Innocence

From Indian Express


There is no way to rule innocent people, as Ayn Rand said. How do you put any sort of control on innocent people? And ruling is all about putting controls, isn’t it?  “The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals,” said Rand. If there aren’t enough criminals, the government will make them. You declare more and more things as illegal and then it becomes impossible for people to live without breaking laws.

   From the time the Modi government came to power in 2014 an endless list of laws has been implemented. A facile taxing system called GST, Real Estate Regulation Act, laws for recovery of debt, insolvency and bankruptcy, linking almost everything under the sun with Aadhar… It’s a formidable list. Then there are the unwritten rules implemented by all sorts of volunteers like the various Senas: what food you can eat and cannot eat, what dress you may wear, who you can marry, which god you can worship, in which language you should give interviews and write exams…

   Modi’s party leaders are now clamouring for rewriting the Constitution of the country. They want to make more things illegal for certain sections of the country’s population. Will the country have enough jails to hold all the new criminals who will be created by the new Constitution?

   Personally, I would have loved to live a life far away from politics and politicians. In the pre-Modi era, it was not impossible to retain your innocence by choosing to stay away from politics and living your life as privately as possible. Yes, there was a lot of corruption. You had to bribe almost everybody on the way in order to get things done particularly in government offices. Corruption has not become any less now and, worse, a lot more things have become difficult. Survival itself has become difficult with prices of almost everything rising day after day. Our farmers have chosen to throw their produces on the road in despair. Many of us will soon be forced to throw ourselves on the road in utter dejection.

   The greatest tragedy is that you can’t even choose to live in the privacy of your home and workplace retaining your sanity and innocence. The government has entered everywhere under the guise of cleaning up public life. Maybe, this is cleaning up: letting people perish.

   Innocence is dead. You have to break laws if you want to survive. Otherwise get ready to throw yourself on the road.


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