There were women and children in the crowd that was attacked by the police at a peaceful protest by Baba Ramdev and his set of followers. And it was absolutely disgusting that the UPA ordered a crackdown on something that is a constitutional right of any Indian. What is surprising (or maybe, not) is how several UPA leaders have issued statements and remain completely unapologetic about the events of yesterday night. It is important for other influential national parties to react in strong opposition to the UPA’s actions. And that has at least happened.
While I primarily disagree with Baba Ramdev’s methods (why – read this earlier post), which I believe is nothing but another example of an unelected civil society member seeking power and influence that he does not have any democratic right to, it is deplorable that the UPA sanctioned the interruption of a protest purely based on it’s own deluded suspicions surrounding the influential sage. There is absolutely no call for any form of brutal suppression of freedom of speech (even up to the extent of it being against the Indian republic and it’s functioning), unless it directly harms the safety and security of the people.
Histrionics are a part of mainstream Indian life. Every other day, there emerges a new figure demanding change without understanding the core of how a democracy is supposed to function. Hence, we are left to endure unnecessary drama that isn’t even helping our cause as a country. First, it was Anna Hazare. He is an admirable public figure, but seems to miss the point. Now, it’s Ramdev and a repeat of ‘fast unto death’. And he has thousands of followers, mind you. Not only is there so much confusion, but there is likely to even be a delay in the actual cause that the anti-corruption brigade is pioneering! [Link]
The problem is clear. Current laws remain unimplemented. Reforms aren’t even talked about. Unelected and self-styled spokespersons of the ‘People Cause’ want more laws. More institutions. The result is likely to put more people in government, something that we could and should avoid. The situation ends up being a round-about, and people watch yet one more reality show unfold. It’s even unfortunate when peaceful protests are cracked down on, and innocent women and children are police targets.