Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Riot of Idolators

Mobs go on rampage because a leader's statue was allegedly desecrated, elected parliamentarians go on a destruction spree in the legislature of a state. Familiar? Yes, all too familiar.

But when it happens on the same day as it did when a Babasaheb Ambedkar's statue was abused by vandals in Kanpur and Mamta Banerji's followers ransacked the legislature in West Bengal because she was arrested, I must, um, clean my glasses to see if I am reading right. Perhaps, my news addled mind is imagining things, am I Mamtadidi?

This hold of collective ransom, this destroying of public property in anger,  this disruption of normal life should be taken seriously. The Kerala high court had decreed that Bandhs were illegal and bandh callers could be fined. But in which state was it enforced and the fine collected? I guess, parties not paying the fines shouldn't be allowed to compete in the elections. This retaliatory vandalism because of perceived offense to leaders is taking things too far. Isn't it? For heaven's sake we aren't a tinpot regime, at least not yet.

But I do think inflation and economic disparities are creating frustation among the people. The anger and violence had to be seen to be believed. Even a small group of angry individuals is enough to hijack an entire nation, and cause losses worth ten thousand million rupees.

Who is to blame? The modern glass and chrome call centers and oursourcing companies, the organized but enslaving private companies or the corrupt political class?

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