Monday, June 04, 2007

Corruption of the mind. ...and why not?

Since we are trying out the free for all (I mean, the post-on-anything concept), let me kick it off with a big vent, on an issue not totally unrelated to corruption and gun control and suchlike. Its about the what we call in India 'bandh'-mentality. 'Bandh' in Hindi means closure. So, the concept is really quite simple. Let me illustrate with a few examples:

We are a group of traders, and we are against the law enforcement machinery carrying out the demolition of illegal construction in the markets in the city. So, we call for a 'bandh'. That is, we go out in the streets, forcing even those establishments which want to stay open, to close. Otherwise, we break and loot public (and private) properties, we beat up those who do not agree with us. Legality be damned. Why? - hey guess what. We are a mob. We are right. We have corrupt politicians on our side. And hey, everyone declares illegal bandhs, so why not us?

Or lets take another example. We are the moral force of the country. We are the guardians of the Indian culture. We are unemployed, uneducated hoodlums, (with neverthelss political ambitions), and we will force a bandh to protect our country. And what exactly is this protection against. Its against universty arts students. Its against the enemies of India who dare to disrupt our ancient culture, by having art exhibitions, which we might not even have seen. But, which we are convinced are immoral and degrading. So we will storm into a private university, force the art department to close down, beat up the student who dare make such paintings. We will burn effigies, we will break windows, we will close down the education institution. And what the heck, while we are at it, we will also declare a 'bandh' for all educational institutions in the city. Why? - hey guess what. We are a mob. We are right. We have corrupt politicians on our side, so why not. After all elections are not too far off.

And here is the latest one. We are a community which haven't been given our due. So we will demonstrate on the streets. Oh and Gandhi be damned. Peaceful protests don't get us anywhere, so we will gather in thousands with sticks, arms, weapons and massive stones, we will block national highways, we will burn tyres, shoot in the air and go around forcing the closure of the towns, schools, markets and railways. And while we are at it, we will burn transport buses and declare a 'bandh' unless the government (corrupt or not) is arm-twisted into giving-in to our issue. Obviously going around as armed mobs is the correct way forward. Otherwise who would care about us. We don't care about the crucial basic issues of long-term structural changes regarding access to resources. No. Do you know what we are fighting for. We are fighting to be declared 'backward'!! Yes siree, so we get our hands on the tempting honey-pot of 'reservation' that every other community seems to be getting a benefit of.

So dear readers, you are perhaps witnessing the first illegal community revolt, not for equality - but for preferential treatment: to be officially declared backward. Amazing but true. Illogical but true. Short-sighted but true.

Meanwhile, we plunder, we loot and we happily declare more bandhs.
And why? You guessed it....We are a mob. We are right. We have corrupt politicians on our side. So why not. Period.

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