Every so often, it becomes important to sit down and question. And so, the Question of the Day, seems to be something on the lines of –
“Does anyone, anyone at all, know what the hell is going on?”
It’s all nice and easy to say that X is anti-national, or Y is autocratic or whatever. But whatever it is that you are saying, with so much certainty and sense of finality, it implies you are very well aware of the repercussions of what you say, and with the knowledge of this, you stand by what you say.
Even if all you have done, is actually pressed on that WhatsApp message, copied that message and then touched that right arrow and broadcast it to the 256 contacts on your phone, who then have forwarded to 256 more such blow-hards.
You still stand by what you say. Or forward.
But then, that implicitly assumes you know what is going on.
What if you don’t? What if you’re being played?
This thought keeps coming to me, when I see people express their anger on social media. Eminently normal people, people who I meet and see every once in a while, some close, some not so, all evidently have a humongous reservoir of anger deep inside, where they express what’s deep inside. They call people names, they advocate murder, support lynching on the foundation of whataboutery, call for armed revolt, and what not. Many of these do this, even though, their “side” is supposedly the responsible one.
Do these people have any clue to what they’re saying?
And then people like this, vote for people like them, who then land up in the corridors of power.
Either completely clueless, or extremely cognizant, of the power they wield.
The worst part is, I don’t know which of the two, is the scarier scenario.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)