Rohit Malekar

May 1, 2021

You Have the Right to Remain Silent

"Every right comes with a responsibility". Amongst the few things I remember reading in school, this one stands out. The recollection has been rather frequent in recent times when our individual ideals and values have drifted further apart from those with who we disagree with.

However, there may be one exception to this norm. There has been some hue and cry against the powerful celebrities in Bollywood and Cricket who haven't moved a needle to use their large following to help mobilize efforts to fight Covid. Some say it is likely because they will lose the support of the government establishment if they were to be seen as critical of the situation on the ground.

No matter what the reason is, I feel every individual should have the right to speak for a cause they care about and at the same time, should have the right to remain silent if it doesn't move them. You owe nothing to nobody to be forced to talk about Covid if you don't want to.

Thus, this right to remain silent appears to come with no riders of responsibility. Some might argue it is a measure to shrug responsibility itself. After all is said and done, I believe "beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder". 

Let us think hard next time before we confer heroship to someone. What attributes, choices and behaviors have the person demonstrated to earn the right to ride our shoulders? Let us not muddy the waters between entertainers and heroes.