Friday, February 10, 2006

The Excesses of the Welfare State - A Closer Look

This post is definitely inspired by Rang De Basanti. After watching the movie, a common refrain I heard was, no government on earth will do the things that they got done during a peaceful demonstration. It would be a PR disaster, they said.

But look back into the recent past, then you will see that the state has indulged in such excesses all along. When it does, the memory of it lingers on for a few days. And then, we just forget about it. I wish to present a few instances of "The excesses of the Welfare State" (Thanks to God for helping me out here)

The Karunanidhi Arrest

Well, seeing is believing. Nobody would have imagined that the government was capable of giving out such orders. I clearly remember being disgusted by the scenes that were flashed on TV as the drama had already unfolded. I did not see it live, because I, along with the rest of the world, was sleeping! Even to this day, I fail to understand the motive behind this midnight arrest. A perfect case of a PR disaster, conveniently forgotten.

Operation Majnu

One of the most chauvinistic "Operations" I have ever heard of. In the city of Lucnow, the morality guardians of the city decide that it is improper for a boy and a girl to take walks in a garden. They cannot hold hands, cannot hug each other etc. So what do they decide to do? Humiliate them, in full glare of national media! Reviling, to say the least. To see a woman officer, slapping around innocent teens in such a humiliating fashion made my blood boil. Die in hell, you #@$%&. On a sadder note, a boy and a girl, who were humiliated such during this "Operation" (I still can't get why they cannot launch an operation to check crime. I pay taxes for this reason.) went missing. Hope they're back.

The Honda Factory Case, Gurgaon
I am not sure of what exactly happened here, whether the fight was actually started by the striking factory workers, but the following police brutality would have made Hitler look like a do-gooder. This incident caused wide spread protests against the excesses involved, causing no one lesser than the Prime Minister to intervene. What has happened thereafter, I have no knowledge of. But I hope some action has been taken against the guilty, irrespective of whether they are from the police or from the striking workers.

Student Union Protests in Chennai

Pretty Common, for some student wings of political parties to protest "Commercialization in education". I may have some difference of opinion with them, but I wouldn't bring it out the way the cops did. Sad, this happening in Chennai, which I hold in high regard for the "learned" feeling that it exudes.

What we need is a legislation to curb such excesses. It is sad to see the cops using brute power (obviously under the instructions of the higher-ups) to quell what are generally peaceful demonstrations. But this again is a thorny issue, as most of the strikes that are called by political parties tend to turn ugly at the smallest provocation. This is definitely an issue to ponder over.

I would also like to commend the work of the NHRC (national Human Rights Commission), the watchdog of Human Rights in our country, for their active partaking of investigations that follow after such incidents, and giving an unbiased opinion of the events. Sadly, it is a norm, rather than an exception that the state gets indicted.

1 comment:

Aparna S Mallya said...

chingaari koyi bhadake, to saawan usé bhujaaye
saawan jo agan lagaaye, usé kaun bhujaaye?