Friday, November 25, 2011

A Slap's Tale

Hardly has a slap ever caused such a furore. We've had shoes thrown, which I think should be worse than a slap, but we didn't fuss over that. We had people dragged along (one ex-freedom fighter who was protesting in favour of Anna Hazare) but that didn't turn any heads. We've had incidents that are far worse than a slap that come by ever so often, and for some reason we are making much hue and cry about this particular slap.

Ok, granted that this was a Union Minister but why the fuss only when he is slapped? And at least, he was slapped for a reason - he defends that prices be deregulated. He hasn't commented yet though on what he pays for his food, or whether it comes almost paid for by the government from taxpayers' (the slapper in this case) money. There are people who are slapped, beaten and killed sometimes for no reason at all and we make a fuss about this?

The response to this is to condemn it and condemn violence. What about the violence inflicted on the taxpayer by suppressing his resources and making life depressingly difficult? Let's leave out the other citizens of India who didn't slap Sharad Pawar. Or wait. Is this a moral issue of non-violence? If it is, the double standards are out in the open. The same ones with which parliamentarians, sorry politicians, strut being in Parliament and enjoying the perks that come along, while they run personal empires that are conflicts of interest as a fundamental right. But if this is an issue of efficient governance that get slappy for an actual proper reason, then the governance has failed.

Let's face the fact. We all are like Harvinder Singh. The only difference is that we have a different set of people that we would like to slap. That our situations haven't reached such extents of desperation is just a matter of time. When that day comes, my list of people to slap will include everyone involved in allowing the price of petrol to rise while they still maintain subsidies, arresting and releasing Irom Sharmila whenever they please for 11 years now just so that the issue won't blow up to their shame and allowing a system which gives wrongdoers fair trial which only corrects the situation technically and keeps the crime as rampant and of course deregulating prices.

So, I support his action of slapping Sharad Pawar. I don't ideologically support the action as a symbol of protest, though. I think we need to look at the issue of what made Harvinder Singh do it more closely, why nobody else did it before him and why other people aren't doing it anyway. And, seriously, also tell people like Sharad Pawar that their ignorance of the people has reached its heights and that they should stop strutting around like running the country is another fundamental right.

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