Saturday, May 16, 2015

84 bloggers are replaying Orwellian 1984 with their lives

In 1949, when George Orwell published his dystopian novel 1984   he was referring to a totalitarian state ruled by the socialist party that  "seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power."  The leader of the party was a quasi-divine personality called Big Brother . The party was constantly in war , engaged in constant  surveillance and disseminating current party-line by rewriting history  so that its in track with the current thought.
In 2015, with the advent in communication technology, media  & the omnipresence of wireless phones and internet, even democratically ruled states have governments that engage in constant surveillance and dishes out instantaneous propaganda often disguised as truth . However the key difference lies in  these governments' tolerant attitude towards critical & independent thoughts & ideologies .
In the novel, the party was ruled by an Inner party elite that persecuted individualism and independent thinking as thought-crimes. The latter was monitored and uncovered by the thought-police who used surveillance and psychological monitoring to find and eliminate members that challenged the ideology and the authority of the party .
The 21st century had started with the fundamentalists forces unleashing their fury against the "infidels"  by carrying out their "jihad" , captured tragically in the demise of 5000+ people during  the 9/11 episode in 2001. This had prompted the western allies in declaring war against countries in the middle-east that harbored such fundamentalist forces. Although the allies have started their retreats , the fundamentalist forces have only regained & regrouped their strengths and are now present in most of the countries around the world touting an ideology based upon a faith which some may even call blind because it blocks scientific thinking and progress of the society. The faith in Big Brother is more important rather than the good of others.   The limitless internet & the infinite petro-dollar  have come in handy for such forces specially their thought-police or faith-police who constantly monitor anyone that challenges their ideology or their leader and eliminates them one by one.
The recent happenings in Bangladesh, where 4 bloggers (all atheists & independent thinkers writing on science, logic &rationality and some challenging blind faith) were hacked down in public by foot-soldiers of these forces,  bear testimony to Inner Party machinations in Orwell's dystopian 1984. Ironically and interestingly , there is a list of 84 such bloggers that was prepared by the democratically elected Bangladesh government in consultation with the fundamentalist forces two years ago in 2013. In order to placate the hardliners, the government had planned to rein in, caution & arrest such bloggers that had caused "sufficient-hurt" to the sentiment of the hardliners, to their faith & to Big Brother. Predictably as the talks fell through after  a macabre  massacre by the hardliners in a public rally in May'2013; the government abandoned the idea but the list of 84 was not withdrawn & remained with the hardliners .
In the last two years, the thought-police decided to take matters in their own hands in Bangladesh & are striking out names from the list of 84 bloggers, after finding & eliminating them. In each instance they are using a machete to strike at the heads after encircling their victims . Fundamentalism stemming out of blind faith takes individual-assassinations as their line when they want to build, retain & motivate  the follower base while terrorizing the general populace and catching a  hesitant government in wrong foot. Just as Orwell had predicted , these forces  are interested solely in power and are not interested in the good of others . Progressive governments are finding it difficult to extricate their roots as they are miles long .However the bud is small and invariably coated with the crimson-colored viscous body-fluid of the eliminated victims , who are only trying to spread rational thinking and scientific bent of mind that would uplift all members of the society., including the members of such fundamentalist forces.
Its time someone rewrite Orwell's 1984 as 84 Bloggers,  to warn the world at large  of the siege within. 

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