Sunday, November 6, 2011

Don’t kill the messenger

 It’s funny, the higher you climb the ladder of economic prosperity, the more you are scared of falling flat. We teach our children that you can not clean your room by throwing all the clothes in a closet and sweeping the dust under the carpet. Someone (namely mommy) is going to open the doors to check and when the stuff comes tumbling down, all hell will break loose.

Then how come people as evolved and mature (!?!) as elected leaders in a government forget this basic value? In their race to gain political mileage, they sweep all their dirty work under the carpet and hope that it will never be found.

And then came along Assange, the big mommy!! His little operation called Wiki Leaks went and checked under all carpets, opened all the closets and even checked behind their ears. And governments far and wide shivered where they sat. The big bully Uncle Sam went to the extent of shouting foul and allegedly planting a CIA agent in Sweden to have sex with Assange without a condom. Unfortunately for Assange, the country in question qualifies that with rape, even if it was a mutually agreeable act. Even more unfortunate (and clever on Uncle Sam’s part) is that the country has no system of bail and has no time limit for detention.

Yes, go ahead, extradite him. Harass him in this mindless court case. But you’re missing the point. He is one man. And he made you squirm. He exposed secrets that you were trying to hide. If Rajiv Gandhi has an enormous corpus in the Swiss banks, as a citizen of the country where that money was taken from, I have a right to know. Similarly, if I were American, I would be very interested in knowing the true dealings of my government behind the facade.

But as I said, he is one man. It is not the person Assange you need to worry about but the concept Assange. This was apparent the day he went fleeing and America tried to block Wiki Leak urls. People from all over the world kept shifting the site to keep the spirit alive. And alive it shall remain. Sometimes it takes an Anna Hazare, sometimes a Julian Assange and sometimes just you and me. But someone’s got to keep questioning, else we run the risk of becoming mere puppets.

I don’t know you as a person Assange. But I salute your spirit and motivation.

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