By Dhruv Arora:
What the hell are we doing?
Yes, we’re angry. We all are infuriated. The current state of affairs and the way it is being handled is shameful, it’s despicable. We need to raise our voice against it. And we need to make sure we’re heard. So this gruesome rape incident comes to media attention, and we’re furious (and we ought to be). It’s about time we became outraged. It is essential. There is a lot that is wrong with the Indian Government as well as the Police, for sure. We needed to be heard, so we protested.
And then, of course, the logical next step. We became violent and aggressive and broke through the police barricades like an angry mob.
Do you see the problem here? We did not need to do that. It was not required. But because it happened, we all jumped into it flinging all sense of rationality aside. What is it going to achieve? Moreover, what did we expect? Let’s put the fact that the Indian government is highly problematic aside and just think for a second. An angry mob breaks into Rashtrapati Bhavan, getting increasingly violent and showing signs of aggression. They break through the barrier and show no signs of calming down, getting increasingly violent every second. Now imagine you’re in the police. You need to deal with this situation. What do you do? Of course the situation got violent. Of course they pushed back the mob; of course they had to resort to using those water cannons.
Let me make this very clear. I am not defending how the police handled this; they made a fiasco out of this and acted quite irresponsibly. I am simply stating that any rational police force would’ve had to push back the mob one way or another. And what did that result in? Pictures of the police being aggressive in pushing back the mob all over the media to further outrage the people. The government is now probably going to make moronic statements and take the next idiotic step of disallowing public demonstrations or something to that effect.
Or something as stupid is going to follow. How is that going to help anything at all?
We ought to be outraged, but not foolish. We must not be abused by political propaganda and let this issue be politicised. This is real; this is close to our hearts. We are screaming because we need sense to be heard, we need rationality to prevail, but that cannot be done with violent demonstrations. In order to demand rationality, we must first demonstrate it. Nobody knows what exactly can be done, but for the first time in years the people have united like never before. We have the power; we just need to use it properly. All this violence is not required. This is not the matter of one government failing, this is a matter of the system failing. We must not make this about overthrowing this government with another one. We need solutions, not reactions.
The government is definitely at fault. So are the police. But you know what? So are we. We can’t keep shoving off this responsibility to other people. We need to own up to it and understand that this monster was created by our society, and that we messed up. We need to understand that we elected these government officials, we gave them power. It is in our hands to take it, we just don’t know how yet. We will figure it out, but we need to do it properly. We need to stop being scared of these terrorists (read rapists) and intervene. Yes, there’s a chance we may end up like Keenan and Reuben but that’s where this anger needs to be channelled. Our demon is not simply the governance, but the system. The system that we’ve created. Violently demonstrating demanding for this one rapist to be hanged is not the answer. Neither is exhibiting aggression and violence towards the government and the police. The harsh truth is beyond these pictures of the police aggressively pushing back the mob; it is that we initiated it. And we didn’t need to, and we probably didn’t even do it. It was probably done for us, expecting us to take over and act mindlessly, fulfilling some sort of a political agenda. We must not fall into this trap.
Let us not let this create monsters out of us.[box bg="#fdf78c" color="#000"]About the author: Dhruv Arora is the Founder of GotStared.At.[/box]