I cared because I did not care 1


Rumblings of an ex-activist in his early thirties

Why have I ceased to care about the world? Why is my commitment vanishing? Fifteen years ago if I saw blind person struggling to cross the road, I would jump off my bicycle to help him cross, and make a mental note on how I will change public transport. Now I watch my watch and glide away hoping someone will do my job for me.

I wonder today if I cared then since I did not have a care in the world. Caring parents, carefree friends and a careless school set the imagination free. The body did not need much, and five rupees a week bought me all that I wanted. In a city that did not care how I dressed, in a school that did not care if I topped the exam, and with friends who did not care if I drove a bicycle or a BMW I could hatch endless plans to change the world.

The journey from endless plans to an end to plans has not taken long. This body has to take care of itself and that dictates my imagination today. Not long ago I thought of savings and investment only when I thought of India’s five year plans. These five year plans seem less important than my retirement today, symbolic of how my imagination on the whole has gone from public to private. I care today about my body, dress, home and bed today like I never have and have ceased in the process to care about the world…and I wonder now, if I cared about the world then only because I did not have a care in the world.


About Vivek Srinivasan

I work with the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University. Before this, I worked with the Right to Food Campaign and other rights based campaigns in India. To learn more, click here.


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