Friday, May 05, 2006

Removing the "A" from Ahimsa

Was reading thru the Vadodhara incident reports, and a question came to my mind - what causes a peaceful protest against the demolition of a mazaar to turn into a communal riot?

A fictional situation [please pardon the filmi-style]:

crowd - please don't break the Mazaar, it is 200 years old and before your municipal times, this is not the definition of enchroachment
police - we cannot help it, the court has ordered, and we have destroyed temples also
crowd - please don't [grows in number]
police - no. Please move away

[you expect a peaceful event, possibly stalling the movement enough to get a stay order and proper investigation]

random miscreant in crowd - you *&%#$ policeman! [flings a stone/bottle/projectile]
police - lathicharge! [and shots to the legs]

so, the police lathicharge starts, possibly justified, but very unfortunate nonetheless.

Policeman A [cornering random simpleminded shopkeeper] - hey you, with the skullcap, you seem to be a muslim, why don't you all go back to Pakistan
Random Shopkeeper - Kya baat karte ho sahab, Hum bhi hindustani hai!
Policeman A - Sab samajhta hoon, you muslims will never become better! [hits with laathi/shoots in leg] [after all, today is the day the cop can be violent, and noone will question his acts - good time to get out ones frustrations]

Random Shopkeeper [hereforth referred to as Raheem Chacha] dies/becomes seriously injured.

Random Power-hungry Muslim leader - These Hindus will never listen to us Muslims, lets burn some buses!
Crowd - um... what?
Other jobless warm-blooded idiots - yes yes, they have hurt Raheem Chacha, I listened to him saying that he was hurt because of his skull cap - we must teach these hindus a lesson!
Crowd - um... well..
Local Leaders - no "um... well", have you forgotten what happened some years ago all over the state? If we don't act fast, we will be burned again!!! Here are the swords/laathis/random-weapons -- lets go and torch some hindu shops!!!

[riots ensue]

The rest, as they say, is the present!

So, who is to blame, no doubt the fundamentalist leaders who instigate the crowd, and the policeman who lets his sentiments get the better of him and comes down from his position of responsibilites.

Whoever it is, it is NOT the common man, who wants to only go about usual business, and earn his daily bread. I think it is time for me to watch Dev again.

Praying for situations to calm down soon,
P.S. Anyone up for making a skit/play/street-play on the above script and educating the public? You are guaranteed a donation from my side for production costs.


  1. tolerance level.

    1. uneducated && unemployed: lowest
    2. educated && unemployed: little better
    3. uneducated && employed: better

    4. educated && employed: much better

    but everyone is vulnerable and it can only change if education in India/teachers in India/parents in India teach the right thing...

  2. A TV report said - "Vadodara has seen more than 10 Communal riots since 1985...which is once every 2 years..." So, there might not be a Godhra connection this time too.

    Also, in my opinion, it was just a stray incident which got a bigger background and hence the media coverage, just because it was in Gujarat.

    Of course, even a 'stray' incident should be condemned and common man protected against such aberrations. But the point here is, bracketing such incidents with some of the real shameful ones, would not be justified to the people of Vadodara.

    (Will write more, gtg now)

  3. Sorry to read such a "cliche post" on your otherwise nice blog... Did we actually need the filmi style?