Sunday, March 5, 2017

Living in a boundary-less world

One of the philosophical ideas associated with ancient India is ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ – the world is one family!

I am sure you have experienced it at the apparent lack of privacy or the inquisitivenes of even strangers at what may be considered as something private or confidential.

Time was, when every house on the street knew what was going on in every other house. And of course they were all willing to chip in whenever someone needed help!

It takes a village to raise a child was very true. Everyone in the village was genuinely concerned about every child in the village.

When you are on a long distance – possibly even short distance – journey in a bus or train, depending on your age, someone is likely to ask questions like

- are you married

- where do you work

- how much do you earn

- do you own a house

etc etc etc.

One of the reasons for Facebook’s popularity in India is that it satisfies the unadmitted craving for gossip, about other people – neighbors, friends, colleagues etc

Another behavior I have seen – and have to admit, that I have also been like that during school – is to freely pluck flowers [and sometimes fruits] from random people’s houses, when they actually are accessible from the road easily!

All this was considered as acceptable behavior, that does not harm anyone and the stolen stuff is used to be offered to God [flowers] or satisfy one’s hunger [fruits]!

Recently, while driving back from Chennai to Bangalore, the traffic was held up due to a road block by some villagers, to protest a hit and run on the highway a short while earlier.

While they were waiting for the collector to come and assure them of some actions, traffic was just standing still.

It was a hot day and peopple started stepping out of their vehicles.

We were parked almost right behind a truck carrying sugar cane.

It was interesting to see some persons standing around the truck and looking at the stock of cane longingly


I do not remember now how or who took the first step at pulling a piece successfully!

Soon, many more were encouraged to to that – including being good samaritans who would pull and share with others!


One family – couple with two kids, one that was very yound and on the shoulders of the father – stopping to help themselves as they got down from a bus to – presumably – walk towards their home!

I also saw a lady who seemingly pulled more than she can chew – literally! – and broke the can and inserted the excess portion back into the truck! Talk of fairness..

Reminded me of a trip to a farm, where one could pluck apples and eat all that one can, as long as it is done before we left the farm!

This set me thinking in this era of digitalization and the move to make most interactions online, what is the scope and societal respect for data privacy?

If we are friends on facebook, is it ok to have access to all of each other’s data? be it PAN or Aadhar based data?

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