Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An inflexion in our weak state history?

The following step to detain 1200 Shiv Sainiks is going to be a definitive moment in our history.

The point is not MNIK, Khan, Pakistan, the Thackreys and their fumbling crises of Raj and Rahul. The point is can disagreement of opinions be translated into violence and gundaaraj?

Since the decades, we, the people, have been held hostage to bandhs, bans, rioting masquerading as "popular" protest, fueled by the petty interests of politicians and religious bodies, because of a spineless weak state. In fact, the only police action heard so far in these cases have been the arrest of the victim for disturbing the peace and sensibilities of the community the gundas have claimed to represent.

The state action reminds me of the watershed Whiskey Incidence where the US government had to assert its newfound federal authority by sending troops to collect the taxes due to it.

Let us hope, despite the deepest roots of our cynicism digging into the cracks of our faith in the state, that the state stands tall against this institutionalized violence this time and set a similar precedence as President Washington set a long time ago. Protest in a democracy has its definite peaceful channels; otherwise it negates the very tenets of fundamental rights which the system stands on.

The Congress has the numbers to stand tall right now. Its actions from here will go a long way to give credit to its stated intention of making a change.

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