Chained dogs. Why the BJP’s order to shut NDTV down is inexcusable.
This is old news and precisely why I’m bringing it up. The fact that a news channel was ordered to shut down for a day is not something I can simply shelve away in the “old, so who cares” category. This was not a directive to stop reporting a certain story or incident (which in certain cases, might make sense). No, this was shutting down the whole network for a day.
There’s a belief among Inuit hunters in the Arctic that says if you want a dog to behave as a guard dog in the wild, you have to leave it unchained. Chained dogs do not bark at signs of danger because they realize they are vulnerable and hence, easy targets.
People can be that way too.
Its a common misconception that if freedom were truly curtailed, protests and unrest would follow. This is true once things reach a critical tipping point. Before that however, its death by slow strangulation. The press gets its freedom curtailed just a wee bit, rules against protest get tweaked just so and not many people care. Some do, they do see a chain around their necks but choose not to bark. Easy targets right? The problem is compounded in an atmosphere of resurgent nationalism disguised as patriotism. Now, merely speaking your mind, even among your peers, can single you out as (shudder, shudder) unpatriotic. Or a pseudo liberal. Or my personal favorite, a “presstitute” (even typing that was hard). If anything, the bulls-eye on your forehead just got bigger. Before you know it, things get out of hand. Lo and behold, “suddenly” the land of freedom and liberty finds itself in need of “freedom of speech cages”.
When it comes to comprehension, it seems both history and irony are far too often, beyond us.
We humans tend to normalize things with terrifying predictability. I don’t care what part of the political spectrum you belong to. Left, right, center, halfway between Mars and Wonderland, I don’t care. Shutting down a news network is not something that any democracy can or should allow.
Just ask yourselves this: “How short does the chain have to get before you realize choking is a bad idea?”