It is a crucial time in India right now. Our freedom of speech has gone through so many ups / downs and has taken a beating over and over. We have banned books, banned movies, and censored anything we possibly can.
We are a nation that lives for controversy. We look forward to it. We get upset every time someone says something to us. Our priorities are wrong.
I think this AIB incident is bringing our freedom of speech and expression into question and I feel that those of you who read this should try to understand, that it is not abusive language that we are fighting for, it is the ability to speak up, and speak up freely without fear.
The reason I write anonymously and have been doing so for the past few months is only because in this modern world, with the internet, and in a so called democracy, with fundamental rights and freedom, I am still scared. I am afraid that someone will find out who I am, object to what I say and arrest me or even worse, shoot me in the face.
One of my earlier posts was about a fictional account on the Obama visit. A series of 3-4 pictures captioned with hard truths. But as soon as I published it, I changed the title to use the word “fictitious” and wrote a little disclaimer at the end telling all readers that I in no way want to offend them or cause trouble. I am ASHAMED OF MYSELF FOR BEING THAT AFRAID.
Between AIB’s videos, TVF’s newest video and Being Indian’s Video, and the online coverage of recent events, it is obvious that the time to speak is now. I think the greatest crime we could commit at this time, is allow this dialogue to die down and not speak up any more. The discussion on free speech, reduced censorship, and this constant need by the people to feel offended/threatened needs to be addressed now.
Our country, the government and people in power continue to feel threatened by anyone who comes along and questions the system. This must change. The point of living in “The World’s Largest Democracy” was to be able to have a system of checks and balances. That system is constantly failing. And while the people in power are to blame, I think the citizens in the country are to blame as well. Especially the small percentage who are better educated than the rest. We waste the advantage we have by keeping silent.
Our traditional sources of news and media are owned by the very people we would like to talk about. We are left with only a handful of “clean” sources. Over time, they too will be taken over or stopped. That cannot be allowed. Perhaps I sound like someone who sees a doom and only doom, and I assure you that is not the case. What I see is an opportunity for us, the young people of this country to try and fix it.
Your attention is held for very short periods and I hope you agree that everyone focussing on one event is very rare. Use this time wisely, speak out! Maybe we could actually bring about a change this time, we are almost there.