Long long time ago, when I was just a kid, but however too enthusiastic about computers and IT… I heard a name…Bill Gates… Probably the first person I had ever looked up to as an idol. He was a billionaire, a hacker and a collage dropout. Probably, a perfect idol for an average boy who always tried to become a hacker.
But, my dad, being a school teacher (like the father of every 70’s/80’s Bollywood Movie hero 😉 ) and a Bengali author, was obviously a Rabindranath Fan !! Probably Rabindranath was and still is his idol.
He never told me this. But I assume he was always fascinated about the fact that a poet can also be a freedom fighter. Without picking up a sword he could win numerous hearts and significant wars, just with the power of his pen and his thought. Why I think so, is because his other favorite poet was Nazrul Islam.
And one fine day, he was trying to convince me with all his conviction, that these IT billionaires are just geeks and don’t have any social responsibility. His words were, “They just know computers. And don’t know anything about society, politics, etc”.
Probably he was trying to push his idols onto me. And being a teenager, I refused to agree wholeheartedly. But it somewhere unknowingly hurt my ego and this conversation remained with me forever.
As I kept growing older and started understanding my idols more, as time passed and I look back have no regrets. Because Bill Gates is one of the greatest living social philanthropist who donates as much as US government does for international disease eradication. And that is enough to heal my hurt ego. But that’s not all.
Over time, I have made a few new idols as well. And they are also hackers. Hackers like Julian Assange, or Edward Snowden. And one thing I have realized for sure. Me and my father had exactly the same taste for making idols. No neither Gates, nor Assange, or Snowden are poets ( or if they are, at least I am not aware of ). But they are either communicators or freedom fighters or both. Exactly like Rabindranath Tagore or Nazrul Islam. Probably today I am fascinated by the fact that, a Hacker can also be a Freedom Fighter!
And I see them today on a journey to win significant wars without picking up a sword. Just that the pen has been replaced with keyboards. And they have the power of people like me, who understands their philosophy and the essence of freedom. Like my father did for Rabindranath and Nazrul Islam.