Today you can’t cross the line. The Highway is sealed for two days a week. And that is the latest turn of the screw. It further limits the breathing space for the people already choked. Though the dead can’t die again, but we were still allowed to breathe before we could breathe our last. Now we have to hold our breath wherever we are and whoever. This side of the road is far away from that side.
It never happened what is happening now. Even in the severest curfewed days and nights of early nineties, the movements though banned were specific to the effected areas. A blanket road closure is the new high we are chasing in the name of security. By the way, our colleges are celebrating Punctuality Week. Can this `Punctuality Bible’ be followed in a situation like this? Hospitals have a tough regime for doctors. Now the picture is changed, when the patient will not reach, doctors need not worry. Where the hell are we living! However, they say, emergency cases will be examined on merit. Emergency is not a badge you wear on your sleeve or a red light that blinks on your car or a siren that beeps aloud. (That right is reserved for those we call `VIPs’). There are many unspoken, un-provable emergencies that call for immediate human movement. (Meanwhile can we fight for our RIGHT TO MOVE). Wonder how do we apply and how many procedures shall we have to follow to prove ourselves as a genuine emergency case that merits to walk past the barricade. Who is going to listen to us on the roadside and verify the merit of the movement we submit an application for. You want to pass something on, you need a pass.
Free speech and free thinking – the old standards of democracy – are long dead and laid to rest. With political, intellectual, mental, ideological spaces already sealed, at least our physical space was relatively freer. Now we can’t carry even our bone cages. Minds have already been disallowed to move, we are now preparing to make an obituary to our walking moving bodies. Earlier we prayed for our departed souls, now our departed bodies deserve prayers.
Our very physical presence is a risk they can’t afford to take. So the order is order. To begin with, two days a week for two months. See how it works and in future the noose hopefully may get tighter. Good days have begun, better days ahead.
The order – as it seems – may not apply to any non-human species. We regret the day we were born humans. We wish we be birds, worms, cattle of the worst breed to enjoy the privilege of moving at will. Security – we understand – is the real concern of a state. But why imprison the whole population. There are challenges to meet and the state is in its right to meet them. But to smoke out a mouse, you can’t burn the whole house.
We are a dehumanized lot. Stripped of all human dignity. Now we are even losing the sense of being stripped. This perhaps was that izzat-o-aabroo ka maqam our `leaders’ left for us seven decades back. Call them to taste the fruit the seed of which they sowed. Invite them to this mass insult we are facing right now.