It's The Grey Areas Of Life That Are Truly Frightening
It’s the invisible that has to be feared more than anything else.
Setting the stage for exploitation — Blind veneration of adults
Indians assiduously value culture and tradition. We categorically place a premium on it regardless of the setting. We’ve been trained right from childhood to respect and worship elders, no matter who they are and where they come from. They are bestowed with an almost demigod status in conservative cultures, especially in the districts which are lagging behind in the country.
This has led to an epidemic of child abuse.
After all, what more can we expect when we indoctrinate our children all throughout their lives that adults are equal to gods? Children, especially those from minority communities and underprivileged backgrounds who have been conditioned to taken every word an elder says at face value, fall into vicious cycles of rape and abuse for years together, before any meaningful help can be sought.
At times, it even leads to impregnation, trashing their delicate, developing bodies with the complications of pregnancy.
It’s also the reason the country has one of the highest rates of abortion in the world. This is just one example. This blind trust and veneration of adults, placing them next to Gods, leads to a life of trials and tribulations for many Indians, women in particular. It’s always the actions of a familiar face that shatter their trust in the Indian family system. You’ll hear countless stories of how Indian women have been subject to abuse and humiliation at the very hands of their uncles and other relatives close to them during their formative years. These women know not to trust adults blindly. They know not to drop their guard when they’re with older men, no matter how much blood they share.
However, incidents of such nature have fallen over time with an increase in familial wealth, prosperity, a shift to nuclear living, and migration to the cities in search of work. There’s a reason today’s kids “lack respect for their elders”. Or so they say.
Maybe that’s actually a blessing in disguise! Who knows?
I’m happy for them. Not everyone deserves respect, and age had no business having anything to do with being an adult in the first place. Because, time and again, many “adults” have only taken advantage of this blind and culturally indoctrinated elder worship, which is part of the Indian culture code. We have ended up placing them too high on a pedestal, bestowing them with a God-like status where they had no business being.
They are flawed and imperfect, just as much as the youngsters are. And nothing is going to change that.
Reaping the fruits of labour — Taking advantage of years of indoctrination
We are accustomed to toeing the line in all aspects of life; respecting the system and being compliant to authorities wherever required.
It’s this very institutionalized adherence to rules and regulations, and the fear of authority that’s been instilled in us, over the course of our formative years, that’s now being exploited to violate and intimidate us as adults. We now live in a fascist world where such compliant behaviour is more likely to get us into trouble, than portray us as good citizens. The state machinery, right from lawyers, politicians, and judges, right down to police inspectors and constables, have become parasitic, self-serving, and authoritarian in nature, kowtowing to their overlord politicians, who in turn receive their instructions from the industrialist elites.
And this is true of both developing and developed nations.
It would seem that democracy exists only to the extent that industry allows it to. Any further than that, and you run the risk of rocking the boat and instituting actual change, something that the fascists are very likely to resent.
Dissidents fighting for the rights of commoners who live so very passively are beaten, mentally harassed, jailed, and even murdered for doing so. You think the average Indian is actually going to act like they’re aware of their rights, when confronted by the police? You think they take out their cell phones and start recording the conversation like all those woke Americans on YouTube?
They’re too terrified to even move. They know that most Indian policemen are just thugs in uniform, and it’s best not to provoke them with unnecessary displays of wokeness.
And here we are, expecting them to act like dutiful, informed citizens aware of their rights. We’ve been too conditioned to have a blind faith in the elderly. To respect people with a name badge. We believe that older people and authority figures are “holier than thou”. That’s the reason a lot of molestation and rape takes place at schools and tuition centers.
Only very recently have we come to realize that a person high up on the professional ladder needn’t necessarily be morally righteous or superior.
But that line of thinking reigned supreme once upon a time.
A history of violence
Whether it’s fighting for environmental rights, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, Dalit rights, the rights of minorities and undocumented immigrants, to protesting for farmer rights, or the rights of Muslim girls to wear the hijab to school, each and every issue is a volcanic mountain waiting to erupt in India, burning everything in its path when it does.
As you can see, many of these were grey areas just waiting to be exploited by governments and political parties in the name of maintaining national sovereignty of the country, and appropriately implementing protectionist measures. They act as if our world is not one global unity, but separate entities independent of each other, with every country competing against the other in some sort of imaginary race.
So, it’s with keeping these variables in mind, that the political climate, the weather, the work culture, government policy, and a dozen other such factors, feature in my list of what a liveable city should look like.
Now let’s talk about industry. It would seem that after a certain point, all large industrial corporations and retail giants alike just become parasitical, self-serving, and opportunistic in nature. It began with “providing jobs to the locals to uplift them and contributing to the development of the city”. Now it's turned into—Accept baseline salaries and work 10 hours a day for 6 days a week without complaining, or go home. There were no contract workers, and hence, not many avenues for exploitation, and everyone was made part of the company on direct payroll. Nowadays, contract workers constitute a major share of the workforce in many IT, non-IT companies, and Govt offices alike.
Another grey area.
Consultancies have sprung up all over the city. It would appear that this is a textbook method of exploiting desperate jobseekers across industries.
The number of grey areas that could, and are being exploited by corporations and the state machinery, are too large to ignore and continue living passively. The insidious ways in which the fascists are quietly creeping into our private lives is truly frightening. In fact, another grey area that’s being exploited all the time is our right to vote.
Think you have voting rights? Think again. The average citizen barely has enough time in the day to get to and from work, run the house, take care of the kids, and still be left with a bit of leisure time at the end of the day.
How on earth can we expect them to drop an entire day's schedule to go and vote? And that’s the grey area right there! Politicians are well aware of this fact, and use this tactically to their advantage, just like how they manipulate everything else.
This excerpt from an article on democracy brings out the grey area being exploited in the name of voting rights:
“Our politicians might look or sound stupid, but they’re not. They know they can make it effectively impossible for a vast majority of the country to vote. They can make it so difficult and time-consuming that most people just won’t do it.”
What does the future hold?
Which grey area are they going to exploit next? Which activity are they now going to criminalize? Which petty issue are they going to bring up to divide us and blow out of proportion, before it all erupts and spills on to the streets again?
It’s all a game. No one really knows.