Hyderabad encounter: A token act


We are celebrating the ‘encounter killing’ for the same reasons we make a donation to a charity. Cos we love things in ‘tokens’. ‘Tokens’ which are quantified, are fractional, and makes fractional demands of us. Were a prolonged demand made to us, we would like it off our guilt shoulder asap!

With one ‘token’ act we believe that our duty to society has been done. We believe that society doesn’t need our perpetual participation, but it needs ‘tokens’ of activism/donation/celebration. And, once that token bit has been done, our obligation and responsibility towards the greater body is over. We can get back to our preoccupation of self aggrandization.

The cost of our tokenism is never ours to calculate. Oh, it might snowball. It might cause an avalanche. BUT…but…but…that avalanche, when it happens, will happen far away from us, na? By the time it comes to us, we would have adjusted/jumped lines/jugaadofied/short-traded our position and moved away. We have done it so many times, why should tomorrow be different?

So, for this moment, allow me to cheer the relief of having unburdened the guilt of impotence for being a part of society which shows degradation in patches far removed from me. It’s a bit difficult to reach that far, and I am unable to appraise my surroundings. And cos I can’t and neither do I have a connect with society’s challenges, beyond a few headlines, all I like to do is all that I can do from an armchair. And the best one can do from an armchair is something ‘token’.

N’est-ce pas? What’s the next token, please?


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