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Short story

The king was facing a major problem. He has become allergic to sound. The doctors treating him on sound allergy were of the opinion that the shouting on streets against the king must be regulated, so that the king can maintain good health. The citizens were out on the streets shouting slogans against the king.

The minister was called to find out solutions for this royal problem.

Destroy the unity of citizens,’ said the minister.If the unity of citizens is destroyed, when some people shout against the king, others will shout against those who dissent. And thus, silence can be maintained finally.’

That’s a good idea,’ agreed the king.But how do we do that?’

`Make alterations on the very notion of a citizen. Let us introduce the Citizens Amendment Act.’

Yes. That will solve the problem. After all, religion can also define a nation,’ smiled the king.And people will talk about the new law rather than price rise, collapse of economy, unemployment, increasing national debts and other issues. Two birds with one shot.’

The king poured a couple of shots of scotch whiskey and gave one to the minister.

And as predicted, as soon as the new law was introduced, all important power centres raised their hands in support of the king and the minister. There was no need to read the new law. Support will be given according to who is saying, rather than what is being said.

But at night, both the king and the minister could not sleep. People were shouting throughout the night. They came out on rallies on the next day. Then onwards, the number of people shouting against the bill increased.

`What is the police doing? Why can’t you control the people?’ The king asked the police authorities.

`They are shouting against the bill, sir. And their number is increasing. We are trying our level best with lathis and guns.’

The king called the minister again.

The bill did not divide the people as we expected,’ said the king.Instead, it is dividing our supporters also.’

We will have to crush the dissent heavily immediately,’ said the minister.Now, we will have to prove who is more powerful: People or the leader.’

`But then they will shout against our violence,’ said the king.

`We will prove that the protesters have resorted to violence. What we are doing is to save the people from violence.’

`That may work,’ agreed the king.

Soon the policemen were instructed to initiate some violence and blame it on the protesters. The police burnt and broke a few vehicles and threw some stones at the protesters. The fire was waiting to be ignited. It was only a small spark that was needed. There were protests every where and violence started spreading. Dead bodies were waiting to be counted. But the lathis and bullets of the policemen were not stopping the sound of dissent from people.

Now what?’ Asked the king.The shouting does not stop. My allergy is increasing’.

`Now, we have come to the root of the problem. The main problem is that they are shouting. So, let us ban shouting. To become a good citizen, you will have to keep quiet. Our citizens should learn that’.

`Yes. We must stop people from communicating to each other,’ the king was thoughtful. The press and social media are turning against us. We tried arresting some journalists. But more sound is coming up then.’

`We will have to introduce a law against shouting. The citizens should not be making sound.’

`I will announce that,’ smiled the king.

No more shouting in this country. No more provocation on streets. If the police shoots at anybody who is making sound, it will not be the responsibility of the police,’ The king announced his decision publicly. He turned to the police and said:No matter who the person is, all those who make sound of dissent on the streets should be shot.’

The police started looking for those who are making sound of dissent on the streets.

Everything seemed to be coming back to normalcy. The king and the minister were relieved. That night, both of them slept properly.

On the next day, the king got ready to go to his office. His body guards came on both sides and he got into the car. When he reached the office, a large number of police personnel were there to receive him.

But there was one problem. All these tensions had upset the stomach of the king. As soon as he took a step towards his office building, his stomach growled and made a big sound.

Several guns roared !

K.P. Sasi is a film maker, writer and a cartoonist


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