When I came to know of it, I was surprised. You would also be surprised. Yes, there are many countries in this world that have banned books, films, speeches, certain subject and this and that. But this country is different. I do not want to name the country. That may invite trouble for me and for my job. It would be against the policy of the government to have a good and friendly relations with that country. I am a coward who can only hide behind a safe wall if it can secure me from the risk of being spotted and targeted. I remember that one of the greatest cowards has proudly proclaimed “It is preferable to be a coward in a country where there is oppression. Your job is not to oppose it by direct action. You are not a Gandhi and the rulers are not British of 20th century India. You fight the system by obeying it obviously and subverting surreptitiously, behind the safe walls of secrecy. Courageous people are not those who take on the system immediately and die for that. Their sacrifice is well received but their sacrificial instincts could be more effectively used on a long term basis if they indulge in subversion by invisible and indirect actions”. Thus, one thing is for sure, that I am a coward.
It is a country that has banned the use of right hand thumb. Oh, no, don’t remember Ekalaiva, the ancient disciple of Dronacharya, the teacher, whose life has been portrayed in the numerous episodes of puranas and myths and epics, leaving aside other teachers who have not been on the winning side. Why they have banned the use of thumbs? Because some of the Gurus have stated that using the thumbs before the age of majority would cause irreparable damage to the physical and mental well being of those below the age of majority. What is the proof? The reply given to them is as follows: “ Don’t ask for proof. If sages have said that the young people should not use thumbs, there is no need for proof. The ancient books have all the knowledge of the world, including the knowledge that is yet to be acquired. These sages can invent the origin of any of the discoveries and inventions of the future, in the texts of the past. Since the world has a definite shape, so is the knowledge about this world and beyond and complete knowledge about the world is contained in the four books of the ancient world”.
And there entered a dissident. He said it is 21st century and science and knowledge dominate the world. All societies are progressing so fast that we cannot catch them unless we can double the speed”. Others rebutted him saying “you cannot simply and blindly follow other countries”. But every citizen of the patriotic country were using everything that has been invented in this world till that time and using them to project their side of the truth. But, wait one thing that is not allowed is the usage of the thumbs. They further added that if things get too far, there is a possibility that even the usage of thumbs in the legs would be banned as if the use of the thumbs in the hands were not enough.
The dissident was initially ignored by the establishment. But he grew in popularity. It was a simple logic that caught the imagination of the people. If each part of the body has a function, thumbs have also certain function and it would be against laws of nature and practice to ban the use of thumbs. Further, people tend to use their thumbs in private and pretend that they do not use the thumbs and they obeyed the orders of the mighty rulers. In public, everyone supported the ban, not only because they were all cowards, but also because no one would notice if they use their thumbs in their private spaces like houses, exclusive clubs etc. and blame and criticize the ban vigorously and oppose the ban vehemently through word of mouth than by printing leaflets or publishing books or articles. This is the case with dowry law, enacted in the sixties in India, but majority of the people seemed to violate the dowry law. Remember, SEEMEED TO VIOLATE, for in this republic of law, every law is upheld in the courts and every law is violated in practice. This is how the laws can be defeated. For everything there is a law. For other things, you can only go to the sages, who will interpret the laws. And the courts will look the other way.
Coming back to the rebel, he was sent to prison for violating and disturbing peace by questioning the faith of the millions. It is also true that except for a motley group of people no one even heard of him. Many people came to know of his pronouncements only after he was sent to jail. And they did nothing. For, they do not have fear of law. The law will always be upheld by everyone in public and it will be violated in private.In this unnamed country, whenever, anyone of the extreme elements thought of banning anything they invoke the sacred principles of the religion they belonged to. It would be easy. For nobody has time or energy or scholarship of the mad kind to read the great works of the ancient saints and decipher their meaning to counter the ideas of mad people, it would be easier to ignore them. The rulers of the country were of late thinking of restricting the length of the nose or rather prescribing the length of the nose. They would prescribe that everyone’s nose should be of two and a half inches in length and if it exceeds this length, it has to be modified by surgery. Government will provide money for the surgery, but only a part of the expenditure. If the length of the nose is less than two and a half inches, it has to be increased by surgery. Why this step? Somebody had questioned. There has to be uniformity in the country, otherwise it will disintegrate. This country has one language, one flag, one national anthem, one president, one prime minister and you are allowed one wife or one husband. When this is so, there are a lot of benefits if everyone has two and a half inches of nose. Everyone would feel that they belong to this one nation and become patriotic physically if not mentally. What is unsaid was that if there is patriotism, the rulers can justify anything in the name of patriotism. Therefore patriotism is important. The more patriotic citizens have invented a slogan “Jai Bandh”, meaning it is a country where every ban would be welcomed. They even suggested that the height, weight and dress, style of walking and hairstyle have to be regulated and are fighting for that. There would always be others who are sane.