Today I went to cancel my Airtel connection for my internet. As I’m leaving the city on the 20th of December, I thought that I’d settle my accounts with them, and return their modem.
The man behind the desk asks me for my ID. I tell him I can’t drive, have no voter’s ID, and can’t give him my PAN, or my Passport. He was unable to believe that I carried no ID on my whatsoever. He said that without ID, he can’t allow me to cancel the connection! This was lovely. I told him that regardless of what he said, I was leaving on the 20th, and I didn’t care a fig about his papers. I was doing the decent thing by canceling my connection, instead of just leaving, and this fellow tells me I can’t do it! His loss.
I told him there’s no law that says I have to carry any ID with me, and I don’t like to carry ID, as I resent having to prove to anyone who I am. After all why should I? This is a free country, and I have committed no crime. No one has any business asking me where I’m from. He said that without ID I have no proof that I am Bhagwad! I said I don’t need to prove to anyone that I’m Bhagwad. I’m quite secure about my identity without having to ‘prove’ it to anyone.
This was quite beyond the gentleman’s comprehension. Taking pity, I told him that I’ll try and get an electricity bill at the very least, but I can’t guarantee it. In the meantime, I’ll return the modem and pay my last bill. If I can’t get the electricity bill, I’m afraid I can’t do anything. Tough luck.
The experience has shown me in what direction the country is heading. A person can’t be left alone if he wants. He has to ‘prove’ himself with an ID card. Our country is becoming a totalitarian state. I had recently written a letter to an author regarding just this.