Dhruv Arora in his post From Punishing Monsters To Being Monsters: Let’s Not Conclude This With A Flipside on Youth Ki Awaaz has called the violent demonstrations at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and Vijay Chowk yesterday against the heinous Delhi Gang Rape case as ‘foolish’. I beg to differ.
The visuals we saw yesterday on the TV screen were reflective of the larger psyche and the mentality of the youth of this country today who is fed up of the political chicanery, bored of the partisan dilly-dallying and does not want to sacrifice his/her spirit of political participation in the daily grind of rhetorical volleys. What we saw yesterday, whether it be called aggression, raw anger, passionate energy or as Dhruv would choose to define it, foolish tactics, it cannot be denied that this is the very protest that has jolted India’s perennially slumberous political class into action and has yielded lightening fast responses. After all, how many times have we seen a Sonia Gandhi coming out of her house in the middle of the night to pacify youngsters who were relentless in their quest for answers and justice? How many times have we seen a Sheila Dikshit hiding her face and taking the short cut out to escape in a state which had just returned her party to power? How many times have we seen the MoS for Home taking questions directly from the Youth of this country on Live Television in order to pacify their anger?
These are the happenings that have never before occurred in the history of this nation because the political class of this country has been never before confronted with a mob of violent demonstrators around the symbols of democracy right in the heart of the capital. These are the very symbols which had been rendered cold and unresponsive over six decades of the political neck grabbing and name calling on the hapless body of the common man. Yet, these are the very symbols which came alive yesterday and radiated the anger of this country in its full glory when that common man decided to muster all his energy and grab both ends of the political spectrum by their collars and demand accountability. The political class, as we saw, was sputtering between gasps of breath to utter its haphazard and unsatisfying blot in the name of an answer.
Dhruv writes that “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” and yet he fails to see that a dysfunctional system running against the clock to meet the demands of its populace neither can come up nor can accept solutions as it is an affront to its status as being the “system”. The veritable wheel of democracy, so far suppressed under the baggage of the egotist political class, decided to gyrate over the obstacles yesterday, causing all those above to shake in terror.
Dhruv’s response to these spontaneous demonstrations to demand justice also reignites the age old debate of violence vs. non-violence. Only in this case, facts and context has irrevocably shown us that short term tactical violence can be far more effective than long term non-violence. Don’t we remember the recent Jan Lokpal movement whose originators and propagators had claimed, with a holier than thou aura hovering around their heads, that their indefinite fast would provide us with an anti corruption law which had been reduced to a game of legislative ping pong for the past 44 years? Was non-violent successful in getting us the desired end? We must not barter the need to obtain political justice with the appeal to capture the morally sanctimonious position.
As the 23 year old medical student fights for her life in Safdarjung Hospital, it is fitting that we all fight with an equal ferocity against the forces that be to obtain justice. Let us demand answers! Let us demand tougher laws! Let us demand justice![box bg="#fdf78c" color="#000"]About the author: Anshul Kumar Pandey is studying Political Science in University of Delhi. He blogs at http://anshulkumarpandey.