We need to subject state functionaries to the same standards that they reserve for us citizens. Our judgment of truth and falsehood, right and wrong has suffered enormous reverses since the days of globalization and 24/7 entertainment began. If you think I am exaggerating consider taking a little quiz.
What is common to the following group of people? Socrates, Nelson Mandela, Kenneth Kaunda, Kwame Nkrumah, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Jayaprakash Narayan, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Binayak Sen, Irom Sharmila, Martin Luther King Jr., Henry Thoreau, Bertrand Russell, Rosa Luxemburg, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Andrei Sakharov, Leon Trotsky, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Alexander Pushkin.
Write your answer down.
Now consider a second group of people and try to see what they have in common: Mullah Omar, Osama Bin Laden, Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar, H.K.L Bhagat, Narendra Modi, Jyoti Basu, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjea, Bal Thackeray, George Bush, Tony Blair, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, John Howard, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Ferdinand Marcos, Idi Amin, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.
Write your answer.
The above lines are extracted from an article “Dr. Binayak Sen’s Unjust Imprisonment” by Asseem Shrivastava, an independent writer.
The article is available at the Countercurrents website.
Aseem Shrivastava can be reached at email@example.com