If you haven’t smelt the fragrance, Delhi, these days, has become synonymous with phone tapping and stings. Suspicion and conspiracy have become the default human thought process, favorite collective pastimes.
Before AAP was born in 2012, the act of electronic recording was raising hackles of the conscious at the very least. But today, Delhi’s aam aadmi thinks tapping is just as natural as calling or texting. Anybody with a phone can record any conversation, audio or video or both — either as a participant or a third party. Sometimes you might end up with multiple recordings of the same conversation! After all, the city is peopled with self-righteous, honest souls whose sole motive is nothing but to curb corruption from the face of Mother Earth.
Gone are the good-old days of prior intimation and permission to record conversations (unless you were a threat to national security — all bets are off then). Post-AAP victory, if your phone buzzes and you pick the call, you’ve already consented to tapping. The recording can be released anytime, anywhere; it’s your job to keep a tab on TV breaking news to know your turn of fate.
Twist in the tale: Just as how terrorists turn against their own creators/protectors of yesterday, those who sting (or urge others to sting) can also get stung tomorrow. It’s truly a free for all: overly democratic, truly inclusive, all-pervasive, tit-for-tat, and very very open! The only democratically-elected CM of the country who openly calls for tapping and stinging others without permission got a taste of his own medicine.
Raising the “elitist, academic” issue of privacy only evokes laughter, yawns, and jeers along the lines: “Do you support corruption?” If you so much as protest, you probably have an ugly underbelly to hide because of your political affinity — “Dude, you sure aren’t an AAP supporter, are you?” After all, nearly 60% of the city population wholeheartedly put their stamp of approval on this “vigilante justice” culture in Feb 2015.
Maybe I am still an #OldFashioned traditionalist who cares about the sanctity and privacy of conversations. God bless you, Delhi, but thank god I wasn’t born or ever lived within your boundaries!
I intend to remain free, and freedom isn’t something I’ll sacrifice in a hurry. Thank you for teaching other cities of India what NOT to be!