Living in fear

Positive outlook and optimism under all circumstances are the watchwords coming from some quarters, ostensibly to save people bugged by depression by keeping alive their hopes in life ahead. The prescription not to lose heart and equanimity in times of difficulty in facing the challenges of daily life has acquired importance and value on a scale and extent not witnessed anytime in the past, given the ongoing unrest across the country in particular and virtually all the regions across the entire world in general, which nobody who give even a cursory glance at the printed matter in the columns of dailies in all languages, including this one can miss. Towns and cities, such as Mysuru, which have hosted residents of diverse culture, faith, ethnicity, tongues, caste, creed, economic status and so on for long, living in undiluted harmony too have begun to witness societal unrest, driving the people to harbour a sense of fear like never before, particularly from the angle of safety of life, limbs and possessions.

We are in an era of parents of school-bound children, particularly in overcrowded cities, living in a state of fear until their off-springs’ return home unharmed, the elderly members in the family offering daily prayers for the safety of the family’s wage-earners while they are out of sight attending to their work in offices, factories, business establishments, schools, colleges and so on.

The attribute of fearlessness on the part of hardcore criminals and that of law-abiding citizens are different kettles of fish, while the daredevil acts of circus artistes, watched in utter fear of mishap by the spectators, stand for fearlessness of an entirely different class. The nation’s legendary monk, Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) had this to say: “In this world we work through fear of others, we talk through fear, we think through fear, alas.” He had the conviction that fear is death. The renowned American humorist has been quoted as saying: It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.

Fear of law and respect for the land’s code of rules to be complied with for an orderly society seem to be divided by a thin line. To make a long story short, those who show scant respect for any law and violate with disdain in a show of fearlessness not only hurt the fellow-citizens but also instil a sense of fear in them. More need not be said about fear pervading the land and bugging the gullible masses.

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