in times when expressing outrage loudly and repeatedly – either online or offline – is the only way to show that you care. Do not judge me because I express my concerns differently, says this post.
I am not an extremist. No, I don’t shout slogans as the face of an angry mob. I am not a flag-bearer of repugnant individualism, neither do I believe in martyrdom when it comes to me. I have also never raised my voice on social issues, gender issues, or any political issues, for that matter. I neither deify such acts nor do I condemn them. I am just confined to my comfort zone where I ponder about the necessity of my own existence.
I watch the news in agony, like any other bystander and I am disturbed about the ongoings of the present. I come back home every day to find a refuge among the known smells and sounds. On disturbing days, when everyone seems to have an opinion, I write my heart out on a virgin paper. In prints of black, I try to unleash the ferocity within.
Of course, I am bewildered by the thousand disputes that crop up every other day, matters that demand justice within the periphery of my just vision – but I am scared of taking a stand in hurtling and pelting stones towards the evil doers. Does that make me a lesser person? Do I need to do what the Romans do to justify my part in building a better Rome?
The silence of a good man has never benefited anyone, they say. How do you define silence?
Not carrying placards and standing outside, rattling the gates of justice?
Not posting pictures of violence and commenting on them?
Not joining the crowd and lying down on the roads, blocking the traffic, till the demands are met?
Not fasting unto death?
Not believing in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth?
Well, if this is what silence is, then I am mute. I have been mute all my life. I just believe in the peace within my family, and I believe that if all believed in the peace within their families, we would never have anything to worry about with the rest of the fraternity. Peace has to dwell within every individual heart for it to reflect in action. Now, I cannot vouch for the rest of the world, but I can surely say about my stance on loss of peace.
The news channels – hunting for sizzling stories, glorifying rape and murder with their horrifying portrayal – have been a major reason for restless minds. I keep away from these news channels and I turned to another source of my local snippets – Facebook. It was a world where I could be the Peeping Tom without anyone knowing, where I could be enraptured by someone else’s happiness.
But again, nowadays, I see the same sad, tragic, hurtful stories in there – every status update being a slogan, crying out, to invoke the humans in us. A friend of mine recently posted a status update on Facebook. It read: “I stopped watching the news because it showed only tragedy and was depressing. Now Facebook walls are filled with them. Everyone is talking about humanity. Some few good intentions in spreading awareness and a few prayers definitely go a long way in remedying damages being done, but the only way we can unite is when there is a threat to the collective existence of humans themselves. I believe it’s high time the aliens start their invasion. Then together we can fight against an interplanetary threat.”
Now it’s a different thing altogether that I don’t believe in aliens, but he has clearly driven home his point. We are so surrounded by tragedies that we need a real big one to shackle all of us out of our shells.
I will never pelt stones or carry placards defining my views, but I care.
My silence has been defined with an infinite patience to wait for an inbound change – in the system, in the institutions, and in the world. It never means that I care less. My love for happiness has made me look like an infidel. I tread on eggshells in my search for expression. I will never pelt stones or carry placards defining my views, but I care. I may never burn effigies or police cars or public buildings, because I care. After a day filled with nauseating traumas of an unjust, corrupt world, all I do is throw up on my white sheet of paper.
Do not be quick to judge me for my silence. I just have my own way of expressing; after all, we live in a nation that believes in the freedom of expression, don’t we?
Pic credit: Image of an angry woman via Shutterstock.