The world loves patterns. And surely there is a reason behind it . It makes things easier. I think, rules were made in the first place to create order and develop the behavior to adhere to patterns. Starting from the early civilizations of Harappa , Mohenjo -Daro to today’s modern world we have seen and studied , there is always a set pattern of life, the society that functioned as per the then standards and the very way of life being organized as per rules .
During childhood, when things are mostly decided for us by others, we might rebel to follow those rules but we understood deep down that there was already a pattern which we have to adhere to sooner or later when we grow up . Starting from the attending the morning assembly, to doing the homework diligently ,to obeying each teacher as the period changes, we stick to rules and patterns. The adherence to norms, belonging to the pattern does not end here. It continues even after the end of one’s education, getting that dream job after multiple interviews or campus placements, hunting for that ever alluring yet elusive job satisfaction, changing jobs sometimes & sometimes hopping sectors, falling in love, tasting the lack of it, searching for the ideal partner to handle responsibilities together, sometimes winning at it and sometimes loosing terribly at it, raising morally rich children to sometimes realizing that it was better to be childless, getting stressed about the careers choice of children : the cycle of following rules and fitting into the pattern just gets repeated . Any deviation in this norm is sure to meet with its own course of challenges, judgements , taunts and a lot more !
If we talk about public platform, there are also rules to obey or else how would we build a civilized society ! From being responsible citizens, to paying taxes, to trying to exercise our voting rights, to trying our bit to protecting national monuments, to trying to contribute our own little part in community development programs , a normal citizen mostly does all this! Of course there are exceptions who do otherwise, but any society will have its so called anti social elements who do not obey rules.
I have thought a lot about this very thin line of difference existing between an anti social and a rebel. Are they same, always? Does any one who questions rules, does not fit in the pre set pattern and develops his /her own perspective, be seen as an outcast? If we look at any innovation that has taken place, that is because man himself wanted to break barriers, if we look at how interconnected telecommunications has made us all, it is because we broke the rules, even as a country while we went global, if we look at any ground breaking research being undertaken, it is to examine the present condition , reassess the rules and make ground for a new pattern to develop and flourish. If a set of rules was always to be followed then our constitution would not be undergoing amendments after amendments! So, this line of difference needs to be acknowledged and understood which is not always done.
Currently we see a growing resentment to any kind of dissent in the country. Even in personal space , if one wants to pursue a lesser known career, there is a lot of speculation, getting married to your own choice is not always easy, breaking away even from an abusive marriage is again a stigma that one has to live with, a single mother has to prove her strength of character every single day very silently, if a man quits a regular 9-5 job for becoming a stay at home dad as per his own choice, he obviously gets a lot of ugly tags and the list can go on and on.
Coming to a public platform, I do not need to say much as we all know the current scenario about the very right to dissent of an individual and the present status of the same.. The news channels, newspapers paint the picture and it is up to us to understand what is reality and what is fake! We all proudly say, we are a developing nation and yet even today, most well read, capable men and women consider joining politics and taking things in to their hands as a death of their own career. If we look at other nations currently, we have such young blood who are bringing in all that is necessary for the betterment of a nation and are part of active governance and politics. But in India, it is still a matter of disgrace to even consider it as an career. Is it not high time to understand that this needs to be changed if we are to sustain ourselves in future times to come ? How, is a different question all together!
Of course, rules and patterns are inevitable and give meaning to life. But sometimes perspectives become clearer when one questions rules that seem rudimentary, patterns that disrupt life rather than making it better and a paradigm shift of perspective needs to take place. Of course this is easier said than done, because it is never easy to be right and I have never understood the reason behind it. It is basically a matter of choice which may start from one and become collective effort in a given time. All the revolutions in the past, be it Freedom Struggle to a single case of Public Interest Litigation being filed, is about questioning the set norms and patterns that need to go away with time! May we develop and promote broad, forward looking perspectives where a welcoming dissent is celebrated and may we grow into a flexible society that has patterns that amend rules whenever necessary for the greater good of all.
This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’