News Karnataka
Sunday, September 19 2021


The right to be forgotten vs the right to be remembered

According to the Indian Express, “Ashutosh Kaushik who won reality shows Bigg Boss in 2008 and MTV Roadies 5.0 has approached the Delhi High Court with a plea saying that his videos, photographs and articles etc. be removed from the internet citing his “Right to be Forgotten”. In the plea, Kaushik also maintains that the “Right to be Forgotten” goes in sync with the “Right to Privacy”, which is an integral part of Article 21 of the Constitution, which concerns the right to life”.

On the flip side, if people are allowed to remember things that you don’t want them to remember then it may constitute a fright to life! Should your left hand know what your right hand did? The moment it twitches, it will be a dead giveaway. But having seen it act at close quarters, it’s unlikely to forget.

There’s a meme going around on social media that says rather poignantly if you have done nothing to be ashamed about when you are young, you will have nothing to laugh about when you age.  So why the anxiety be forgotten by asocial friends (friends who are social only on the media).  Is it because times have changed, and people are apprehensive about the future and prefer to live on memories? Maybe so… Besides who doesn’t love gossip and scandal. It’s something that emerges from beneath the sandal and cannot easily be stamped out because familiarity breeds contempt!

Well then, this desire to be forgotten, perhaps stems from the fact that when you start earning notes, you don’t want the change to clink in your pocket every time you take a step in a new direction. That’s natural I guess – take the example of a politician – what he said in 2013 is the exact opposite of what he says in 2021 – now who would want that to be remembered or to be reminded? There itself is a strong argument in favour of the right to be forgotten and you might be surprised by the swell of ground support for this idea.

On the other hand, both Fame or infamy are derived from the envy and memories of others, not from one’s own, and having extracted the most from them for one’s own benefit, at any one given point of time in their lives, asking them to throw it all away, because you no longer need them, would be an imposition on their right to remember, wouldn’t it? After all, memories maketh a man. Also use and throw was not an Indian concept until recently – it has picked up from a neighbour’s manufacturing strategy that provided for renewable profits with renewed energy!

Interestingly and coincidentally, an Israeli horse called Pegasus too is interested in the arguments that might be presented in court on the interlink between privacy and the right to be forgotten. Its ability to privately invade privacy has been the subject of much debate in the media and so far, it has the best privacy record of all. It seems fully protected by Article 21 for it still survives, like Covid, in private. But it’s not sure for how long, and so, it too wants to exercise its right to be forgotten!

It’s in the middle of its own paradox – it doesn’t want to forget what it hears and sees before it passes on the secret – but it wants to be forgotten… and quickly; before it becomes a star constellation like its mythical Greek Counterpart. 

Like its namesake, it is a divine animal – a winged white horse with a flowing mane – with all the powers of invisibility and the quality of obedience that the offspring of Poseidon and Medusa the Greek Gods naturally possesses.  But taking authorized advantage of a divine creature requires a higher calling and power than the divine horse itself. This can be done only by a Bellerophon like Creature, who was, according to Greek Mythology “the greatest hero and slayer of monsters, alongside Cadmus and Perseus, before the days of Heracles”.

But what perhaps intrigues us more than ever, is why plump for Greek mythology superimposed on Israeli Technology to monitor Indian polemics and pathology when we have our own? Is Atmanirbharta in peril or does it pre-date the concept?

It’s your obituary that remembers the best of you and Pegasus that will remember the worst of you.

Given this scenario, would you like to be forgotten or remembered? And do you have the right to decide? Well, it’s your private matter, and only the winged horse will know!

Until next week!


This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.

Image by Christoph Meinersmann

Brian Fernandes

Brian is an alumnus of Roshni Nilaya’s Post Graduate School of Social Work, HR Department and has 30 years of local and international HR and General Management experience. Journalism, poetry, and feature writing is a passion which he is now able to pursue at will. Additionally, he loves compering and hosting talk shows. He loves learning and imparting it; so, when time permits, he provides leadership facilitation and soft skills training to Postgraduate students and Corporates in Mangaluru and Bengaluru. Besides, he is an accomplished Toastmaster under the aegis of and a designated Distinguished Toast Master.

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