Written by Rakesh Kotti
With fluid identities confined by impermeable boundaries, emboldened by our collective ignorance; we seek to trace the footprints of apostles of yore. Yet, we ignore their fingerprints on our souls; we mute our inner voices.
Just because they vow to fight till the end, must we fight amongst ourselves till their end? The brave are eulogized, not because we are grateful for their sacrifices, but because they fight our battles; because they absorb our pain. In return, we shed their blood, sing their praises and feign courage to hide our moral turpitude. We seek answers for our fate, but refuse to ask questions.
The policy makers have morphed into makers of maladies, and remain caricatures in our heads. We let them go scot-free, even when they take away our freedoms. Like warts on democracy, they are indelible blemishes on our collective conscience. Because we refuse to question them and we refuse to make them answer. Their insolence is a manifestation of our apathy, of our collective cowardice.
The weak we mock, so we can feel strong. We’re just milquetoasts masquerading as conscience keepers. We keep no conscience, except for the mottled and discarded conscience of the demagogues. In the illusion of righteousness, we find strength, falsely perceiving the sane as weak, meek and don’t listen when they speak.
When the muted conscience finds voice in the brave, we lunge at them to stifle it. We silence not just their voices, but we break their pens, snatch their papers and send them into eternal silence. We break into a macabre dance of jubilation, celebrating death and the loss of our freedoms.
Yet, the whispers haunt us. The whispers come from another era. They come from an era of peace and enlightenment. Disoriented by our emotional baggage we are not sure whether the era is from the past, or from the future. We are not sure if these are the voices of the ancestors we curse or if the voices belong to the posterity, we are callous about. But the yearning for peace and enlightenment lingers on.
How we got here we know not. Did we cascade into decadence? Or are we riding a gyrating crescendo of sanity? Does the present belong to the past, or does it belong to the future? Or maybe it’s a fallacy that time is linear. There are no cusps of enlightenment. We could guide our times into an era of peace and contentment. If only we ask questions to find out the answers, we will be able to hear those voices of reason.
Many have heard these voices. They can still be found in the crevices of history. And each time people heeded these voices, despite their frugal lives, there was an era of peace and prosperity. But the warm timbre of the voices of sanity is often lost in a medieval tempest, the strong winds of which we encounter today, amidst our avarice and illusionary happiness.
Nevertheless, falsehoods of every hue, however bright are always evanescent. The onslaught of the maggots of war cannot decay the voices of peace. The inner voices may be subdued, but they are inextinguishable. They will speak when our conscience is confronted and questions are asked. They will speak in a gentle but clear voice; they will speak in all tongues and in lucid language. They will speak sometime between now and forever. But for now, the inner voices are being cared for by the undertaker.