Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Whistleblowing: Against All Odds…

Shilpi Tandon | August 10, 2016 2:39 pm Print
Sometimes it so happens that a whistleblower is left alone to fight against the odds on his own…but, with a firm belief and a strong conviction that “Truth Always Prevails”, he still fights bravely, even though, alone…...till the time he succeeds…

“Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love.”- Julian Assange

While I was doing the dishes after dinner, my nephew came rushing to me in the kitchen. Gazing at me with his inquisitive turned sparkling and tearful eyes, the 10-year-old, before I could ask the reason for his joyful yet baffled and perplexed state, just pulled me towards the common room where all our family members were sitting and watching a news channel and discussing over the subject, I had penned a story about, Whistleblower: To be or Not to be. They all unanimously agreed upon the fact that it’s really tough and daring to be a whistleblower. One needs to have a heart of a rock to be a one. How does such people manage to gather such courage to be so strong, outspoken and daring in public, even after numerous threats…!! It was enough for me to continue mere listening to the ongoing discussion….! Moreover, I wasn’t aware of any such news update on the subject, which could bring in such a lengthy discussion over such a serious and a sensitive issue. So, I raised the volume of television. What I heard was initially not good, for the people who still believe in truth, goodness and patriotism. But, what I heard later, made my belief stronger in the fact that, Yes, there might be a delay in Almighty’s house, but not injustice. The Truth Prevails…

By this time, some of our family friends too came over our place and joined us in the ongoing discussion (we all usually sit and chat together on weekends and Sundays). One of them said,” Aajkal koi ek bada businessman desh ka arbon rupaya lekar videsh bhaag jaata hain, aur wahin bas jaata hain, uska to koi kuch nahi bigaad paata, bas ek seedha saadha sachcha aadmi hi milta hai pareshaan karne ko…per ant bhala to sab bhala.. (In today’s times, no one dares to catch ‘that’ notorious businessman who has run away after duping millions of money of the country…whereas, an honest man is unnecessarily harassed…but, all is well that ends well).

My nephew was silently listening to all the ongoing discussions. The poor child was confused all over again due to the sequence of events. He believed and, was sure that there shall everything be good and positive, and, therefore, he could also follow the path of goodness when he grew up. But, watching the news and listening to the discussions made him insecure all over again. The bag of queries opened again…. “Is it really ‘safe’ to be a ‘whistleblower’ or a ‘campaigner’?? Isn’t there a constant life threat to them??And, why after all, the ‘Bad’ is more powerful than the ‘Good’?? How and from where does ‘Bad’ get all the courage to commit ‘something wrong’?? And why is ‘Good’ not ‘That’ powerful and ‘Free’ to raise voice against ‘Bad’?? And, if so, why always ‘Good’ has to think about safety?? And, why, after all ‘Good’ is unsafe?? He asked.

I made him understand that what we grownups preach, sometimes, some of us actually don’t practice ourselves…!! And that, it is usual and quite common that if a person tries to follow the path of truth and honesty, one is always put into such a distress and a trouble that it becomes highly difficult for the person to focus and proceed on the right path…!! But, it is always correct to follow the ‘right’ path. Because, at the end, it is always ‘The Truth that Prevails”. To convince him, I narrated to him a few biographies of our great freedom fighters, who made it possible for our country to be independent despite numerous troubles on their paths. In the same way, whistleblowers too keep trying to make their country free from ‘Malpractices’. I made him understand the fact, that only because of such people, this world, this system is still able to move and work, otherwise it would have crashed and exploded with corruption and crime…. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayers’ money, should be encouraged rather than stifled.

Julian Assange quotes that “When people speak up and stand together, it frightens corrupt and undemocratic power. True democracy is the resistance of people armed with truth against lies.”

Sometimes it so happens that a whistleblower is left alone to fight against the odds on his own…but, with a firm belief and a strong conviction that “Truth Always Prevails”, he still fights bravely, even though, alone……till the time he succeeds……!! Rabindranath Tagore opined in one of his famous Bengali patriotic songs, “Jodi Tor Dak Shune Keu Na Ase Tobe Ekla Cholo Re” which means, “If no one responds to your call, then go your own way alone”…….

Shilpi Tandon
Shilpi Tandon
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