27 January 2013

India: Protests 2.0, pt. I

We have been following news from India and have asked Saransh to give an insider's view on what has been happening so far and what is there to be done to stop the violence against women.

In case you have been in cryogenic state since mid-december, here are some news - 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 - and pictures you might want to go through before you go on reading.

"Indian women hold placards outside the residence of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit during a protest over the gang rape of a woman in New Delhi, on December 19, 2012. The outpouring of anger is unusual in a country where attacks against women are often ignored and rarely prosecuted." (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

"A public protest in India is usually a hidden propaganda fueled by a few to invoke a false sense of righteousness and purpose in the uneducated section of the society. It could typically be defined as a group of people fighting for a cause using a pre-defined method of demonstration within a defined timeline with orders being dispersed from a common high ranking source. In such cases diffusion involves targeting the needs of the source and coming up with a common consensus or compromise.

Over the past few years citizen awakening in India has been on a slow boil primarily in the issues that concern the common man in their day to day life. But due of the December incident, the scales tipped over. Thousands of people poured out onto the streets not because of a particular incentive that they cared for but out of anguish that questioned why their women were not safe in their own country? Why their women could not enjoy the constitutional right to a safe living? There were no leaders to take orders from this time and a surprising innate sense of cohesiveness between people protesting, with nothing in common but a genuine concern for women was present. These protests or dare I say uprising over the last one month has actually been a movement of the well heeled, the newly sensitized, and the young educated blood of the country who finally realized that change is up to them and that they need to shout and scream loud enough to be heard by our "highly efficient" political leaders. They need to push hard and get the existing legal, political and judicial systems moving.

Day by day people kept pouring in, television channels broadcasted it live and the nation remained glued to the TV to stay informed about the happenings. However as hours passed, angers arose and impatience began to stir up.  Adding fuel to the scenario were the absolutely irresponsible atrocious statements from some of our leaders.  From a peaceful gathering, the mutated into an angry mob of people charging towards the President’s house with no one in command, the protestors were diverse with no common traits which could be used to subdue them leaving the police unsure of their next step. With emotions bursting out of these young guns they charged at the police, screaming, protesting and braving the water cannons in cold wintery mornings. It was no longer about right or wrong, no longer about the outcome; it was simply the anger of the common people that spewed out. It wasn’t for a political propaganda; it was a desperate call for the basic safety of women residing in their own nation.

Its situations like these that demand true leadership, and this is exactly where the Indian government faltered.  Not used to such altruistic passion, with no clear strategy in mind, the police was commanded to respond in the manner it usually would, to maybe an angry fanatical mob. No political leader came out to address this thronging mass of people gathered in the heart of Delhi. No one came out; they just waited for the storm to pass.

Our home minister even drew a parallel between the Maoists and the citizens gathered at India Gate in Delhi to explain the reason for silence by the government during the protests. What you infer from this is the sheer inexperience/ immaturity of not being able to differentiate cases like this compared to any other political rally or terrorist group..."

(The article is rather lengthy, so we have chosen suspense over long reading and invite you to come over tomorrow to see the second part.)

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