Dear Pseudo-secular Pseudo-liberal citizen of India,
If you think that filling up the pubs is the best way to protest against moral policing, that is you prerogative. We may discuss the efficacy of this method, but that does not undermine the fact that you have the right to pursue it. Personally, I would put this latest method of protest in the same category as all-night-long-our-candles-burn-along, or click-and-whine-my-petition’s-online. May be movies like Rang De Basanti give you the necessary intellectual justification to remain ignorant of the available provisions under the constitution, thereby urging you to resort to innovative and profound ways of protests such as these. There are many amongst you, who prefer such easy and hollow ways to gain satisfaction of having raised their voice against every issue the media makes a noise about. I tend to ignore such voices for my own sanity. They represent a point-of-view, which I do not subscribe to, but whose right to exist I do recognize.
But the case with Ms Chowdhary is different. In case you don’t know, let me remind you that she is the Honourable Union Minister. May be I didn’t vote her into power, and may be I don’t intend to vote her into power. But that does not mean that as a union minister, she does not represent me, since I too am a citizen of this country. So, when she too chooses to disregard or remain ignorant of the provisions present in the constitution to tackle the issues of law-and-order and instead advocates methods of protest, I have to raise my voice, since she, through her ignorance and incompetence, is misrepresenting me.
Now coming to the issue of rights, while I have a fairly decent understanding of what my rights are, I have no problems with the honourable minister reminding the citizens of what their rights are. But when the honourable minister tells me how I should exercise that right, I am well within my rights to tell her to take a hike. Because it is none of her business to make that decision for me.
Let us now come to the raging issue of Muthalik. The man who has been made a celebrity by the media in a short span of a week, has been a non-entity in the area of Mangalore all this while. He tried his best to garner attention, but has hardly gotten any. The likes of him, only look around for umbrellas to execute their personal agendas. The Hindu culture is the umbrella he has been desperately trying cling on to. But he hasn’t had any success so far. Because, any right minded Hindu would tell you, the Hindu Culture is way too vast and dynamic to be represented by any one person or one ideology. Hailing from this country which has it’s roots in this rich culture, one would have expected you, the media and the Honourable Minister to understand this simple fact. But no, you chose to be ignorant about it as well. Owing to this ignorance, instead of calling his bluff, you chose to grant legitimacy to it. Thanks to your legitimacy, you gave him what Hindus have been denying him all this while, an existence as a representative of the ancient culture which in turn has made him believe that he has the right to be the moral police. Whenever some right minded people try to call this bluff on the national television, your news anchors keep shoving the microphone away from them, lest they try to ward of your ignorance.
Thus, due to sheer ignorance and immature handling of this whole issue, you have created a monster out of a vapour-man and beefed him up. Now that both you and the vapour-man have deluded yourselves into believing in the existence of this pseudo-monster, you are asking me to pledge my right for your cause of deterring this monster. To top it, we now have our honourable union minister who is providing voice for this cause of yours, as if sending out a signal that the public resources have no better purpose than warding off such delusive creatures. Your choice to remain in a delusion is one thing, while asking a fellow citizen to participate in it is quite another.
The democratic system of government gives us the personal freedom, but it is our responsibility to exercise it wisely. May be you have decided to choose personal advantage over personal freedom and outsourced your right of judgement to the media, which is exercising it’s new-found power to spoon-feed you with all the fancy news that gets filtered through it’s agenda. But your apathy is not something that can be generalized. May be the media is really delusive to believe that the public is too damn naive that it needs to play the role of a preacher and teach the public what needs to be done. But a delusion is not the same as reality. I am not underestimating the importance of the media in a free society. No doubt it is important. But it’s importance is only limited to placing all available facts on the table thereby enabling the public to make the judgement. It does not have the authority to pass a judgement.
I don’t like Muthalik playing moral police. But I don’t like the media or ministers playing the intellectual police either. The battle against the moral police can atleast be fought and won through appropriate legal channels, but the battle against the intellectual police, I have to fight on my own.