Privacy!

The personal aspect of our lives and the value one placed on one’s privacy seems to have disappeared! I would have resented anyone opening my diary to read it in my absence just as I would have if someone had opened and read a letter addressed to me. I was taught not to do such things to others as well.

I started writing a diary when I was 18 when I had started to formally work for a company where I had to submit daily reports. While the diary helped, it was also a source of reference to jog my memory and to record significant events.

I stopped writing a diary when I was a little older and wiser when my diary was seized by an investigating agency of the government of India when I referred it to refresh my memory about some date when I had met a government official who had sought my help. That official had landed himself in trouble subsequently and my name had come up as one of his contacts and that is why I was investigated. I realised then that the government had a right to seize my diary and invade my privacy any time it chose to and decided against maintaining a personal diary.

I did use diaries during my working days to keep track of appointments and there never was anything personal in those that could have caused me or anyone else embarrassments.

This cartoon published by my brother Arvind however reflects something that has become obvious over the last few years.

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How values have changed!