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August 21, 2011

Page: 25/42

Home > 2011 Issues > August 21, 2011

People are really angry

By Dr Pravin Togadia

WHEN any group agitates, these days, the agitation is discarded as ‘politically motivated’ by the governments, media and a few other groups. If not discarded then it is demeaned terming it ‘a flop show’. Such comments used to spring from cynicism 10-15 years back when generally there was frustration about things around and with global influence of existentialism and Marxism. But past five years such remarks are targeted and sponsored. Unfortunately, such planted commentary on any agitation does not really crush the agitation; but it gets more agitated! A few important pillars of democracy like vested interest groups in government, judiciary and sometimes the local administration get unduly impressed by such chatter box debates; but neither the agitators not the people whose injustice they try to remove get moved by such planted disregard toward such agitations.

Issue is not agitations; the real issue is real anger. People generally are very angry these days. Students, kids, youth, middle class – middle aged, women, the elderly, farmers, labourers, Sadhu-Sants, Archaks – Pujaris, teachers, small scale and big businessmen, working class from routine jobs and from Hi-Tech jobs, lawyers, CAs, bankers, consumers, transporters…the list is unending! All are angry for one or the other reason. Such are the levels of anger that people who are generally law abiding, docile and peaceful too are resorting to some sort of violence! Does it happen only in agitations? No! Even the road rage violence and spate of anger are on the rise. Simple honking or overtaking of cars triggers assaults and even murders! Mobs catch thieves but rather than handing them over to the police, beat them up sometimes to death! All this happens in the broad day light – some just stand spectators cheering the beaters and some immediately start video-shooting on cell phones either to put on the internet or to send to TV channels that show it as exclusive!

Bharat was not like this and am not referring to our ancient history! Traditionally Bharat has been peace loving in social life. Bharat fought for years when the temples, Hindu Dharm got attacked by invaders. But Bharat did not take law in its hands just like that! Why now? Anger is a natural emotion but its last resort is violence. When all roads are closed, then people resort to such things. Why do people feel that all roads are closed for them now? Are they mad? No! Some chatter box media and sponsored socio-political groups love to term people like us who try to speak out against injustice to Hindus, as mad – terming us so is not only their favourite pass time but it is their paid duty. So let them.

Here we are discussing common people (Aam Aadmi) who usually does not love to get angry and violent; but he / she is doing so. Are all the roads closed for Aam Aadmi? Yes ! 64 years post-Independence and Aam Aadmi has to yet daily worry about how to afford milk for kids, housewives have to worry about vegetable prices and teachers have to take to streets for their legitimate salary! Pensioners at age 80 with their trembling hands have to write request applications to the PM for their dues!

It is not only the expectations that are not fulfilled; it is apathy that people experience in all walks of life that makes them angry. The first step of post such an experience is a simple expression – request. Aam Aadmi tried this way for years– in vain! People got frustrated and democratically tried to show their displeasure in elections by not electing people and parties that did not deliver, hoping that such a loss will teach them a lesson. But No! Politicos continued their parallel trip much alienated from the psyche of Bharat and the result was fractured mandate past few elections. No single party has been getting full majority in the centre and in some states. This means people of Bharat have no full faith in any party. Some regional parties then sprung up to fulfill the local needs. People thought that if not all expectations, then some may get fulfilled – they went with these local parties. Now even there, frustration is setting deep.

Unfortunately, all social institutions in Bharat depend on political systems. Education, family, judiciary, economy, culture (too!) and administration – six main social institutions have been made unduly dependent on the political systems. Government officials, who had an option to independently opine and act, are scared to do so due to political ganging up of vested interests. Reasons vary, but result is the heightened frustration of common people who otherwise love peace!

They have no full access to chatter box media to express their feelings and plight; they have no credible socio-political vehicle to transform the situation; they are not even one as a group so that they can influence vote bank the way minorities do! It is a deadly mix of frustration and more frustration! Spate of suicides among all age groups is one side of the expression and the sudden angry reactions and actions is another. Violence in any form is condemnable. But simple common people, house-wives, farmers, teachers etc – do not love to either kill themselves or others! If even such docile people are being pushed to wall so much that they too feel that there is no other way out, then it is a severe failure of the systems that were supposed to deliver. They were mainly created by the British and by the Muslim rulers to control ‘India’; not to make Bharat happy! Suiting to vested interests groups same draconian laws yet prevail – Land Acquisition Act, Religious Trusts Act, Contract Act, Sharia Law and many such. People have no chance to get justice in routine course. Corruption rules the roost – so again the Aam Aadmi has empty bowl! Where and how will the people of Bharat vent their frustration? Farmers lose their fertile land in the name of pseudo development; monthly house hold budgets are going awry due to mismanaged economy and youth are stressed up about their future; majority is persecuted…

Venting anger in public is a helpless reaction of common people. Unless and until Bharat gets the credible systems that truly deliver, this reaction may not stop! Shocking but it is true! Simple people of Bharat when are pushed to such behaviour, it is their true anger. No political party should take it lightly. It is easy to condemn violence. We too do not support violence. But until the reasons behind this justified anger exist, until Bharat does not get pro-people systems that efficiently, honestly and credibly work for majority, the situation looks grim. But people power is great. Bharat showed it in fighting with the Mughals and other invaders; in chasing away the British; in various wars with Pak and China. Bharat showed it again in emergency and in Ram Temple movement!

Is it time for the revolution? Yes and no. Mob fury or some little groups claiming to represent entire Bharat is not revolution. Bharat needs to think and following civilised ways, Bharat needs to stand together as one to create own systems that are not copies from the west or middle east; but have roots in Bharat’s wise and rich culture, which knew how to make and keep Bharat happy!

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