Albert Camus, the French philosopher said that the only way to deal with an unfree world was to become so free that your very existence would be an act of rebellion. Society has always loved its rebels. The ones we love to vilify or glorify, but the ones we can never ignore. The rebels of society at any time have been brave enough to be honest, to speak their minds out and to stand by their opinions. We’ve labelled some rebels as heroes, and some as terrorists. But one thing we can’t deny is that they were all people of principle. However, today’s society is run by trends, you’ve got so many trends that the entire society is slowly turning into a collective identity, a homologous body that is slowly losing what we valued most in individuals – a sense of identity.
Is it then so difficult to reach the conclusion that the very act of rebellion too might have been contaminated by this notion of trends? Rebellion has now become a clichéd societal stance. You are a rebel if you wear a Che tee, smoke a cigarette in a no smoking zone and generally come up with random unfounded phrases like ‘smash the patriarchy’, ‘smash the police’, ‘anarchy for the win’, ‘smash the governments’. Heaven forbid if you point out that the desire for anarchy is nothing but societal chaos and anarchy by logic should have no definition and call me a conformist or a weak backed individual, but I prefer order to chaos any day, even oppressive order is preferable to complete chaos.
So now we have a situation where conformism is a cliché. Society has always had its conformists, the people who have been fans of the governments and the state and have believed everything they were told. Then there were a few who began to question a few things. Then there were many who questioned everything. Rebellion became a trend in itself. In seeking to be individualistic and an anti cliché, rebellion in fact became a cliché. As I have always believed, any anti cliché in seeking to form a canon of its own becomes a cliché itself. In the same way rebellion seeking to distance itself from conformity now propagates and in fact forces conformity. Unfortunately trends exist because people seek to conform, because popularity lies in conformity. No one liked that kid in high school who wore nerd glasses and read manga. They all loved the jocks who drove their shiny cars and played hard rock and drank beers and knew all the pretty girls. Life is no different.
Rebellion has now become a trend, thus containing all the negative connotations that the term might contain – conformity, banality. In fact if you don’t agree to the rebellious rules now, you’re actually a rebel in your own right. However you’re not popular. What you are is a pro-state, chauvinist, conforming pig. At least that’s what they’d have you think.
Don’t fall into their belief systems. Take what Camus said in the true sense of the term. Do away with the trends. Let individuality win the day. Live. Think. Rebel.
Sketch By: Anshul Dora