criticalvoices

On issues that matter …

Collateral Damages in a Democracy August 21, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Srirekha @ 10:07 pm
Tags: , ,

Alright, whether others see it or not, I see where this Assam issue is headed.

If the “protest” rally by MNS chief Raj Thackeray in Mumbai today is any indication, this wholly undemocratic exercise has “trouble” written all over it.

So the Bodos and Bangla speaking Muslims in Assam have a fall out. The underlying issue – whether land is involved or not – is one of illegal immigration.

For reasons beyond comprehension, Muslims in Mumbai are “affected” by the happenings in Assam and decide to take out a protest march early this month, a not-so-spontaneous demonstration of angst, because two persons ended up being killed in that march and several hundred people including policemen and media persons were injured. Well armed mobs among the demonstrators orchestrated that violence and the Mumbai police is still wondering how they were left out of the loop about that.

Meanwhile, nationwide, Assamese people have been receiving threatening SMSs stating that they would be killed by Muslims if they didn’t return to flee although it wasn’t clear where they were supposed to flee to considering they were no safer in their home state too.

Seeing the political signature stamped all over the sequence of events, Mumbai’s righteous claimants the MNS led by its chief Raj Thackeray jump into the fray to flex their muscle. And that is all what they managed to do to ample effect today, when tens of thousands of mobilized crowds rallied at Girgaum Chowpatty, achieving nothing more than disrupting normal life. One is not sure what they were “demanding” or “protesting” against. It was, as the media called it, a “show of strength.”

That this rally was organized without relevant permissions, that traffic was illegally disrupted, and that nobody is held accountable speaks volumes for the kind of democracy India professes.

I didn’t know anarchy was an off-shoot of democracy.

And by the way, if anyone still has any doubts, let me state it very clearly: All these protests and counter-protests have nothing to do with Assam. Assamese people, for all practical purposes, will fall as nothing more than collateral damage. I pray for them.

 

Srirekha Chakravarty

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