Friday, August 28, 2009

Just about fair

It's funny how I speak to people with completely different results. At any given point of time, with certain people I am open to their point of view, their ideas, and with certain others, I become a person who wants to drive the point across and is not receptive to anything.

Manu brought this point about the SRK issue and infinite justice, and made it seem simpler than algebra. His piece touches upon of the varying ideas we have about things fair-unfair, just-unjust, things we hold dear, and the greatest common denominator very few have - objectivity. Dang, can't believe I lost a chance to argue the point on twitter.

The weird thing is, I had a long drawn writeup on the matter, but I now realize this discussion is way past it's expiry date, and there really is little point belabouring it. So here is the gist of it -

I remember once sitting on a terrace, much before my present life of sloth, with a couple of drinks and do what young-single-NRIs do best on Friday nights- argue about what's wrong with India. It's a way for us to justify the selfish choices we have made. We let go of a lot to live this life, and prevent ourselves from tripping over guilt when we watch Swades, because we have made that choice of giving up a life full of struggles in "our" country, just to be happy in our little worlds where things run like clockwork.

And in one such moment, a friend had an epiphany. He chanced upon the idea which one lives by in India -- the fact that law isn't the same for all. For something as simple as a license renewal to something as elaborate as a hit-and-run, the law will hardly ever treat two people the same way. The sad part of it is, even young-bright-urban-educated-upright-individuals like you and me, give in to the system. or find ways of solpa-adjusting our way around it. We simply don't have the time, or the patience, or the courage, or the conviction to deal with it.

What additionally bothers me is how we pity ourselves when we hear of any incident involving someone "powerful". "If it can happen to him, imagine us..". So the "outrage" that loyal fans experience is also bundled with a whole lot of self pity.

Tell me, why is getting frisked unjust? It may just be fair on a gazillion others who are traveling. One man's suffering for the greater common good. I've been "randomly" selected for the "special safety screening channel" more than once - Shoes off, belt off till the metal detector gives me a clean slate. If they could, they would perhaps try and account for the iron in the blood. I even opted for ceramic fillings, because I am petrified of the beeps. I don't think it is unfair in anyway. I am fine with it, since I am sure others are frisked too.

As far as the racial profiling goes, given the current state of world affairs, and given the havoc the religious extremists have created, they are perhaps just trying to live by what the statistics suggest to them. You can't blame them, can you? Agreed that statistics are flawed, as Nicholas Taleb would argue, but statistics just give us the reassurance we so badly need. Tell me, what other way is there to tell?


Ashwin said...

The screening you mention to have undergone is not random, but done on anyone who causes a beep when he/she walks through the metal detection frame.

Mo said...

Ashwin - in the US, they decide on the " special screening" when your boarding pass is issued. They claim it's random. I think I get caught because of my first name. Not sure though.

Ashwin said...

Ah USA, that explains it! :-)

Heathcliffs Girl said...

I am so glad to read this cos i completely agree.
people are always talking abt d excessive paranoia doing the rounds but i think they have a reason to?
anyway. nice ;)