Monday, October 3, 2011

Compulsive Acceptance

I am sitting in an air conditioned room studying antennas. I don’t even like what I read. I am doing it for a reason beyond my comprehension so I tag it as compulsion. And then I wonder how I let such compulsion creep into my life.
In reality my own sense of freedom feels challenged every time I do something that is less than pleasant. I have no intention to defend my decisions, I bear the consequences but the fact that they create a feeling of suffocation make me wonder what compels me to take these decisions. I would like to believe that I can stand up for what I believe in. I would like to believe that I am an idealist, a romantic who wants to enjoy an idealist’s life. And yet I have to employ a pragmatic perspective also every time I make a decision. There is something about risks that scares me. I am a romantic, a risk taker who gets cold feet often. It’s never been difficult to stand up for something I feel is wrong. But when the wrong doing is hidden in the grey area my vision fades. I understand the grey area but how can I be expected to have a black or white stand when what I see is grey.
As a kid these decision were easier. You knew what was right and you knew what was wrong. Today those lines blur. You do things you don’t agree with yet you enjoy. You make mistakes that lead to self destruction. And yet you make those mistakes again. I am lost right now. Lost in translations, lost in viewpoints and often amused by the arguments I hear that intend to convince me towards a side. Some are bullet proof and yet sound wrong. Some are shady, blurry and yet make sense. In reality things hardly make sense anymore. Everything is too hazy.
Be it the world, be it personal life- there is always a grey area. In fact, there is only a grey area no black no white. No right no wrong. You can hear a story and believe a person, and then you hear the other side. Malevolence at times is obvious. Cruelty at times is strangely understandable (not acceptable). Living with a closed book of ideals turns you into either a bigot or a headstrong fanatic. Having an open mind often leaves you with no real stand to take. If you are willing to hear both sides, in your true honest form you must also lend them an ear of understanding. And when you begin to understand different perspectives of the same act, the same story, things cease to make sense to you. You can only understand perspectives but any conclusion you reach has the risk of a bias hidden in it.
You must now wonder, what really is wrong with holding a biased opinion? A biased opinion can often lead to alienation of a reasonable argument. What confuses me really is how does one take a stand without completely understanding a situation? Is it just to support a situation because you believe in a sentiment? Or is it better to support the sentiment and analyze the situation on stricter parameters? In reality, there is no analysis that can satisfy parameters of a sentiment without challenging one or the other. In such a situation you are compelled to pick a side you don’t fully agree with or you sit quietly behind a desk and stare into nothingness with a nod and a shrug.
What do you do when your voice is lost? When you can’t just stand up and say, “This is wrong” or “this is right” or even a simple “I agree” or “I disagree” just because you don’t feel qualified enough too.
Often everyone bullshits because it’s impossible to be absolutely correct but the thing with being relatively correct is that it borders irrationality which can be tremendously dangerous when arguing something worthwhile. Lawyers make a living out of defending ideals they might or might not uphold themselves. The question of morality is one that boggles the mind. Is it a concept only for story books and Disney movies? Or is morality a pragmatic solution? If it is who defines morality. Certainly one human, or one society or one world cant! You can never know both sides to a story.
There was a time when I believed in a certain minister who ruled the state I live in. I appreciated the fact that my standard of living had improved gravely in his regime. The place I live in had become better. I had more opportunities. I had a better lifestyle and my own city was becoming a mega city. But then the city was hit by communal violence. And there was chaos and murder between communities. A murdered B hence B justified him raping every woman that belonged to A. And then news came that cruel, inhuman massacre was carried out by some men. There was news that this was due to a leader I liked. And I saw a horrible face of humanity. The face where humanity perishes and inhuman cruelty begins. Experts often comment that inhuman cruelty is carried out by complete detachment. While committing an act of cruelty the person committing the crime looses touch with his humaneness and occupies a hardcore, cool and calculated position and carries out the crime as a chore. The very idea sends shivers down my spine.
For quite some time, I believed the falsehoods delivered on news. There was a time I believed that no one man can be the cause of so much blood. And yet with time I read more, I talked more and I found out things that exposed a very cool and calculated decision on one man’s side.  And my opinion changed. I began believing that one man can be capable of making a cold hearted decision when the choice presented to him is in terms of numbers and not human lives. The disconnection with humanity begins when you convert life into statistics. And statistics is what caused one of the greatest massacres of this decade. There is no one person I blame but I have lost faith. I feel guilty at times of the development for it cannot hide a cruel decision. And now when I talk to supporters of the same man their arguments sound hollow. How do you justify killing innocent families? How do you justify murder? How much can you hide the gory past under the fact that the present and the future look calmer and brighter?
If you disconnect and adopt a heightened sense of rationality you can understand the reason behind the decisions made. You can understand that in the long run there is a sense of uncomfortable peace in an area that was not there before. You can even understand the support that a man who made such a decision receives because of the kind of work he has done. You even appreciate it to an extent and applaud the man’s political brilliance. But you can never accept it. You can never justify it. And the fact that there is a sense of fear prevailing in the society, you cannot comprehend that a sense of autocracy and dictatorship prevails in you well developed area.
As long as you turn a blind eye, as long as you don’t stand in the way of a man on the rise, as long as you are docile and understanding you will prosper. The minute you strike the wrong chord or the minute you bring up a buried past so horrid you will lose your safety blanket.
In the end you are compelled to make a decision. You accept the crap they delve and you try to accept it. Or you ignore it and get on with your life. Because having known the facts or having heard the voices that you hear whining and wailing you cannot accept what happened. You can applaud the man for building a successful career. You can appreciate the political genius. You can even dismiss the allegations with the argument that every politician has skeletons in their closet. But deep down you cannot ignore the fact that a gruesome cruel crime in fact many gruesome cruel crimes were committed, innocent lives lost and no amount of political drama, justifications or at this point even an apology can change that. Ignorant we live in bliss. We don’t dare to see the other side. Some who see manage to construe it in such a way as to make it sound acceptable. Maybe they are paid to or maybe they have the ‘rationale’ to do so. But as a human being I cannot accept a future built on a bloody past.

Shweta Kulshreshtha

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