Monday, February 25, 2013


by Ganesh Govind Kamath

        The world today is torn by strife, corruption, & violence more than ever. India is no exception to that. Majority of the common man is frustrated, despondent & has resigned to his fate. While, sociologists may analyse & attribute different reasons for this situation; to me, this is a manifestation of the malady affecting the society which is busy running after material comforts, blissfully ignoring the importance of value education in our life.
        The crux of the problem, according to me, is the weakness of the ‘common man’ who refuses to speak against any injustice or wrongdoing out of the fear of the consequences. He usually defends his apathy or inaction by saying that such forthrightness leads to confrontation & his family/social/personal life/career could be disturbed for taking on the wrong-doers. He also feels that it is not ‘his job’.

      Some examples can be quoted which will make this clearer:-

1.    Barring media-orchestrated “outcries”, there are hardly any protests or murmurs against the wrongdoings of political or other leaders. This has not only emboldened the unscrupulous few, but now such wrongdoings have attained certain amount of status & dignity in the society.

2.    There is no trace of the rapists of the Bhandara rape case in Maharshtra. It is obvious that some local people may know the perpetrators of this heinous crime. Some people may at least know when & where they saw the three sisters last. But due to this continued silence of the ‘common man’, it has become difficult to nab the culprits.

3.    In any organization, whether public or private sector or any social, political or even labour organization, many people, working at different places & at different positions, may suffer from injustice & harassment. Some may know about some wrong practices. But again, here, fearing confrontation & the subsequent possible effect on one’s career, they keep quiet. Some keep quiet simply to save their skin while some don’t speak the truth since personally, they are not affected. Some give the lame excuse that while they agree that injustice is being done, they have to ‘respect’ the hierarchy!! They fail to understand that by this act of impotence, irreparable damage is done to the institution in which they are working (which they claim to be loyal to!!!) & that is more important than ‘respecting’ the hierarchy.

      While the apprehension of the ‘common man’ is true to a large extent, one should also ponder over the question as to at what cost we are buying ‘peace’ by staying silent? Ultimately, the problems which we try to avert, are going to be at our door-step (affect us personally) & at that time they would be on a much larger magnitude. Even if they don’t affect us personally, we are committing a greater sin by keeping quiet. Many-a-time we advise our children to walk on the path of truth & justice, but we act exactly the opposite some times.

     The solution to this is to stand up & speak against injustice with courage & conviction. It is not necessary that truth should be spoken in a shrill manner. We can put across our views politely too. For those fearing isolation, the best option is to be organized in one way or the other. However, here too, there is a growing apathy & attempt to distance one-self from organized efforts. This again is due to self-centredness. If only, we shred our self inflicted cloak of silence, the world would be a much better place to live in!!!

Dated: 24.2.2013

(Shri Ganesh Govind Kamath was founder General Secretary of NOINO and is presently Chief Advisor to NOINO)

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