How have we reached such a terrible national situation today? Where friends look at one another with distrust, neighbours peep into each other’s houses with suspicion and mobs rule the streets with police fishing bodies out of Delhi drains?

It all begins when we are too much of a coward to speak out about smaller wrongs!

Just behind the home of a person I know very well, loudspeakers blare out music much later than the 10 pm specified by the Supreme Court, rattling the windows with their volume right into the wee hours of the morning. Over a thousand homes are affected.

“Why don’t you complain to the police?” I asked.

“I do!” he said, “But the police say I am the only one who does!”

The other thousand, with bleary eyes discuss the noise the next day but never complain.


Another housing society I know, have circulated minutes that would make a fiction writer bow out of a short story competition. “Every sentence is anything but what happened at the meeting!” says a member.

“Why don’t you write to the registrar?” I ask.

But nobody does.

Standing up against small wrongs builds muscle. Later, when we see huge wrongs being committed, injustice and atrocity happening, we stride purposefully into it with the knowledge that armed with the truth we are formidable.

Truth is a powerful sword and impregnable armour!

But if you have not used truth in smaller situations, you will never know how forceful, vigorous and potent it is. Truth can beat a lie hands down, even if the lie has an army of people behind it. But unless you have seen the power of truth, unless you have left your comfortable coward covering, you will never know its power.

Truth has God behind it.

I have seen terrible things happen to people who have used falsehood, but before that God wants to see if you have used the muscle of truth. When the Egyptian army were swept into the waves of the Red Sea, it first took Moses the lifting up of his staff and the first step in faith towards the sea before God made it happen.

When you remain quiet, and are a coward, you are actually joining the side of injustice and why should God help you?

Start with small issues. Stand up to fudged minutes even if it doesn’t affect you. Stand up to loudspeaker noise even if you have soundproofed your bedroom. Stand up to walking to the pavilion even before the umpire gives you out.

Let’s change our nation, from being one of cowards to being strong, resilient and forceful, using the sword and armour of truth to win against lies and deceit.

If you don’t, let me pin on your chest, the National CowardAward..!

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