Of Cabbages and Kings

August 21, 2008

Binayak Sen

Dr. Binayak Sen, somebody who has done a lot more for the country than most people, is now a victim of the ridiculous charade that passes off as justice in India. He has been in prison for over a year now. Read about him over here. If you are moved, you could sign the petition to free him.

Imprisonment of people that speak out against the government is becoming unsettlingly frequent. There was Professor Geelani a few years back, Binayak Sen last year and Ajay TG this year. And these are merely the high profile cases that find their way into the media.

So many of us, the Indian middle class, feel so complacent and secure sitting on our plush couches watching fluffy shows like Big Boss on our flat screen televisions and driving to expensive restaurants in our glittering cars. Once in a while, we see newsreports of bombs and terrorists which disturb us a little. Like frightened children swallowing a fairy story to rationalise surroundings that we don’t understand, we accept draconian laws trustingly and have touching faith in the police who we believe will use all this power we give it to shoot all the bad guys and make the roads safe for our new cars.

In the meantime, the people who can see what is really going on and who speak out against it are slowly being erased – the mild form of this removal is that they are ignored and the extreme form of their disappearance is that they are arrested – and we have no idea that this is going on.

Ours is a country where each of us has the freedom of speech and expression, and the right to ask questions when we can see that rule of law is not observed. By ignoring our right and allowing ourselves to be lulled into complacence, we are creating a frightening country for ourselves to live in. And by our indifference we are allowing the few heroes who champion our cause to be annihilated.

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