Today I would like to share my shared sentiments expressed through the views of a known author and blogger, Mr Avay Shukla. One of the renowned political journalists, author and thinkers from Punjab in India, Mr Malvinder Singh Mali, had posted an interview of Mr. Shukla on FB recently. I was asked to write transcript/summery of this interview, which I am attaching herewith so the World too knows that the times of ‘Third Reich’ are not yet over.
The Wire supported by ‘The Glenlivet books’
Interviewed by Karan Thapar
Interviewee- Blogger and Author Avay Shukla
This YouTube Interview was held under the title, ‘Similarities between Hitler’s Third Reich and Modi’s India growing everyday’.
Transcript/summary written by Jasleen Kaur Sethi
Karan Thapar introduces by saying that many people think that his guest is Conscious of our country but if you think it is an exaggeration , then call him the voice of our conscious. In interview he confirms that Avay Shukla’s blogs are applauded and widely circulated right across the country and now he has put them together in this book called, ‘India the wasted years’.
The interviewer says that the book is a collection of blogs called ‘The view from Greater Kailash’. ‘They are critiques and not judgements’. Karan quotes Avay’s message in the book as, ‘Silence is no longer an option. Being neutral in the face of oppression, misgovernance and a collapse of a nation is to support the wrong and spurn the right. That you add, is not neutrality but complicity.’
Karan asks his first question, ‘Whom are you being critical of and whom are you in opposition of?’
Avay replies, ‘ Karan I am critical primarily of the Government at the Centre’; however Avay adds that it’s not limited to only government as he is also critical of his own ‘colleagues’, his own ‘service, people who have retired and who are still serving’. He goes on to add to the list the ‘senior veterans and defence forces who don’t speak out’. Avay says that he is also ‘critical of the media and at several points of times of our society’ which he thinks has changed a lot in the last 7-8 years. Avay talks about Karan’s recent article in which he has recollected his childhood and the times when he was growing up, but Avay observes that India has changed a lot since and it is not the kind of country or society where you would like to grow up in again. According to Avay, ‘It’s a very wide canvas and the criticism is generally about what is happening in the country and all of us in some measure or the other are contributing to it.’
Based on Avay’s response Karan wanted him to be even more specific and urged that Avay talked about these people and institutions that he has referred to in his blogs and in fact to start with Narinder Modi. According to Karan the collection of Avay’s blogs are really critical of Narinder Modi. He quotes from his blog, ‘Modi’s destruction of India can be divided into three broad phases, Demonetisation, 2019 and Covid-19’. Karan particularly asks, ‘Why do you call it destruction of India?’
Avay responded by ‘confessing’ that he started in his blogging life as a supporter of Modi. In 2013 he had written a blog with title ‘Why I shall support Modi in 2014’. He says, ‘Since then in the last 7 years one has been considerably disillusioned. In fact disillusioned is a very mild word now. One is now apprehensive of the direction in which he is leading us.’ Avay confirms that Modi had a ‘very good platform to build on in 2014’. Modi’s legacy in UPA was in two parts. On negative side, ‘the government was undecisive and almost intimidated by regional satraps. A nationalistic vision was missing and it was more of regional pressures and agenda which was coming and there was much talk about corruption etc.’ But on the positive side, Modi inherited a sound economy which was still growing at the rate of 7% to 8%. Avay adds that India had at that time survived the Global economic crisis in 2008 and two hundred and twenty million people had raised above the poverty line. Avay observed that India at that time was also becoming a ‘right based society’ and the ‘welfare measures were working’. He continued to elaborate that the UPA government ‘with all its faults had passed legislations like the ‘Forests’ Rights Act, Right to education, Right to Food and Mid-day meals, etc. etc. ’ According to the author ‘Modi had the good and the bad to work with’. He made promises when people voted for him in 2014 that ‘he would get rid of the weaknesses and the deficiencies’ and that he would ‘build on other things but unfortunately he has not done that’. Karan’s next question was – ‘So in other words, your disillusionment is because the promise he held out is the promise he betrayed?’
In responding to this question, Avay was very clear in his reply, ‘Yes, that’s a major part of the disillusionment but even if he had not delivered on his promises and if he had taken us on the same route economically, socially, etc. I feel we would not be so badly off as a society, as an economy, as an administration as we are today. Because what he did, this is my personal view, what he did was he substituted the promises which he had made before the elections with his own agenda; the agenda of the organisations which were backing him.’ But Avay also added, ‘I don’t have to name them(the organisations that backed Modi)’ and the entire agenda which he had promised was ‘completely substituted with new agenda of social division, of non-cooperation with the state governments, deterioration and takeover of the autonomous institutions including the judiciary and the various institutions we had which were functioning fairly well during UPA time.’
Karan interrupted to interject another counter question, ‘So what you are saying is he coned people, particularly take yourself as an example, he coned you by promising that he would do certain things and he didn’t do and he replaced them with agenda that you had not voted him for? You were therefore fooled by his rhetoric, fooled by hi presentation of himself. And so the betrayal, therefore, is underlined by a sense of being fooled by him, being tricked and trapped?’
Avay answered, ‘Absolutely’, and he added that in one of his blogs he ‘has termed him as a pied piper. You know, that’s exactly what he did.’ Avay continued his response by saying, ‘He promised something else but he started or attempted to deliver on something else. That’s why not only did he lose the opportunity to build on a platform which was fairly decent which was given to him by the previous government. He has amplified those earlier deficiencies I was earlier on talking about. The indecisiveness of the UPA government has been replaced by over centralisation where no consultations are held before taking decisions. The broad based corruption of those days is now been replaced with very selective crony corruption where only a few of selected favoured few are entitled to the benefits’ of what Avay thinks are the government’s largest ‘handouts’. ‘The regionalism of that time has been replaced by very aggressive majoritarianism. The cooperation with the state has been replaced by…you remember he had promised us cooperative or constructive federalism, that is completely in tatters.’ According to Avay, ‘the society is driven and is absolutely split asunder’. He also said, ‘I am shocked to see that people from my own social background and education, economic status; even they have been taken in, as the voting percentage shows.’
Karan interrupts to ask another important question, ‘Let me stop you there because there’s a very important part of one of your blogs I want at this moment to quote to you-“ There is a monovalent common threat that runs through the three phases of Modi’s destruction.” With this Karan reminded the audience that those three phases as per Avay’s blogs are: ‘Demonetisation, 2019 and Covid-19’. Karan tells Avay, ‘You describe that threat in certain amount of striking detail. You say that subjugation of constitutional and regulatory institutions, gross misuse of enforcement and Police agencies, undermining of the judiciary, politicisation of armed forces and overbearing arrogance and insensitivity to public opinion, ruthless crushing of the dissent, false propaganda and image building on a **(missing term here was inaudible on video) scale. So, assuming that you are correct and not for a moment do I doubt it, none of this could have happened without the willing and active participation of the civil servants, military officers, judiciary, intelligent and enforcement agencies and the media. So Modi is not alone in doing what he has done, he had the support of the entire system and the people who man that system. He has successfully co-opt to them.’
Avay replies, ‘Absolutely right Karan and in fact what he has done- he has utilised these various instruments of governance in the manner in which he wanted to utilise them to further his agenda and not in the constitutional mandate which these instruments adjoined.’ Avay adds, ‘He (Modi) has actually not created any new institution. He has utilised what you (Karan) mentioned- the civil services, the media, the autonomous institutions, the judiciary etc. to his own benefit’.
Karan interjected with a commented, ‘And distorted them in the process.’
Avay agreed, ‘Absolutely, they are unrecognisable from what they were and what they were supposed to be. And I told you I blame my own service, my colleagues. Although it is wrong to assume that the government services, especially the All India services, etc., the IAS, the IPS etc. are willing partners in this. They are silent. I think they have been intimidated to the point where it is safer to remain quiet’. Avay continued, ‘ I have a theory about the IAS, you know in a light hearted way. The human spine has 33 vertebrae. My theory is that we lose one vertebra with every year of service. The more senior we get, the more pliable we get. By the time we reach the top, we have practically no spine left, not because we are collusive but because we don’t stand up, we don’t speak out and that has allowed Mr Modi to do what he has done to distort the systems, where now a lot of them appear to be part of the party rather than part of the Government.’
Karan asks, ‘Mr Modi is one of many Prime Ministers that we’ve had in the last 71 years since independence but he is now becoming one of the longest serving. How would you compare him not with all of them but with Indira Gandhi who also did great damage during the Emergency to things we honour and cherish- Constitution, guarantees of freedom, the right of the opposition, the right to protest even habeas corpus under the way Supreme court behave. How do you compare Modi to Indira Gandhi? Many people often try make that comparison and still suggest that she was worse, she did worse damage. She also corrected herself in 1977, how then would you compare the two?’
Avay replies, ‘My personal view, Karan, although I am not a historian, my personal view is that the damage being done now is far more fundamental, it is going to be longer lasting, it is going to be almost irreparable. Another few years of this and we will not be able to retrieve the damage done to the country. Don’t forget that she at least had the courage to declare an Emergency, she did it under the constitution, of course she had appliable President to rubber stamp it but it was a declared Emergency. And she for whatever reasons decided to bail out after two years and lost. So the damage was restricted to two years. What’s happening now, A is it’s been 7years, another 2 ½ years is certainly on and may be another 5 years. I think that’s a period. That length of the same policies, the same type of administration; I don’t think we are going to be able to get out of or to retrieve or repair in a hurry.’
Karan summarises, ‘In other words, Modi’s is an undeclared Emergency and he is more insidious.’ He also adds, ‘Indira’s was more upfront. This is creeping under the system and eating it from inside and making it hollow. Is that what you are suggesting?’
Avay replied, ‘Absolutely, absolutely. It is insidious and creeping sort of poison that is seeping in to the system.’ Avay goes on to further distinguish between Indira and Modi by saying, ‘ Another major difference I would like to point out – what Mrs Gandhi did was to the administrative structure, whether it was politics or administration or the judiciary. What’s happening now is that the poison is seeping in to the social fabric of the society. Once it takes root there, it becomes that much more difficult to eradicate at a subsequent point of time.’ He elaborates further, ‘The kind of damage she did was to the official structure, to the political structure, etc. What’s happening now is much deeper, much more fundamental, much more in here (at this point he touched his head to imply ‘inside the mind’)’. Avay concluded, ‘And therefore my worry’. Karan’s next question , ‘One more question about Mr Modi before I move on. You have a very powerful blog about his handling of the pandemic that we are all living through’. He quotes Avay’s blog post, ‘ We need to retain in our collective national memory the near Apocalypse the nation is going through and the persons responsible for it we should never forget, never forgive.’ Karan elaborates that he could understand ‘never forgive’ but does ‘never forget’ mean we should keep reliving those dreadful moments over and over again?
Avay was categorical in his response, ‘We need to, we need to. We need to ensure that this kind of situation, these conditions never arise again. We need to ensure that this kind of insensitive Government or governance rather doesn’t happen again in this country. I mentioned in the same blog, Karan, how the Jews have a long memory. It has helped them to survive because as somebody said that the struggle for democracy is a constant struggle against forgetting- Forgetting the good as well as the bad, particularly the bad. If we don’t remember how we are going to take corrective actions in the future and ensure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. That’s what I meant when I said that we should not forget. To remember what we’ve been through, we should remember who was responsible for this and take conscious decisions and make conscious choices in the future so that this doesn’t happen again’.
Karan then summarises by saying, ‘ In other words, our capacity to remember, never to forget, never to forgive is our means also of redemption.’
Avay agreed by saying, once again, ‘Absolutely. Public memory is very short, especially when you are having 3million pages being posted on to the internet every single day, you know. One crisis over takes the other and we forget. But this is the visceral crisis, this is the fundamental crisis of what we have been through. Therefore we need to have it retain it in our collective public memory even if not in our individual memory.’
Karen takes the interview further by pointing at that the other section of society which Avay is ‘very critical of is the Corporate India’. He says that Avay has devoted several blogs criticising its support for the ‘renegade channels’ which are basically just two, ‘The Republic channel’ and ‘Times now’. Karan quotes from Avay’s blog, ‘ A Corporate entity has the same legal rights as an individual. Surely you ask, they should have the same moral and social duties as an individual to condemn immoral ideology, to abjure hate and communalism, do not incite one community against the other, to distinguish between truth and falsehood.’ Karan then asks Avay that if in the west it’s very common for corporates to stand up and be counted, so why in India are they so scared to raise a hand?
Avay replies, ‘ Two reasons, I think Karan. One is the general fear of intimidation. It happens every day over here. The use of the government’s sovereign power and regulatory agencies to crack down on the corporates.’ Avay explains that this is the contrast with the west. He says further, ‘The second is the regulatory framework we have under which corporates work, although a lot of the licensing and regulatory framework has been eased out and reduced but most of it still remains. So the corporates are at the mercy of the government and that is why it’s so important to break the nexus or the connection between the corporate houses and the media because if the corporate houses are controlling the media, they are susceptible to enormous pressure from the government to fashion their narrative in the media in a particular way which exactly what is happening in India. So when your systems don’t work, your judicial system don’t work, your regulatory agencies are suborned by the government the corporates have nowhere to turn to except to comply with the governments.’
Karan at this point wanted to explore the link that Avay mentioned between the corporates and the media and mentions that the corporates are an ‘extremely rich entities and are owned by extremely rich people’ and whilst it doesn’t protect them from getting intimidated by the government. Government regulations or the threat of reprisal means that even the richest, economically the most powerful are waste to the ‘one man’s tyranny’.
Avay, in response, comments,’ You remember how a particular company, a big corporate was persuaded (Avay made a finger quote gesture on the word persuaded) to handover the management of the Bombay (Mumbai) Airport to another company, even though it had the rights to run that Airport. So it’s a fact of life. But that doesn’t excuse their spinelessness. Not all corporates are intimidated.’ Avay then quotes example of Mr Bajaj who said that he would not like his daughter to grow up in this kind of intimidatory atmosphere and Avay talks about Mr Bajaj pulling out certain ads from a couple of channels and certain other corporates followed.
Karan points out that Avay has also mentioned in his book that ‘not only should Republic and Times Now as channels must be boycotted, but you’ve gone one step by saying that pressure and boycott should extend also to those members of India Ink who continue to support these channels with their advertisement.’ Karan tells that Avay’s book lists names of such companies who are advertising on the Republic and advertising on the Times Now. Karan says to Avay, ‘You are saying that if these corporates feel that it is in their right to promote support and nurture channels that divide our country, then let us also put pressure to boycott those corporates because those corporates are financing what eventually becomes the division and destruction of our country.’
Avay comments back, ‘Absolutely, absolutely. It’s a vicious cycle- the corporates fund these channels; these channels look for TRPs. Unfortunately, our social mentality and mindset is such that we go for sensationalism, abuse, WWE type of panel discussions every night which lead to higher TRPs, higher TRPs then persuade the corporates to put in more money in to these channels.’ And Avay confirms that this is how vicious circle continues but it has to be broken. He elaborates by saying, ‘The Government won’t break it because it suits the Government. The corporates won’t break it because it suits them as they are making money. It has to be us, you and me like they do in the West. A civil society has to be aware and has to stand up and speak out at certain points.’
Karan interrupts to add a question if Avay believe that civil societies would stand up as the TRPs of channels like The Republic and Times Now are growing. ‘People spend a lot of time even in the social circles you and me mix in criticising these channels and yet when they go home they make a point of watching them. So I ask you again do you really think that civil society will make that move?’
Avay explains, ‘I don’t really have an answer to that Karan. They may they might not but we have to keep hammering away at it. We have to keep making this point, which is what I mentioned in the beginning that I also blame society. We are not responsible enough, we take the easy way out and therefore they can do it abroad.’ Avay mentions the TV channel in USA called ‘Bright Heart- the purveyor of hate of Mr and Mrs Trump.’ Avay informs that more than 1200 companies had pulled out ads from Bright Heart because of pressure from civil society. We have to wake up and this connects with another point I have that retired bureaucrats; retired defence service people don’t speak out enough. We don’t speak up enough to the conscious of the society.’
Karan asks the next question, ‘ There are two people in your blog who are considered icons almost in India that you are surprisingly very critical of. Let me bring them up one by one. The first is Ratan Tata. You say of him ‘not withstanding his tall claims to philanthropy, Ratan Tata always knows which side of his bread is buttered and this is usually the winning side.’ Karan points out that this is not how Indian people think of Ratan Tata, then why Avay has such a poor impression of him?
Avay replies, ‘Mr Tata is a philanthropist, no doubt’; however Avay also goes on to say, ‘But he doesn’t speak out on issues that require to be highlighted or the issue that require to be condemned or commented upon. You know it’s all very well to fund a school here or an Angio there but this small change for somebody of a stature of Ratan Tata. He needs to do more. He can’t assuage his conscious by giving out a few crores for certain welfare activities and not speak out where the future of the country is concerned, where type of governance we need is concerned. You remember the withdrawal of the Titan ad about remarriage or interfaith marriage. It just took 24 hours of protest by some goons in Bangalore or Hyderabad for him to pull the ad. That doesn’t impress me at all.’
Karan corrected the record by confirming that the protest was held first in Ahmadabad and also added that the reason given for the withdrawal of the ad was to protect the security of the Titan staff, which may or may not be the truth ‘but instead of standing up for an ad which most people thought was touching and beautifully made, Titan capsized’.
Karan then proceeded with his next question by highlighting the second major celebrity that Avay has been critical of in his book, i.e. Amitabh Bachchan. Karan quotes Avay, ‘Amitabh Bachchan has too many bulls in his mouth to be able to bark. What are you suggesting that he has let down the country or that he has let himself down?’
Avay replied, ‘ He hasn’t let himself down. He is doing pretty well I would say financially from the various endorsements etc. which he does. He also great face of a lot of government ads, which is good, which is good, on wild life, on conservation, on things like water supply, Swachh Bharat and all that, that is fine. But he is an icon. He is a role model. He’s acquired that stature because the public look up to him. But he has a duty to that public also, like what I mentioned earlier that corporates also have duty. Similarly, he can’t just ride the gravy train, make money out of it and ignore the other issues. Once in a while you would expect him to come out with a tepid bland statement at least if you don’t wat to go the whole hog and condemn the government. So at the end of the day, he is letting himself down also, he is letting down his stature. So one is disappointed, extremely disappointed because you expect such people to once in a while make a mild…(not clear audio on the word) kind of statement if you will, but show that you are also concerned with some of the visceral issues of this country also and not just making money.’
Karan asks if it would fair to say that it seems Avay’s criticism of both Ratan Tata and Amitabh Bachchan is that they both have the stature and the economic standing to protect important issue but they still fail to speak up. Karan also adds that perhaps it’s because they both ‘don’t have the guts presumably or perhaps they have something that advise them that would make them vulnerable to the government. Unless there is a weakness in the closet that they are hiding which make them vulnerable to the government so silence is protection or they lack the guts, the moral commitment to speak out. One or two applies to both, doesn’t it?’
Avay answers, ‘Yes, probably all the things that you mentioned, probably all of them is what holds these people back. But, then you know, how do you differentiate men from the boys? I mean everyone has these fears, we all do. You dig deep enough into anybody’s life, the most ordinary citizen’s life and you’ll find something with which to if not crucify but at least make life difficult. I don’t what kind of financial affairs Mr Amitabh Bachchan could be having. At the end of the day I think that it’s just greed.’
Karan is quick to add, ‘They want more from the gravy train.’
Avay responds, ‘Absolutely, absolutely, but these people are influencers. You have a duty, you have a duty; it’s not just a voluntary thing, you have a duty, otherwise you step down.’
●Karan asks, ‘ In contrast to the Ratan Tatas and Amitabh Bachchans, is the future, the light down the road that you saw when young people in their hundreds, thousands came out in the streets of India to protest at the time of the Citizenship Amendment Act, at the time of the National Registers Citizens Protest this is what you wrote on those protests, ‘ These are miracles which will make this country a much better democracy. For the very first time in our 71 years of history the concept of secularism has come out of rarefied and elite portals and it now mingles joyously with ordinary citizens in the streets, parks and universities in India. Explain that a bit more fully.’
Avay replies, ‘ You know Karan, the concept of secularism is perhaps the most debated in this country even more so now days. But the debates remain academic, you know, they are either academic or they are in the Parliament or they are in the High Court or the Supreme Court. It is very rarely that you get the common man, the man, the boy and the girl in the street to express their concept of secularism and some of these protests, especially the CAA and the NRC protest show us in no ambiguous terms at all that how strong the routes of secularism are in this country. These protests were tried to be branded as being supported or in favour of a particular community. So they came out, they came out of their hijabs, burkas and everything. You remember the famous case, a young student from JNU, a Hindu girl spoke up against the CAA and she said, ‘I am a Hindu but I oppose this particular bill’. There was a recent true research survey, just a couple of weeks back which said that 84% of the respondents in India, they interview around 42,000 people , 84% of respondents from all communities were in favour of secularism and for having the faiths together for tolerance. It was an occasion when the people spoke as against the rulers and the judges and the Parliamentarians, and they spoke very loudly, and that gives me a lot of hope that it was primarily the youngsters, you know, who are going to be the future of this country, who were making this particular point. That is very exhilarating for me.’
Karan says, ‘ There was one other particular community at that time won your applause, and when I say won your applause it is euphemism.’ Karan highlighted that it was ‘The Muslim women of India’. He then quoted from Avay’s blog, ‘ They have sprung the biggest surprise. Theirs is the real secular push back against both Hindu fundamentalists and these obscurantists polemics ( audio not very clear on term polemic). But I want to put it to you that this is not so much of a miracle as a reflection of the fact all of us didn’t know them, didn’t understand them and made no effort to know them which is why we are surprised but they were always strong, determined, loving, caring and committed. It’s just that our eyes were not seeing or may be wore-they were closed.’
Avay responds, ‘True, absolutely but I called it a miracle Karan because it required a lot of courage for these women who have been brainwashed, traditionally told that this is your role, you don’t come out on to the streets, you stay at home and you do whatever needs to be done at home’. Avay adds, ‘ But these women came out. It was a rebellion not only against the CAA but a rebellion against their own religion or certain traditional rights, of passage of that particular religion, that’s what makes it even more secular, even more secular, it’s not just the CAA, it’s their own tradition and past which they have come out of. Hopefully having tasted that kind of freedom in Shaheen Bagh and other places they will not be the same again.’
●Karan adds, ‘We’ve come right to the end of this interview but there is one last question I have to put to you, right at the end of your book you quote from William Shirer’s famous book ‘The rise and fall of the third Reich’. I am going to read that quotation out and I am going to ask you whether there really is a hidden meaning in that quotation that applies to us in India as well. This is the quotation ‘The cardinal errors of the Germans who opposed Nazism was their failure to unite against it. At the crest of their popular strength in July 1932 the National Socialist had attained about 37% of the vote. 63% of the German people who expressed their opposition were much too divided and short sighted to combine against a common danger which they must have known, would overwhelm them unless they united and yet they failed to unite. Those percentage are uncanningly similar to the percentage that brought Mr Modi to the Parliament in 2014. Hence, my question- is there a lesson here for Indian people?’
Avay replies, ‘ Yes, the similarities between the two- the Third Reich and this period of India is unhappily passing through. The similarities are only growing and these may be coincidences, I mean these voting, percentages etc. but they also indicate that other countries have also gone on this path with disastrous results. And therefore it is time for our disunited cantankerous opposition parties etc. to read the writing on the wall, to read the writing on the wall because that wall is not going to be standing there for much longer if this goes on. So this is the time to read the writing on the wall.’
Karan says, ‘ Can I put this to you, I want to quote how you began the answer- ‘The similarities between the Third Reich and India of today are only growing’- it’s not just, I take it in terms of the statistics that brought Mr Modi to Power and those that brought Hitler to power in (19)32 that there is the similarity. That similarity stretches to many other areas, isn’t it? Treatment of minorities, treatment of dissent, of opposition, the attitude of running the country, the cult and personality around the leader the Fuhrer or the ‘Pradhan Sewak’ as he likes to call himself. That similarity stretches across to many horizons, isn’t it?
Avay answers, ‘ It does, including also, you didn’t mention, control of the media, manufacturing or fake news on colossal scale, the re-writing of history. These are tremendous similarities and also rather very important similarity is that the overwhelming support of the people, of the citizens of the country for this kind of a ruler- that is the frightening similarity.’
Karan asks, ‘Is that a similarity that should worry you particularly? Hitler had support of the German people in (19) 32 when he came in to power, let’s be honest he retained it right up to the last year or so when he had to commit suicide.’
Avay interjects, ‘Even today if you look at the Neo-Nazis.’
Karan says, ‘Absolutely but similarly Mr Modi today has an enormous support of the people despite demonetisation, despite Covid-19, despite 2019, he still has that support. For many he is beloved just like Hitler was beloved in the (19) 30s. That’s the problem for you, isn’t it?’
Avay answers, ‘ It should be a problem for all of us, Karan. It should be a problem for all of us.’