Let’s change the world!
‘I found an easy way to change the world,’ announced my friend excitedly. ‘Great,’ I said. ‘Let’s do it.’ He looked happy to have my support in his...
‘I found an easy way to change the world,’ announced my friend excitedly. ‘Great,’ I said. ‘Let’s do it.’ He looked happy to have my support in his noble mission. ‘First we must make a list of all the problems in the world,’ he said grabbing a pen and a paper. I was impressed.
My idea of changing the world was to attend some meeting, eat samosas, drink chai and talk about it. At best, attend a morcha and make a petition to the President. My friend really seemed to have found a way. I wanted to know how he planned to do it.
‘Ok,’ he said. ‘Since there are many problems in the world we must be systematic. What are the problems we have starting with the alphabet A.’ Acne? I suggested quickly. He snorted. ‘No,’ he said. ‘Solving skin problems of teenagers is not the way to solve the problems of the world. What are our biggest problems now?’ I scratched my head. I did not have any.
‘If you have a problem because the jalebi shop is not near your house, no one will be interested in it. It should be a global problem,’ he said. Unable to trust myself to come up with something global enough I searched online. Freedom. Corruption. Cleanliness. Poverty. Population. War. Prices. Environment. Water.
Religion. I reeled off a long list. ‘All these problems have been solved by Gandhi, Modi, Indira, Sanjay, Sadhguru,’ he said. ‘We need something bigger, better, more stylish and contemporary. Not the same old problems. More, more.’
I continued. ‘Social media. Unemployment. Privacy issues,’ I said. ‘Hmm,’ he said. ‘Privacy issues. It seems like an interesting problem.’ I was impressed with the way he identified the problem. Now to see how he solves it. ‘But what are privacy issues?’ he asked starting at the beginning. ‘Why do people need privacy? What are they hiding?’
‘Nothing,’ I said. ‘Then?’ he asked. ‘People want privacy laws so other people will not know they have nothing to hide,’ I explained. ‘It’s very embarrassing. For example if I give my details to a government agency they will all sit around their tea table every evening and laugh at my low income, empty bank balance or at my pictures. That’s why people don’t want to reveal anything. Because they don’t have anything nice to reveal.’
‘Hmm,’ said my friend. ‘I can solve this problem in a jiffy. I need a picture.’ ‘What picture?’ I asked. ‘I need a photo or video of the problem in action. Once we catch someone violating someone’s privacy privately I can post the video telling people how these guys are causing problems. Once we post it online, problem solved!’
‘What? I exclaimed. ‘Is that your way of changing the world?’
‘Yes,’ he said. ‘Times have changed boss. It’s not like the old days when Gandhiji went about cleaning toilets to improve cleanliness. Now we use technology, take photos and post videos of people in the act. You mess toilets offline, we clean things online. Much easier and without getting our hands dirty.’
‘Dude, it’s easy to find people littering streets or taking bribes but how can we get pictures of people having privacy issues. Defeats the whole purpose for them right, if you give them publicity?’ I said.
‘Bro,’ he pleaded. ‘Please find a way. This is my chance at fame.’
‘I have an idea,’ I said. ‘It’s the only way for you.’
‘What?’ asked my friend.
‘You must catch yourself violating your own privacy and quickly take a picture or a video and post it online. It’s the safest option. Unless you sue yourself. Whichever way, I feel your world will change and you will become famous.’