Ostrich Syndrome!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A note on Ramdev's Protest and Govt. Response

Post Ram Lila ground atrocity, there are two distinct aspects to the anti-corruption protests in the country (who manufactured this distinction and why can be anyones guess). Manufactured or spontaneous, the distinction is a reality whether we like it or not; whether we accept it or not.
The two aspects are : One, whether we accept the blatant, cruel, "police-state mentality" of the state in curbing any sort of protest and secondly do we accept babas, fakirs, mullahs, sadhus, pastors et al to run the campaign against corruption with a tinge of white, saffron, green or any damn color of religion?
I think majority of Indians are on the same page as far as the first question is concerned. There is no room for justifying whatever happened at the Ram Lila Grounds on that fateful night. This time it was Ramdev, another day it could be you or me. Police state is not an option in a democracy. Protests form the basis of dialogue in a democracy. We know whats happening in neighbouring Pakistan in the absence of any thoughtful dialogue.
As far as religious color to anti-corruption protests go, this is where the contradiction becomes obvious. We all know that Ramdev's campaign, how so ever pure and vital, was being fuelled by the Sangh Parivar with an agenda which was different than what appeared on stage. Corruption and need to fight it is by no means debatable. What is debatable in this context is the communalisation of corruption. Communalising corruption is dangerous as the the common Indian is a deeply religious being, ready to digest what ever is offered in a holy wrapping. Ironically one of the agenda of the rabid Talibanis is to establish a corrupt free (Islamic) rule in Pakistan....not very different from the establishment of RSS's (or can I say Ramdev's) Ram Raj in a Hindu rashtraya.
It's time to see the difference between the hawks and the doves in this unfolding power struggle. The Monty-Man Syndrome through which the duo of Montek & Manmohan Singh have put this country is here to stay. Protests to cure any part of this syndrome will be throttled by all available force. Whether we want to fight this as a unified, secular camaraderie or leave it in the hands of agenda setting godmen is our choice.