“To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone- to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone:
From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of double-think- greetings!” – ‘1984’
That we are still far from reaching a modern era of free thought was clear from the metro incident that took place not more than a couple of days ago in the heart of Kolkata, a city which for the longest time has been known to have a soul. It having a Monday, the metro on its way to Dumdum was fully loaded with commuters returning after work. It was almost 10 at night when the barbaric incident took place, or rather, started taking effect in one of its compartments.
Being in the overcrowded situation it was, a young couple, standing near the door decided to stand very close to each other. This didn’t bode well with one of the so called senior citizens on that train. According to this guy, the couple should not have been hugging each other in an indecent manner in a public commute. How something as innocent as a hug could be indecent should be beyond the rational man’s mind but it appears we as a society have already lost most of that kind. The couple were told humiliating things like why they didn’t go to a bar in Park Street or find a bed somewhere else. When the woman said that what the problem was with them giving each other security on a crowded train the situation got even more heated. Soon, seeing that attitude from the dark ages wasn’t succeeding over sane and logical minds, people turned into that thing which is the last resort for any society that has lost its soul, the game of number.
Even the couple probably didn’t think that the threats they were getting throughout their journey would turn into reality once they reach the dumdum station. But it did. And in an unprecedented act that should push an entire cityscape into depths of shame, as soon as they came out, these people, most if not all of them in their mid 40s and 50s, started beating the couple. The woman trying to protect her companion got beaten severely as well. Things could have taken an even nastier turn had some other fair minded individuals didn’t get into the way of those barbarians and let the couple escape with only that much damage.
One has to wonder however, even taking the physical damage out of account, what about the lifelong mental ones? Are we teaching the younger generation not to express basic decencies of affection, no
t even something as harmless as a hug? Are we forgetting what it means to act as a civilised society? Are we not, having the technology of the gods, still behaving like stone age people. Although, even the stone-age people probably would have known better. I wonder, Orwell, how you could be that much ahead of your time, sometimes I wish your vision was distorted and unrealistic, that The Ministry of Love didn’t exist in our own everyday lives on the streets, in the pubs and the public commutes. How I sometimes wish you had visioned it all wrong. But alas!