On the wings of a ‘necessary evil’
   Date :28-Jul-2021

horse_1  H x W:
By Biraj Dixit :

just like that_1 &nb 
I hate all things categorised as ‘necessary evil.’ War, politics, rules, taxes, some quirky relatives, formal dinners, Mondays, dieting, cabbage, gourd etc. etc. etc. Well, so many necessary evils in life! I say, why should anything evil be necessary? But since we live in the world which is more evil than necessary, one has to live with a little of necessary evil, or so I am told. The recent ‘necessary evil’ to have drawn everyone’s attention is spying. Most governments and agencies, world over, like most decent folks, are absolutely not keen on spying but it is, as they say, a necessary evil and so there are many takers for the extremely famous spyware ‘Pegasus’. I say, it is terribly rude to spy on people. Why! One may be at a potential danger of finding nothing interesting. One may also find oneself at the receiving end of those whose privacy one has trodded upon. And yet despite such huge risks, nations, societies, communities, individuals all cannot help but spy.
The reason might be that since man has gained too much power and prominence on the face of the earth, he has long forgotten the art of letting things be. Moreover, since he is also a social animal, somebody’s business is more often than not everybody’s business. So, if NSO, Pegasus spyware’s parent company, decided to profit from this human malware, who are we to object? But I object to somebody naming a spyware ‘Pegasus.’ Isn’t that lovely, mythical winged horse which appears at the start of Tristar films meant to make things obvious? For the Greeks, it represented soul’s immortality. To many, it is symbol of free spirit and liberty. Alas! Henceforth it will be known for a not-so-liberal activity of spying. May be the Israelis selected the name to bring forth the immortality of the art of spying, who knows? The Art of Spying, as you all know, did not spring from Ian Fleming’s imaginary 007. It was practised since, I suppose, humans first stumbled upon the very tempting craft of eavesdropping. Eavesdropping is spying taking baby steps. Someone standing somewhere might have overheard something and then presumed that it will be in the best interest of humanity if he pursued the case.
At the dawn of civilisation, however, this little craft of eavesdropping was declared ill-mannered and since then all civilisations attach no value but strong habits to this nasty craft. So, while spying is unequivocally rude, spending huge amount of money on this temptation has almost always gained a lot of currency. So, here is our poor dear ‘Pegasus’ flying with so much riding on its wings! If my own sentiments about this art of all arts be known, I absolutely abhor it. Even the likes of Sir Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan playing the marvellous James Bond, with the super wonderful gadgets and we-are-here-to-save-the-world acts, cannot compel me to like the art. I have a strong dislike for it, for it betrays a certain despondency in the human clan. It says, ‘Trust We Cannot.’ The pacifist me decries every attempt at debasing human lives by going overboard with all things overtly over - overhearing, oversight, overawed, overbearing! This case of installing spyware to infringe upon people’s privacy underlines my fears. People in power should never, never fall for the temptations of misusing their positions to peep into lives of others. My position on the matter could have been irrevocable but sometimes, tables just turn and one is forced to live with a little of ‘necessary evil.’ It dawned upon me almost accidentally when someone back home declared me ‘dictatorial’, that I, too, very arguably, hold the position of power. It was then that I truly understood the meaning of proverb, ‘uneasy lies the head...!’
I assume I hold power because someone every now and then invokes the ‘attack-on-my privacy clause’ on me these days. And, guess what, this coming from the very person who came in the world with a definite design to rob the entity called ‘mother’ with every tiny-winy bit of privacy. But being a teenaged ‘adult’, she is entitled to privacy. Like all good people involved in the art of good governance, I too, am sometimes tempted to overhear so I am not accused of oversight. A necessary evil, you see! So here’s what I have to say to NSO, “Dear Sir/Madam, Since your ‘Pegasus’ is already on a rather cloudy path, its wings heavy with the burden of enormous overhearing and many shutting their doors to you, how about making a tiny little spyware for mothers to just locate their own babies in their own home, to know if their ‘two-minutes’ will end before an hour, to trace if ‘studying’ means studying and to decode the word ‘busy’. Poor moms, world over, may not be able to pay the lovely sum governments and agencies pay you, but you can gain so many blessings while also not allowing your wings to become rusty. Just a suggestion!”