At this moment, there are two petitions sitting in my feed-reader/email asking me to do the right thing – Get the Singapore government to repeal a law against gays and another asking for action against Myanmar.
In my heart I know the right thing to do is to sign these petitions. I also know I should be brave and put my name where my opinions are. Another part of me “knows” that this not really going to change the Singapore government’s opinions or actions.
Yet, a tiny voice in me stops me from clicking that final submit button. The voice that reminds me of the horrors that have visited so many of my country-men in India when they have stood up against corrupt or unjust officials. Lives broken, careers ruined, families torn apart.
The voice reminds me that I am living in a strange country – my only right to living and working here a small plastic card. That card keeps my family fed, puts a roof over our heads and allows us to fulfill a dream of owning a house.
It asks “Are you really sure you are safe? Confident that this will not get your visa canceled and have you sent back to India in disgrace?”.
I listen to the voice and I am afraid. I am embarrassed to be afraid, but I cannot click that Submit button.
This is the real price of living under an unjust government – you are too afraid to protest anytime, anywhere.