Spaz, retard, aut, handicapped, special, disabled, differently abled. All these words have their etymological roots in the physical and medical condition. All of them veer delicately or indelicately away from the one definition that is a truer more faithful description.

Socially disabled.

The time this definition and its synonyms get wide acceptance will be the time we, as a people would have learnt to look at ourselves in the mirror. It has gone unnoticed so far that the disabled have an innate capacity to expose rot in society. It’s their superpower. In schools they are the dumping grounds of toxic wastes teachers bring from their homes and value systems. At homes they reflect the crass materialism of family dynamics that revolve around the value and usefulness of the family member. In gender relations the mirror turns to patriarchy in its monstrous forms, hardly if ever exposed in mainstream life.

And now this new government diktat on ‘training’ the disabled in movie halls. The mirror turns, exposing the deep pathology of a political ideology rooted in totalitarianism.

This directive is not intentionally targeting the disabled. The disabled are but minuscule factors almost non-existent amongst the marginalised vulnerable. Most parents in the disabled community have never even taken their child to a movie hall. Ever.

So what is the reason for this directive?

The real intention is to ‘train’ and subsume the margins. It is in the fringes that the centripetal forces of resistance manifest. So make sure that no one escapes the catch all net of totalitarianism.

Seal the borders.

Borders that showed up while establishing totalitarianism through an enforced sense of nationhood. For almost all of humanity patriotism is the individual’s allegiance to a loftier nobler ideal. The pitch and intensity sometimes becomes more than religious fervour. Lack of patriotism can become a crime, almost like manslaughter. Even the most indifferent will never disrespect the national anthem. If not for patriotism for fear of the lynch mob.

The national anthem is sacrosanct.

For a totalitarian regime, most importantly it homogenised the masses.

By playing the national anthem in movie halls, it ensured that every single Indian (because every single Indian goes to the movies at some point) was arrested at her most open, relaxed and vulnerable state and forced to pay homage to totalitarianism.

There was only one catch that escaped the catch all. The one fraction that didn’t add up to the totalitarian count.

The disabled.

Therefore the training instructions for the disabled in movie halls. If you can’t walk, crawl. If you can’t stand, pay attention. It’s a very clear message. No one escapes the totalitarian net.

And this is how a government insults the intelligence of an entire nation. Just because it can.

And in so doing, it disrespects nationhood. It disrespects the national anthem, the essence of nationhood.

In protest of this disrespect to the national anthem, I have decided to forego the first scenes of every movie I watch in a movie hall. If caught unawares I shall walk out of the hall before the anthem starts playing, and wait where I cannot hear the anthem play. In tow I shall take out my entire neurotypical family and a disabled son, who is capable of standing perfectly in attention, but who shall protest anyhow for all his people, who can’t.

We will not bow down before the altar of totalitarianism before we enter the sacred portals of art.

We do this to show respect for our country.

Happy Republic Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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