Which Side are you on?*

I was a naïve first year student at Law school when I received a pamphlet about a human rights group started by young Lawyers and asking anyone interested to apply. I was 17, not yet disillusioned by the realities of the world and jumped at the opportunity. After all, a human rights group seems to be the right place for a principled teenager whose ambition was to bring about a change in the society. And so I became a part of the group slowly to realise it was a forum popularizing communism. Frankly I had no clue about any of these political system and my idea of communism was images of workers on strike or men wearing Jhola bags protesting outside corporates, thanks to my association with the Indian states, Kerala and Bengal. By the time I realised what I had got myself into, I had already made a close network of friends in this group and for us it was more of an excuse to hang around and drink milky sweet tea at 6:30 in the evening, attending meetings feeling important but understanding very little about the ideologies drilled into us. We did some grass root work as well, such as visiting victims of human rights violation, providing legal advice to needy and collecting data from Government Institutions to submit (where, I still don’t know). All through feeling we were contributing towards something significant.

I learnt a lot from these interactions and got to hear some of the country’s best Lawyers speak on topics such as ‘Atrocities committed by the Police’. Soon after graduating, I had to let go of all these activities as the world of capitalism beckoned me with glittery eyes. Some of my friends from the group mocked the choice I made, and to those I took no pains of detailing the economic aspects involved in my decision. 10 years post that, I wonder about the people who get sucked into such ideologies and philosophies for reasons that hardly qualify as passion or belief. And the more they stay in it, the harder it is to get out and eventually these people try hard to align whatever principles they have left, with those of the party.

The same with the fundamentalists, who find it nearly impossible to get out as beliefs are ingrained into them since birth.

Only the brave come out and work for the actual cause- humanity.


* This was the first line from the song that we sang at the 'Forum' at the conclusion of every meeting.

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