There was a battle field. There was a trophy. There were enemies. And most of all there was a war. There is a moment when the war is just about to begin. You stand in your corner, amidst your army. You are fired up, you have to fight, you do not know if you will live, you don’t know if you will die and the last thing you see is the enemy, the enemy you are supposed to kill.
The times were tough. There had been friction ever since they had begun living together. There were two war fronts. On one side stood the men who wanted liberation, who wanted equality, they called themselves the rebels and their enemies called them infidels. On the other side stood men who wanted supremacy, who wanted to suppress the weaklings, the infidels, the vandals, the outlaws and the outcasts. Their story began like every other story of dispute, of war.
For time, that cannot be recounted, they had lived in harmony. They followed a hierarchy, they survived. The weak stayed suppressed, the strong grew dominant. And the stronger they grew, the suppression increased, the dominance grew. And as the suppression grew, resistance was born.
It had been a singular incident that had sparked the revolution. A Supreme had bumped into a weakling. And in the name of punishment, the weakling had been beaten black and blue. Instead of fear, as the dominant had expected, this incident ignited a fury the Supremes could never have predicted. The weaklings soon turned into rebels. This incident had sparked an anger that was overdue. Their fury rose and spread like wild fire. The rebellion began and so did a change in the air. They took up all the arms they could find and declared a war, a war they would fight for their independence. Their battle was a battle for identity and most of all they had risen to demand what they felt they deserved and had been stripped of.
The rebellion made a lot of noise. The Supremes detested it. They considered it an affront to the rules they lived by. Not only had their supremacy been questioned but the weaklings demanded overturning a hierarchy that had sustained the entire establishment for a long time. They stood strong headed and strong footed. Their peaceful life had been upturned. There was sudden chaos and there were sudden battles. There were fights and there were atrocities. Every act became a prelude to a war that would come.
The dominants propagated their supremacy with the colour blue. They wore blue stripes to exaggerate and exhibit their supremacy. Hierarchy had granted them a supreme position and no one questioned hierarchy. The weaklings who had heralded themselves as the Rebels wore red. Their red stripes represented their freedom. They were no more a part of the blue hierarchy. It was a difficult time. There was impending doom. On the day of the war each man stood on the battlefield, ready to die for their belief, ready to die for what each thought was right.
In the blue camp, the leader stood in front of his army shining in his glory and his self imposed supremacy. His gallant stance inspired the army. They stood looking down upon their enemies. They were infidels, they were insignificant and most of all they were beneath them as the hierarchy stated.
The leader in blue turned to his men and with a grim expression on his face stated, “Men, before we begin this war, before we begin the downfall of the infidels I must state that we belong to a legacy far bigger than any of us. It is not about just winning a war. Winning this war is inevitable. We are supreme, we are the dominants. It is not just I who says so but it is written in our destiny. The messenger of God Himself carrying the document of destiny flew down in his white angelic abode to tell the emperor whose hierarchy we are here to protect today! It is us who are destined to win, and God has sent his will. No one can question fate, no one can overturn destiny. We are born to dominate, it is our birth right. We are the men who give these infidels a reason to stay useful. It is their duty to serve us, to follow our rules and to stay in their holes which the hierarchy has designed for them. These are not just my words, but the words of the emperor himself. He quotes the white angel of GOD, “The blue stripes fall ahead in line. The hierarchy is what designs our destiny.” The hierarchy is what tells those infidels that they are behind us and beneath us. They dare to stand ahead, they dare to question order, and they dare to question the authority of God. We are not fighting infidels today; we are fighting criminal miscreants who have misled our slaves. Slavery has no freedom. The slaves have forgotten this. They have forgotten who their masters are. And today as the braver and the better men we shall remind them! Fight till the last drop of blood on their end has not dried. Kill if you must. Be brutal, unleash the warrior within. Today if you show mercy tomorrow they will stand again. Bury them so that they never rise again. They never should ever question our supremacy. Remember this, engrave it in your minds if you have not yet they are not questioning you or me. They question our supremacy. Infidels, men who stand lower than the dirt beneath our feet have grown to question us, the Supremes. It is an affront to the king we love and respect, it is an affront to our manliness and most of all it is an affront to the sacred hierarchy we blindly trust and uphold. Avenge the insult, avenge the attack on each of us and avenge the blasphemy they have dared to commit. Fight like Supremes, show the infidels that they cannot call themselves our equals unless we allow them to!”
There was a fire lit inside every man in blue. Each of them heard their leader as if in a trance. These words had ignited within each of them their own supremacy. They were prepared for battle, their eyes said so. They were humans no more but savages waiting to pounce upon a prey. A lion had just been challenged by its prey. And the lion was roaring to attack.
On the other end of the battle field stood the rebels who were tired of being deemed as infidels. There was no leader. They all stood together. They were all equal right now. Each of them shared the misery of being treated as an infidel their entire lives. Their red stripes had left them at the bottom of the hierarchy. They had been denied equality and respect. They were denied the basic civility of being human. They stood together a little weak but strongly determined. There was no leader, there was no supremacy, and there was just a feeling, a feeling to die for their freedom. Suppression had altered them in ways they could not live with. The Supremes beat them up when they preferred, they were forced to perform acts that were inhumane, and there were atrocities no human deserved. The land was as much theirs as the blues. Their ancestors had walked the same land; they had consumed the same food and yet they were inferior without reason. Each of the rebels felt an energy inside them. No piece of paper which the Supremes marked as the document of hierarchy could dictate the terms in the land. They refused to accept that they were beneath anyone. They stood silently together with a chant emanating under their breath, “We fight for equality, no supreme, no infidel! We are equal!” They chanted in unison as if each was in a trance. There was determination deep rooted in each of them. It is when you are at the bottom that you begin to look up and attempt to rise. They were tired of being manipulated, insulted, treated like animals and discriminated against. None of the Supremes bothered to listen to their voice; none of the supreme allowed them the right to question or the right to live freely. Exploitation was at its peak. The rats in the place had more food. Time stood witness to the tremendous atrocities that they dealt with.
One of them who stood right in front walked ahead and spoke, “My friends, I am a simple man. I came here with a dream that I would get a roof over my head, food on my plate and nice friends to spend my life with. But I was insulted, beaten up, stripped, exploited and treated like a dog. Food was stolen from my mouth in the name of hierarchy. I was beaten for speaking up because hierarchy did not allow me to. I was tossed from here to there because the hierarchy said I was too insignificant to be called human. But I ask you, what is this hierarchy? Who is s Supreme to tell me I am insignificant. Just because the emperor we never see meets with the angel of GOD he gets to decide how things go about in this place? I say I do not believe in this angel of GOD. I have never seen him. I do not believe he is God’s messenger. We belong to the same God as the blue Supremes do! God is our Father too. We deserve everything they do. No document can tell me I am insignificant. I refuse to accept any such thing. I am a human being, I am alive and this life is mine and no one else can say otherwise. I will live like I want to. I will do what I want to. I will not confine to anyone else. I will not obey someone just because they wear a blue coloured stripe. I will not accept the balderdash they pass on as the document of hierarchy. I say I am the child of God created in the same place as the blue Supremes and living in the same place as the blue Supremes. Why should I accept anything less than what they enjoy? Why should my life be any less than theirs? In fact, I say I can be better than them. I can persevere more. I have more fire and more hunger than they will ever know. And today I will fight them for that right to compete on a platform where we are equal! Remember this when you are out there on the battle field that you are not fighting for anyone else but yourselves. It is how brave you are today that decides the fate of all of us tomorrow. Fight today not for anything less than your freedom. Fight for the right that they have stolen from you in the name of GOD and a messenger none of us know. They call us blasphemous. I call them blasphemous for taking the Lords name in vain and misusing the respect we keep for God in our heart to impose their false sense of supremacy. Today we will fight like rebels. We will not call them Supremes. They are like us, made of the same blood, made of the same bones and made of the same skin. WE will take what is ours and that is liberation. I will not ask you to kill. I will ask you to win. Because victory today stands for freedom tomorrow! Today we show them, we are no infidels, we are all equal! Gentlemen, it is time to ATTACK!”
With those words they ran and seeing the infidels run the Supremes ran. For an observer there was a moment of solidarity as the two fought. Each had a cause, each had a belief and they were fighting for their own reasons. As the battle ensued, somewhere in the distance a few men sat watching the entire spectacle. Some would call them messenger of GOD, some would call them God Himself and some would even call them the bearers of the document of hierarchy but they were someone else entirely.
One the other side of the huge two way glass came a voice “Wont some one get hurt?” It belonged to the curly haired girl whose name tag read Shanti Mohanty.
“Na, look at what they are using? They are safe, for now” came a voice ridden with ridicule and shock. This was a grey haired man with huge spectacles who called himself Dr. Madhav Sinha.
“I have never seen something so crazy in my life!” said the humble Mr. Gajendra Prasad. He was an old man, with a white overcoat, huge spectacles and oily hair.
“This kind of behaviour is so unexpected!” said Shanti.
“In a sense, yes, it is. We did not induce such behaviour and did not expect it as hell. It is interesting how each of them has responded to a system we implemented. I cannot believe it myself had I not seen it with my own eyes” said Madhav.
“Doctor saab, I never thought they would think I am the Messenger. I just call them in line for their medicines” said Gajendra.
“Shanti, who is this emperor character? Is it who I think it is?” said Dr. Madhav.
“Yes. He is the first person whom we call on the list. Hari Verma” replied Shanti.
“Hari seems totally harmless. I meet him every day. He always gets the others to behave and helps me distribute most of the medicines” said Gajendra.
“Ah! I should have known. He might be a sweet chap Gajendra ji, but he is also a brilliant man. I have read his file. His IQ is very high, the psychologists who analyzed him state that he has tremendous persuasive abilities and he can manipulate people easily. There was an actual moment between him and the psychologists where the psychologist felt vulnerable. Hence we have shifted him to the special ward and not kept him with the regular patients,” said Shanti.
“This entire ward is for special patients only. And as far as my own observations go, I have keenly observed Hari. He is quite capable of establishing the entire concept these people follow! Brilliant! Sheer brilliance. He has managed to create a war and look at him. He is safely seated in his safe haven observing the entire scene. A brain like his could run a country but he is stuck here in this place.”
Gajendra looked confused. He turned to the two of them, on the other side of the two way mirror. With a puzzling look he questioned, “Doctor saab, I do not understand. How can these people start a war in a mental facility? Look at them they are fighting with pillows and bed sheets! But the way they talk! It seems so real. And how can Hari do this? He is the most cooperative patient here! What is this angel, this document of hierarchy? I do not understand!”
The doctor and Shanti looked at him. The doctor began, “Mr. Gajendra, this is definitely unexpected behaviour! I can see how you are lost. Understand this, all that you see is the result of the brilliance of one man whose intellect is very dangerous. You see all these men were shifted into the special ward of our mental health facility because their psycho analysis declared them to be terminally sick. The idea of this special ward was to keep each of these patients under constant medical observation. Hence we place them in this room where we can observe them from the other side. See each of them is highly excitable and easily influenced. And it was imperative for us to keep them in a safe environment so that they do not hurt themselves.”
Shanti interjected, “Each of them has a special medication cycle which has been programmed into our hospital database. The entire working of this system has been computerised. These men are socially awkward. They tend to react unexpectedly in the presence of nurses, their relatives or other human beings. They are accustomed to each other primarily because they have grown used to it. So the computers take care of the medicine cycles and we have a few physicians like you here to carry their medicines to them and check up on them. You are provided with a computerised list and a packet containing the proper medicine, right? You know of nothing else. And that is why we always send you to give each of them their medicines. You are a familiar face!”
Dr. Madhav continued, “This document of hierarchy that they are talking of is this computerised list. It enlists them in the order of their case numbers. Hari has been with this facility for a long time. Hence he is on top of the list. He is always called first. He is even aware of the system. We built it in front of him. He even volunteered for the experimentative treatment we carried out before structuring this branch of the facility. He is aware of the entire list.”
Shanti then asked, “How did this blue and red come into the whole picture?”
Dr. Madhav laughed once and said, “some of the older patients were provided with blue suits as they are the old uniforms while the new ones wear the red ones. I am amazed how this colour difference got involved in the entire scene but the older patients have been treated for a longer time than the new ones. They are much more subdued and in control of their habits. But the new ones have just enrolled and their condition is, how should I put it, a little tender. Hence it is not easy for them to go about their daily habits easily. They need more care and cannot stand up to pressures as well as the old ones do. As a result they come off weaker than their priors. Hari is capable of creating the entire concept of GOD and the document of hierarchy in their heads but the rest can very well be their own imagination. He has literally created a war in a mental health facility! And you Dr. Gajendra are their angel of God or messenger of GOD or whatever they call him. You are the one who carries the list everyday and so you are the one who tells them who gets to eat first, who gets to be supreme! Do you understand?”
Gajendra stood there in utter shock.
Dr. Madhav stared at the entire spectacle in awe.
Hari smugly sat in one corner on his bed with his blanket around him. He looked at the entire war with a sense of victory in his eyes.
Shanti wrote down every observation she could note. She was furiously typing out everything on her tablet. She looked up at the doctor and said, “I think we should start work on our research paper! This would be a brilliant case study!”
All Dr. Madhav could do was stare. He had never seen an independence struggle induced by a database management system. He never thought he would see one in a mental healthcare facility. Today he would have something to think about.
In its true element war begins when there is friction. Friction can result from any kind of experience. We often underestimate the finer details. You do not need much to begin a war, you do not need much to start a rebellion. All you need is someone telling you your place and the courage to refuse.