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Do We Protest In The Right Way?

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By Kriti Pal:

These times are the best to live in. We have an edge over the generations that existed before, and a lot of incentives. One of the incentives is being able to voice our concerns, complaints and demands as and when the need arises. The recent times have seen an upsurge, a completely non-violent one at that. Starting from the Middle East, a form of protests, which can rightfully be called ‘public protests’, have taken over the centre stage. Ironically, the starting point of this wave was not a country with a democracy but a dictatorship. Nonetheless, the aimed goals were achieved in a lot of cases through the complete non-violent medium of protesting.

Coming down to our very own country, Anna Hazare set an example by gathering the huge amount of public support that he did while he took to fasting. The event of a common man going on a fast for the country, at the age of 73 was widely publicized. Facebook pages were made, e-mails sent out, messages flying in the air, asking people to give missed calls in order to show their support. Exhibit A, one man fasting went on to become outcry of the entire Nation. Although Anna Hazare’s cause was noble, we can’t help but notice people like Baba Ramdev using emotions of the soft and sentimental public of India to his personal advantage. Ergo, the following questions arise.

Are public protests, always, the solution to everything?

The answer will have to be no. One cannot just feel strongly about anything, take to fasting in the name of the country and the population and ask for people to come in to support him. Sooner or later, the reality kicks in and the cover is blown apart revealing the hollowness of the ‘movement’ that began in the first place.

How many people are actually aware of what they are supporting?

A friend of mine went to Jantar Mantar in order to support India Against Corruption because he thought it was high time India got rid of all the ‘corrupt politicians that eat away our money’. I asked him if he knew what the Lokpal Bill was. His reply: What’s that?

The zeal is utterly appreciated and we cannot condemn anyone’s efforts to make a difference but in order to make a difference for the good, one has to be aware of what is going on. Suddenly, fighting for an anti-corrupt India became cool, so people went on to show their pseudo-solidarity. Believe it or not, even one of the noblest movements cannot be successful till it is made up of people who are fully informed of the issue they are supporting.

How far can you take the public protests?

If tomorrow, a boy in Patna who has studied extremely hard for his engineering exams is not admitted to the college of his choice, the prestigious IIT for example, will his move of going on anshan be justified? Think about it, he is a very studious child, desperately wants to be an engineer; all he fell short of was a couple of marks. He wails and creates a hue and cry about not getting an admission and his parents, family, friends, people of the community, people who ‘feel he is right’, all come in support. Will it be okay for the college to grant him an admission? Of course not. This is because things don’t work like that. Gaining support and sympathy just goes so far.

As great as the non-violent-way-to-be sounds, it cannot be the solution to all the problems. What do you think? Do post your comments below.

You must be to comment.
  1. Gaurav G

    It is difficult, if not impossible, to stop people from going astray, even with the best influences.

    Anna’s movement succeeded because
    1) he was clear about his goal – JLP as oversight on corruption
    2) the people’s elected representatives were ignoring the people

    You have already mentioned Ramdev; in the same manner a misguided boy or his relatives *will* still go on protests due to their own desires/ feelings.

    The key is: will the vest majority of people believe in the *justness* of that cause?

    1. spscientist

      It is possible to stop people going astray.Please read my blog and you will understand what I mean

  2. ruma

    I think today’s youth has a lot of zeal and has the power to think logically but a deeper thinking is required. The Anna Hazare protest was right in its way but i wanna ask that how much the problem is solved? Has corruption been rooted out ? People see what they are shown. I feel that more than 70 percent of people are oblivious of the insidious game which is being played behind the curtains which is completely clandestine. Being a citizen of India, we should be aware of the fact that these type protests be it internal are occuring sporadically at nearly every part of India.Before protesting or supporting anyone we need to know the secret motives behind that.

  3. Balaji

    Dear Kirti,

    First it is a nice artical except that ramdev’s writing it as personel front, anyway it is individual prospect how we take it.

    Coming to solving an issue What Anna Hazar did was rite as today’s Indian’s problem is lack of Leadership qualities Every one knows there is problem no one want to take a step ahead, which anna took and we followed ( some as you have mentioned without knowing what it is)

    Further before following we should know what it is and above all how much we can follow, let us take an example when we go round in public places if we see a dust we say what a People and same do we through all the time the waste in dustbin / thrash??? like this following traffic rules we see most of ppl who break rules are educated people…. and first and atmost is we fell “Me alone following rules are doing things right will it change??” I remember RDB dialoge… Har Desh perfect nahi ho tha hai usko banana padtha hai…

    What Do you say on this, it was just what i feel. Please do correct me if i am wrong.


  4. Nick

    C’mon stop being a criticizer of everything anti corrupt…
    So what if a person doesn’t know what a Lok pal bill is ?.
    What is important is that he knows what is the cause & that corruption is bad & he is against it.
    Isn’t that the purpose of LOKPAL BILL.

    Now is the time, that we do everything to support the crusade against the biggest ill of the country.
    Stop talking the language of corrupt politicians who are trying to find some or the other point to crush this agitation.
    Lets support the cause in the larger interest of the country.

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