Iraq - Shoe-ing Away The Question

December 16, 2008
Suresh Naig

Asking a question is very important for development. A society which is discouraged from asking questions, is a society deprived of development. A person is not expected to ask a question in an autocratic state and it may even cost the life of a person, if the question happened to be uncomfortable to the ruler. Even in a democratic country, many people have lost their lives, asking uncomfortable questions. They are known as “whistle blowers”, and in the recent past an engineer from Karnataka, Manjunath had paid with his life in Bihar, for asking uncomfortable questions to road contractors and Highways department Babus.

However we might have been deprived of many useful things for the society, if Issac Newton had not asked that question, ‘why an apple falls down?’ Had Alexander Fleming not asked that vital question, ‘why one mould is interfering with the growth of another mould’, we might have been deprived of anti-biotics – the powerful arsenal in medicine to fight infections.

Had Gandhi not asked that question, ‘why I am not allowed to travel in first class compartment, even after paying for it?’ we would not have experienced a non-violent philosophy “ahimsa”. The whole Bhagavat Geeta is a treatise in the form of questions and answers, and the central theme of Zen philosophy is only questions.

However, certain questions could be embarrassing in diplomatic parlance, even if it happened to be true. Our earlier Prime Minister Morarjee Desai was known for his diplomatic lapses, by his pointed and uncomfortable questions. He reportedly walked straight to one of the aides, who accompanied the Soviet Premier to India and asked, ‘are you from KGB?’ to the embarrassment of MEA personnel. However they were happy, that their Prime Minister, who was a proponent of “auto urine therapy”, did not offer his “favourite drink” to the Russian delegation.

Though we have been benefited by the answers for certain freak questions, we are better off, by not asking one question, which does not have an answer. This question is an expression of our wishful thinking and the question is “what if it’s true?”

Two persons had asked the above question in Bangalore and they were poorer by few lakhs of rupees. One had asked the question on receiving a mail in his mail box, declaring him as the winner of an international lottery. The other asked the question in response to a mail asking him to be a conduit, in retrieving huge funds stashed away in a foreign country. I am sure most of us would have received these mails and we ignored it, because we are not gullible.

At times even many top leaders showed traits of gullibility, by not only asking that question themselves, but also instigating others to ask the same question ‘what if it’s true?, for certain information which is worth shoeing away.

By not shoeing away the information pertaining to WMD (weapons of mass destruction), Bush had asked the question ‘what if it’s true?’ and he got shoe-d away in Iraq.

A science graduate from Madurai University.(1975) A compulsive writer as there is no dearth of compulsion from the system, society or our beloved politicians. A tough minded optimist, who would enjoy the scenic beauty from suicide point. Maveric in words, thoughts and deeds. He lives in Bangalore
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