“But living in a reality is exactly like being inside a dream. If you try to control it, it will wake you up and ruin the fun.”
Being Told What to Do
Isn’t being told what to do the most convenient thing? It relieves you of the burden of thinking. It frees you from any suffering that doubt may pose. It soothes your anxious heart. In my opinion, JFK was wrong in telling people to ask what they can do for their country, the best practices require a citizen to do what the country says, without bombarding it with questions.
In the spirit of telling us what to do, in his first public address on the COVID-19 outbreak, Modiji told his fellow citizens to observe a ‘junta curfew’ and to bang thaalis for 5 minutes on March 22nd.
Seeing the overly overwhelming response, on April 3rd, we were told that we are to switch off electric lights at 9 pm on Sunday for nine minutes, and light candles or diyas so that we could “progress towards light and hope”.
Exact figures are not known, but somewhere between two and three anti-nationals criticized the thaali banging direction as a move to create a ritualistic public spectacle. Hence, in his second direction, Modiji removed all possibility of diya lighting turning into a photo-op for people by instructing that we do this at 9 PM instead of 5 PM. In the words of Supreme Court justice Arun Mishra, Modiji is a “versatile genius” and much more.
ALSO READ: GLOBALISATION AND NATIONALISM
In these crisis-ridden times, not doing what one is told to do amounts to a clear act of destroying the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the Indian state and should be punished mercilessly.
I am told that Section 188 of the Criminal Procedure Code, disobeying an order passed by a civil servant, is being used against people who are stepping out of their houses. This deeply disappoints me. Where has government’s love for sedition law gone? Have national emergencies gone out of fashion? Is tear gas use being avoided thinking we’re already tearful?
Of course, in every civilized society, there are some rebels who the rest of us have to constantly remind to not be ‘SO negative’. These people, read left wing Jamia-types, are actually out on a mission to undermine the optimism that we hold so dearly. Why can’t these people leave us alone in this reality that our government has created? I suggest they be falsely tested positive for COVID and quarantined at Kala Pani. Maybe Air India can drop them off on their way to getting PPEs for our healthcare workers.
If we’ve learnt anything in the last 6 years, it is that manufactured realities are beautiful and relaxing, besides being great for public relations. But alas, realities are hard to pull off. They require the collective effort of official and unofficial spokespersons, the media, WhatsApp groups, IT cells and a lot of money. We must unequivocally laud the government for the long hours that it has had to put in to meticulously construct this art. Just imagine where would India be if all this effort went into doing something less productive.
But living in a reality is exactly like being inside a dream. If you try to control it, it will wake you up and ruin the fun.
In conclusion, I take the following pledge, “I will do as the government says. I will look the other way if it looks the other way. I will not look at all if it doesn’t want me to. This government is my one and only saviour.”
Tushar Kohli is a B.A.LLB student in Army Institute of Law. The views expressed are strictly personal