August 10, 2011

The Vanishing Thin Line

Any cosmetic industry will get excited at the word "vanishing" but I am referring to the thin line between activism and violence. Increasingly, this seems to be the norm, in every part of the world. Most of us seem to be less strong in handling situations and challenges. And the phenomenon is rampant in the so-called developed / developing / third world countries, infact more so in the developed world as the citizens are probably not as resilient.

Let’s take the past two weeks and look at some events around the world...

  • one insane citizen massacred ~ 90 people in Oslo
  • a small unrest against police killing in a suburb of London has paralysed the whole city due to widespread arson and looting!
  • Virginia Tech Univ, already with a past history of the worst shooting incident in an University campus, spotted an armed man in the prowl, that has the students jittery
  • the less said about the Indian students in Australia, the better
  • apparently the Chinese province adjoining Pakistan is ridden with armed conflict

While the above stories do not shock us Indians and similar countries where violence, bomb blasts are becoming common place, we ought to look farther and see a similar pattern. Most often the reasons are disparities, lack of opportunities, racial hatred and unemployment.

Lets look at India a little more closely, a huge melting pot, where we have the best of technology firms jostling for space with sprawling slums, where the disparity levels have reached alarming levels. We have myriad problems, from population explosion, to corrupt political practices, to weak governments, to inflation, unfocussed agriculture policy and land acquisition, across all Indian states.

Corruption, however, is being singled out as the root cause of our problems and we have some bunch of activists-turned freedom fighters who claim to follow Gandhian values leading the movement. Never mind that they are resorting to violence by burning copies of Lokpal bill in public.. this is today's Gandhi for you, staring you in the face...

The profile of people flocking to these venues in Delhi and Bombay are either those with time on their side or those who are unemployed... the former are the ones who are the 'bribe-givers' and therefore feel indignant while the latter are the ones who don't have the means. It is indeed easy to get very romantic and think ourselves to be freedom fightersJ. However, nett nett, these movements have successfully brought the country to a standstill. There is been no policy level decisions taken, as all of them are always doing some fire fighting with respect to the Lokpal bill or the myriad scams that have hit the country in the past one year.

I beg to differ from these activists. I would root for growth, strong governance, strengthen internal security, be inclusive in sharing of resources with tribals and villagers. And most importantly, focus on quality education for every citizen. Such positive approaches will serve Indians far better, in the long run.  


chitra said...

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Raji said...

Want to add that freedom fighters simply led the movement, people joined in, they did not go around seeking media support and insist on rallies in New Delhi only. Freedom from corruption is not in the hands of government and will not happen through Jan Lokpal bill, but by change of mind sets of every Indian. Anna's team are losing focus by targeting only one stakeholder in their movement