RAGE AND FEAR
Anger and Fear are the predominant emotions of our times today.
We are a nation of scared people. The generation above us was scared for economic and social reasons and our generation seems to be scared of change. Contrary to what we might say, many people do not want the system to change. They hold on to things and claim it in form of tradition.
I asked a Hindu friend of mine at a dinner party, “Would you be ok if your only daughter fell in love with a Muslim?” And she smiled and said, “I’m sure that won’t happen.”
I asked another friend of mine, “What if your only son told you he was a homosexual?” And the man turned to me and replied, “Why even think of such things?”
I asked family members who had attended Anna Hazare’s fast, “Have you ever given a bribe to get off a speeding ticket? Or to get your passport done early? Or to an `agent’ to process your license?” And they laughed and said, “Everyone does that.”
So why are we not changing? Why are we not progressing? Because it is easy and blissful to remain in a state of unawareness. Our parents were fearful that their kids would marry different caste or religions. Somewhere we’re still fearful of that. Otherwise why would there be so many matrimonial ads slotted into a person’s religion, caste and region? Let us stop doing that at least.
Our parents were fearful that they would not be able to save up enough to give their kids a secure life. We are fearful that there will be no security.
Lawlessness stems from fear. Fear stems from anger.
If we don’t get our way, we have no faith in the system to provide help. We help ourselves. That is what we are being taught now. A boyfriend murdering a girl’s ex lover, spouses shooting each other, bomb blasts, rapes, theft, and burnings. It stems from anger at not being able to get what they want and an impatience to want it right away. And it is not only in urban areas, the rural villages are imitating what they see and hear from the urban centers. There was a recent incident in Karwas village, 20 km from the Jaipur-Delhi highway that shocked the entire village. Two teenage girls watched as their lover slit their parents’ throat because they were not allowed to have sexual relations with him.
Where does this come from? People are asserting themselves but in the wrong way. Everyone has an attitude. Adolescents’ mottos are “I don’t care” and “I want it now!”
We fear “What will people think?”
We fear “What will our neighbours say?”
We fear “What if we make a mistake?
We fear “What if it doesn’t look nice?”
But it won’t be. Uncomfortable situations will arise. Delays will be imminent. And feathers will be ruffled. So what?
We need to do the right thing for our country. Not just for ourselves.
We need to stand up for the greater good and not just for economic benefit or cheap publicity.
We need to start believing that it is ok if Big Brother USA does not like what we do. Once we start believing that we will not take a single bribe or that we will not care if our kids marry Pakistanis, or that we will not fear the hand of the UN, we will rise above the pettiness of everyday and become a stronger nation.
And it needs to start today. With each and every one of us. We have to believe in the right things. We have to have an attitude of caring for a stronger future. We have to demand answers. And ask the right questions. We need to elect the right people. We need to work together.
We have to stop being angry. With religion, caste, creed, sex or a system. And channel the energy into being productive.
And we have to stop being afraid of the outcome.