08 Apr 2021  |   05:44am IST


Joseph Lewis D’Silva

‘Silence’ is golden for meditation. Just as the body needs regular breaks for rest and nourishment, the mind also needs a quiet space for reflection; to look within; to find out one’s true nature   one’s spiritual self. The light of silence penetrates very deep and quietens the mental activity  -- thinking that leads to worry.

Voluntary ‘Silence’ is golden to everyone during pondering. But ‘forced silence’ makes everybody dumb. We find it in bossy democracy, if activists or tiatrists; ailing senior citizens or anyone, who speaks against the ruling leaders’ policies --- like that of developing the country or destroying the territory; of saving fatherland or finishing motherland; such persons who do not bent to the politician’s wishes, are put behind bars. The purpose of shutting the mouth of disputers in this way is for, leaders to get a walkover --- a free hand to do what they want to do. By the time the court decides that the authorities are wrong and that protesting people are innocent; jailed-victim’s family is ruined. Therefore, in domineering democracy, citizens with opposing thoughts and burning words should know that they have no right to question the system, why? They have to silently watch the political drama at play; breathless, voiceless and die.

The forced culture of silence hides and destroys the best interest of the people because; the people have surrendered the resources of their country in the hands of the elected and selected leaders. Forced silence allows problems to worsen beyond control, if corrective actions are not taken. Napoleon is reported to have said; the world suffers a lot, not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of good people.

So, when should one drop silence and open one’s mouth? Yes, when one sees that the horrible Nirbhaya rapes have not ceased. If one witnesses behaviour that could possibly be harassing or assaulting someone, one should not keep one’s lips sealed or turn a blind eye or look the other way like the Levite in the Bible; but one should behave like the Good Samaritan in that parable; because everyone is keeper of all our brothers and sisters.

Secondly, when the order of the authority is against the institution one serves; say a police inspector orders his subordinates not to have a grinding inquiry with a certain muscle power of a politician, such instructions are against the law guarding institution; such instructions ruin the peace in the country. In such cases, one must open one’s mouth allowing one’s ‘tongue to run fast’ in order to give the world a proof to stop the bubble of irregularities.

Forests are the lungs of a place. It sinks the carbon and reloads the air with oxygen by the process of photosynthesis. Deforestation in the name of development becomes a costly error. Therefore, one should not live one’s life minding one’s own business; not poking one’s nose into ruler’s policies; for, to see the wrong and not to correct it, is want of courage. Therefore, one should not be weak, not to speak, but with giant’s strength, open one’s mouth and object deforestation. Forced culture of silence is non-participating democracy is absence of citizens from the political course of action.

Thank God! Ours is a participating democracy; a democracy of the people, for the people and by the people.