Friday, May 22, 2009

We did this.

We humans have drawn lines which divide us as people, as races, as religions, as castes and as nations. We draw the lines, we respect our own and debate others.
We question the need for lines when we want to cross them.
We insist upon the need for lines when we want to stay safe and insular.
We have a huge planet and yet we divide it amongst ourselves. And then we draw lines and specify crossing it. We limit who we want in and dictate pages of rules to keep others out.

Yes indeed I am talking about borders, immigration, visas, travel cards, ID cards, work permits, H-1s, B-1s and the many thousands of varieties available. To travel we face forms, money, photographs, bank accounts, security, police clearances and whole host of other essentials we believe shall help regulate populations and help promote security. We create new jobs for immigration lawyers, travel agents, VFS agents and HR.
We create volumes of paper which never gets thrown, we create the need for new softwares and technologies to reduce human identity and individuality to a bunch of genes evidenced in a biometric scan. We issue limits on others and make a business out of doing so.

For anyone who has traveled out of their home country, this process of making applications, attending interviews, presenting documents, crossing fingers and waiting, getting visas, traveling and standing in long queues with often impolite people on the other end asking you personal questions - is all known and experienced.

I would be stupidly Lenon-ish in wishing for a world without borders. It would silly to assume that this would one day end and family and friends wishing to see each other would not need to go through an elaborate process to be able to sit in an aircraft.

I am silly but I know a person with 2 little children in school, a house, a car and a good job should not be asked to leave a country overnight due to a visa expiring.

I am silly but I know friends and family who acquired visas and bought tickets to board a flight were declined the right to travel because they could not transit for 45 mins through another country's airport.

I am silly but I am the one who has for the past few months been pushed around by this insanely bureaucratic system. A system which questions basic ethos of life, marriage, work, education.

Am I right in being slightly upset and more than slightly annoyed?

I wish we had not built these boundaries to remain safe. It does not work.
I wish we had respect for others boundaries. We go to war - it does not work.
I wish I could point and say the few nations who do this. They dont, we all do.


DeepBlue said...

I guess making boundaries is an intrinsic nature to all animals.

Dogs,tigers..they all have their territories marked. Invade them and suffer their wrath.

I think boundaries are more to do with personal space.

Humans are just the organized of lot.
I guess countries,boundaries are just mass personal spaces.

To be segregated is human.Segregation is everywhere.


Sanket Korgaonkar said...

The US is one of the few places left where it is relatively easier to get a citizenship. That is slowly going away now - its not nearly as simple as it used to be and post-9/11 has been much harder. Yet it still retains traces of its immigrant based foundation in modern day.

Sorry to hear about your struggle. I know a friend who recently lost his job and had to leave with wife and kids - scares the shit out. May be may be some day a few more centuries from now when we have almost ruined our planet into extinction and almost destroyed mankind via nukes et all - humans will actually grow a brain and realize that the cons of boundaries far outweigh the pros.

Keep blogging. Cyberspace is over run with non-serious bloggers - good to see some genuine left. Oh! And in our blogosphere - there aint no boundaries - so cheer up!