Speak Out

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

- Rev. Martin Niemoller (1937)

The strange reality today is that we have more reasons to NOT speak out rather than one plain and simple option of speaking out! We do not speak out to corruption because that is a comfortable way of getting our work done faster. We do not speak out when a few criminal convicts start into politics and establish standards for moral policing because we are unaffected and safely enjoying the evening news with a cup of tea. We do not speak out when a 15 year old kid is driving a government vehicle with a hooter activated because our family is not amongst the 15 odd individuals who were killed in the series of road accidents caused due to under age drunk driving by the kid. We do not speak out when the bar dancers is out of work because we fear our perverted minds will be out in the open. We do not speak out when the policeman charges us for the offense we have not done because we fear the argument might probe them to unravel the unnoticed offenses that lie hidden in our conscience. We do not speak out against the politicians and their unruly behavior because we have been taught to stay away from the two worst things, namely politics and politicians. We do not speak out when a government under performs because we presumed government to be superior than its people. We do not speak out when the ruling party does not perform well because we know deep within that it was either us who chose them or it was us who did not bother to vote at all!

This approach can lead us to nowhere. We do not speak out because we fear being opposed. We do not speak out because we hate to take responsibility. We do not speak out because we can't stand alone. We do not speak out because we do not wish to initiate and lead the movement. We do not speak out because we can not rely on our own judicial system.

But this is the perfect real life situation that creates a vicious circle of events. We don't perform our duties well. We sweep the dust and garbage from homes and shops to the streets. The housing colonies, hospitals and vegetable markets dump this waste into the next street. Municipalities dump this collected garbage on the outskirts of the cities. Finally, we are left is not a garbage disposal system but a garbage redistribution system. As a consequence we must walk with our heads hanging down - not merely for the shameful condition of our streets, but also for fear of stepping into some inevitable muck!

And the strange reality of life is that this is not restricted only to the physical garbage but it is the garbage in our minds. We blame the government for non performance. The government blames its employees for inefficiency. Employees blame us for lack of support.

This can not stop if we hold ourselves back from being responsible citizens by thinking what difference would it make if I alone would act responsibly in a country of billion irresponsible citizens. Be it about walking that extra mile to empty the garbage at the appropriate disposal unit or be it about being the only one to stand up and protest against the corrupt government employee or be it about giving that one vote. As they rightly say, be the change that you want to see!

Comments

Time to come out from our shell

Well said Vishal. We do not speak out because we fear being opposed. We do not speak out because we hate to take responsibility. I think its time we need to be more proactive.

Let us raise our voice

Its really thought provoking  ...We generally raise our voice whenever we suffer our self otherwise we remain spectator .really a wonderful blog.

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