This reluctance to dissent must stop!

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Je Suis Charlie. (Image- Dailytech)
 
What does living in a democracy make life different than living in an autocracy, dictatorship or a fascist state? Is it not the very base of democracy that it will only take orders from it's people and no one else? If this premise be left blank, then there remains no point in calling a system a democracy. 
 
Yes, Charlie Hebdo was provocative, satire always is, in one way or another. But that is the whole point of it. To make you uncomfortable, to make you uneasy and to make you question your belief systems on which you so assuredly take your living decisions. If that be taken away from satire, or even art in general, there remains no point in art. This realization has failed to take ground in the minds of the civilized, and we are the culprits.
 
When terrorists attacked the office of the French weekly Charlie Hebdo, yesterday, killing 12 people, the way the international media reacted to it this moring was evident in this Buzzfeed compilation. A democracy is dependent on its members to use their rights, their freedoms to register with the agents of the government their wants, dislikes and unsatisfactions. The system today works like a supplier, you have to create demand to ensure supply from it.
 
In this environment, the failure of the Indian Media and the civilized society in general, during attacks on freedom of expression backhome, makes one worry for the future of the Republic of India. An article in the Caravan, puts the blame on the Intellectuals of India for being spineless during the Indian Science Congress, where Pseudoscience was given a place of serious attention on par with the rigours of Science. India is facing a war on its secular institutions and the beneficiaries of the institutions are conspicuously silent. This silence at the brink of collapse will not only envigorate the enemies of peace, but also will end up with a burden of blame only on the shoulders of those who chose silence. On the other hand the question that on must ask to the one who rationalises curbing of democratic rights with examples of Pakistan, Saudi or China, must be: "Do you want to end up like that?"
 
The reasons behind this silence may have many layers, both rational and irrational, but the silence of the enlightened cannot be excused. We need to speak, we need to provocate and we need to face our discomforts in the face and we need to except our mistakes as a society. Not to hold ourselves back, but to make a leap into a future that will see us grow into a mature, tolerant and intelligent society. This dream, we need to realize, not just for ourselves, but for generations to come, where the idea of India is kept alive.
  
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
- Ravindranath Tagore

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