Culture of Fear

I'm fairly certain that you must be following the news at least on a daily basis, if not on an hourly basis. At least, enough to be aware of the happenings last week; this guy called Loin (I don't think it's his real name, par saara sheher usse yehi naam se jaanta hain) didn't care for Sachin Tendulkar's statement about being "an Indian first", and he said in his own editorial column in a newspaper that he was offended by this kind of broad-minded thinking. Let us leave aside the fact that I cannot understand anyone being offended by anything Sachin could say. Apart from being a genuinely sincere guy, there are only a handful people who have as much as him to make our country proud. I don't think anyone would disagree with me if I were to him as an Indian hero.

But we're an open-minded society. We live in the world's largest democracy, where people are entitled to have their own opinions. The people agreed with Sachin, and they shouted this agreement from the rooftops. The media, naturally, started talking about the issue. Newspapers, TV channels, radio stations... they all talked about what was going on. This angered the Loin's goons so much that one week later they spontaneously erupted, and without any kind of planning or forethought, barged into the offices of news channels in Bombay and Pune at the same time, and proceeded to beat up men and women working there.

Office-going men and women were beaten up by thugs and were told that criticism of their party would not be tolerated. Their clothes were ripped off, and they were beaten up with hockey sticks. This from an organization that touts itself as upholding Indian values. Obviously, I've missed something here; it was my understanding that Indian values involved respect and courtesy, particularly to women. But hey, we live in a democracy. People are entitled to have their own opinions, and if it is their opinion that innocent men and women should be beaten and humiliated, and women should be molested, that's their right isn't it?

Just so long as no one speaks out against them that would be bad. In other words, that would be anti-nationalistic.

What I'm wondering now is this: when are we going to get a taste of that great democracy? If terrorists (no, I don't think that's too strong a word) are allowed to roam freely, stirring up unrest and harming innocent people in the name of their freedom of speech, when will the rest of us get to feel as safe as them? I guarantee not one of those louts is even the least bothered about his future. They are quite literally, fearless. They're untouchable. The rest of us, I'm sorry to say, must continue to live in fear of what they will do next. Because it sure as hell ain't coming to an end any time soon.


Antarman said…
The people like him want power at any cost even if its a the cost of destroying the country, killing the people..only remedy is development and education, only education can open minds of the people, though I still find some people highly educated but with regional bent of mind.
Akshay said…
@ Antarman: Yes, I second your opinion here.
I agree with each word you've written here. Terrorist is not at all a strong word to describe them. Even thinking of Loin disgusts me. Akshay, with people like him do we really need any other terrorists?

Great post! :)
And why keeping articles in pending and posting them at one go? Been really busy?
Akshay said…
@ Veena: The political party is worse than a terror outfit. With people like this, even terrorists would hang their hand in shame. I am trying to write as and when I am finding time to write. Yes, life has been a bit hectic but still trying my best to write.

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