Claim Back Your Right to Protest against Wrong

Posted on July 8, 2010 in Politics

By Monica Verma:

Disclaimer by Author: This article is a well thought and deliberate attempt to mock all those people who ‘hate’ politics.

Mausam on 5th July was awesomely haseen (beautiful). So did you enjoy a long drive with your cuppycake thoroughly? Noh? For a change it was not your assignments, your parents not even your latest pimple which played the spoilsport. This time the much unexpected gang of political parties was responsible for forcing you indoors.

Young India and especially those born after 1990 in cosmopolitan cities saw their first full fledged bandh.We never knew a bandh could be so torturing as we are used to a life where politics apparently does not affect our day to day routine. Unlike our peers in small cities and other parts of the country a Telangana issue or stone pelting does not affect our education or our much comfortable city life. This is why we don’t ‘care a damn’ about politics and fail to remember the ‘mumbo-jumbo’ names of our political parties.

Thus when UPA II increased the price of petrol by Rs. 3 to which opposition responded to by calling for a nation wide bandh, our young brigade was busy updating their Facebook accounts with statuses like: ‘Bandh bole toh Holiday’, ‘Thank you God for the day off’. Some were frustrated to the core for not getting to venture outside and thus vented their frustration out with: ‘Opposition Delhi chodo!’. It was not that the Opposition was in for criticism only. There were people in big numbers who hailed the Opposition parties for protesting fuel hike on their behalf.

We were the perfect audience for all kind of content, media (Super Perplexed) bounced on us. On a TV channel, an intelligent anchor remarked that economists view this deregulation of prices as a way of rectifying the demand-supply curve for petrol. That very moment some of us supporting the Bandh backtracked and termed Opposition as immature to call for bandh. The moment channel changed our stance changed too as we saw a channel calculating the price of petrol minus heavy taxes and we again chose to go with our proxy protester – the opposition. As the day progressed we became more and more intelligent about per barrel price of crude oil, cost of refining, different petrol policy regimes and so on but were we able to take a definite stance based on our own understanding of the whole price rise issue? No.

Bandh was a very big political statement the  Opposition made and nobody cares if you supported the bandh or you did not because by choosing to stay indoors and terming the day as an imposed holiday you became a protestor in disguise too. Though most of us did not know the price rise issue at all and hated being the rag doll between the Ruling Party and the Opposition because we Janta wanted none – neither price rise nor the Bandh. Yet once again our right to protest was hijacked by somebody else. In college, Unions hijacked those rights, protested on our behalf but when the time came to benefit us nobody bothered to decide in our interest. Similarly by shying away from being politically aware we are actually letting other people hijack our rights to protest or agree. When would we make ourselves politically aware beyond what is required for job interviews or general awareness section of competitive exams? Until we do that, there would be many more bandhs or even the lack of them where they are so required and nation would await its youth to decide in its interest. But yes, do not ever curse old politicians for not retiring or those who are pitching their own sons and daughters because the nation is awaiting leaders. It’s just you who is shying away from leading.

The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.