>Blank Noise

>No, it is not inspired from White Noise. (The movie?)
I think its inspiration lies in our conscience.
What is blank noise? Its that noise that goes screeching in your ears when the silence is deafening. Too cliched? No, its true. Imagine an inverter, or any machine for that reason- it goes off and there is that weird beeeeeeeeeeeeeep noise that comes from within. It is that noise which goes on endlessly when you are completely blank. Your mind is erased of any thoughts of your own. Its not a peaceful rest. Its a struggle- of voices and silences.
That is the current state of all of us. We are embroiled in that battle- of voicing out our opinions and keeping mum. The silence is at the wrong time, wrong place. The voices are without reason, rebels without cause. We talk too much. We rant on about the nation going to the dogs. We bemoan the lack of infrastructure and good education system, the prevalent corruption and bureaucracy. We talk, talk and talk.
But we sit silent when innocent people are burnt at the stake. We are mute spectators to the thousand injustices happening. We are apathetic to the misery of millions. We refuse to acknowledge their troubles as anything but public nuisance.
Some one tells me blank noise means, “it generally means women speaking out against harrassment and molestation.”
I think blank noise means how we voice out our hollow idealisms and smother our conscience into submissive silence.
We cry out loud when political leaders are caught taking a bribe. But we silently carry out underhand dealing with these leaders’ minions. Its termed as “a necessary evil”.
We think the riots in Gujarat were the workings of a evil monster. But while Nandigram & Singur burned, SEZs and the subsequent economic development silenced all our misgivings. The geographical proximity of Gujarat could not possibly be the only reason why we are not vociferous against the unfairness of the situation in WB.
We shower child artistes in movies with praise and awards. We label a child working at a tea stall as a victim of child labour and do all that we can to take away what could be his only source of living.
We find it unfair that electricity is subsidized for farmers while we pay more for more power cuts. The rising number of suicide cases amongst farmers is intensely discussed in the news. Yet we fail to find any connection and reserve our views for “intellectual debates”.
We think the police are indifferent and inefficient. And probably to help them, we choose to be silent accomplices in a crime by refusing to file a FIR and get involved in a “police case”.
Another Mandal Commission catches our fancy for a while and we picket the streets. At the same time, we watch undeserving candidates with money and clout steal our seats with restrained helplessness and indifference.
We debate whether qualification or experience helps our politicians. But we are zipped in asking ourselves whether we want politicians or leaders to govern us.
Many such paradoxes go unnoticed in ambiguity.
There are too many opinions fighting within us. But what comes to the fore is the one which is convenient to voice. One that would find agreement with the majority. The truth becomes molded into the crucible of “public opinion”. Its not what we think is right. It is about what everyone decides is right and we learn to adjust ourselves to that right. Anything that won’t require us to put up too much of a struggle.
That is how we become screeching machines- parroting the thoughts fed into us by public media. Just because a well-read and sophisticated columnist thinks going nude in public is a person’s right to freedom of expression, we all follow suit thinking its the only form of expression. Editorials of a newspaper begin to become textbooks. Opinions become facts for us. Our voice- public opinion- then becomes a mass customized imitation of a select few. A simpler way to put it is- we are sucked into the vortex of herd mentality.
The voices are meaningless. They are just material for a good discussion, nothing is ever done about it. The silences are exasperatingly unfair.
It is all about convenience. Our principles, beliefs and values are modeled on it. But like all things convenient and easy, it is not always right. In a battle of virtue and convenience, we let the latter win.
Can we make some real noise please? Can we for a change not just debate but also act?


One thought on “>Blank Noise

  1. >A good and though provoking post ,Call it hollow idealisms or selective conscious , but the fact is we raise our voice only when its in our interest or when we are directly in the line of fire , “holier-than-thou “ approach is the most convenient to take, but it takes courage to be totally impartial that’s what is missing in us , be it media, society or our leaders are in the same boat

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