Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Discovering Anarchy

Until a few days ago, I was like any one of you. I existed in a cocoon of placid self-belief and faith in my world. I had dreams and hopes, some expectations in life. I had plans.

Increasingly, it's becoming obvious that what I think doesn't matter, doesn't even exist.
All of us are living in a state of collective self-hypnosis. We have convinced ourselves that we have rights, freedoms, privileges. We have the right to dream and the freedom to pursue that dream, and now, in the last decade, we have the resources.
Here's some of the basic myths we all live under. Tell me you disagree.

1. The government will take care of me if I pay my taxes, vote responsibly and follow my duties as a citizen. They will maintain and develop infrastructure, healthcare, education, law & order, national security.

2. As an Indian citizen, I can live anywhere in India without prejudice or discrimination if I do not deliberately offend my neighbors.

3. My children will be safe in school, in a park, at malls and multiplexes, in public transport.

4. If someone hurts me illegally, or cheats me, or robs me, the police and the courts will give me
justice and punish the wrongdoer.

5. My vote counts and my taxes are used properly.

Do you really believe that? Really?
It's all a delusion. I'm beginning to understand now. We live in a concealed anarchy, a state where a semblance of order is carefully laid on top of chaos, and served up to us in media, in opinions, in implicit and explicit education, in socialization.
There are no guarantees in life, and we all know that all of the above may or may not apply to us at random.
Someone with power and connections can do exactly what he wants and get away with it. Whether it is evading crores of taxes or casually raping, killing and throwing away the body of a child on the road.
I can die anytime - by terrorist hand, by drunk driving, knifed by the addict on the footpath, of dengue or malaria, in a collapsing building built with substandard material, in an armed robbery, of fake medicines in a hospital, anything.
I can just as easily die in a genuine road accident, have a heart attack, be struck by lightning, slip and fall downstairs.
And I'm using death as an example - but it applies equally to success and failure at work, in studies, in business, at relationships.
Chaos is everywhere, around every corner. All we do in life is try to limit that chaos, by creating rules and order. By creating certain support for life. That's why we believe in dial-100, in ambulances, the operation theater, in anything.

But the truth is - what we thought was order, structure, rules, isn't really there. We just thought it was. What is there is anarchy, chaos, lawlessness, where the strongest person always wins, and the weaker one is eaten up or dies.
I can choose to be weak - or be strong. Choose which way I want to live. I know what I deserve out of life; I know I can make that happen.
But in understanding that, I'm also acknowledging the death of a dream. It could have been better, it could have been wonderful.
It's still going to be good, but just for a few of us.
And all the rest are going to hell.


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