Sharad Pawar incident: A slap on democracy

By Biplob Ghosal | Last Updated: Saturday, November 26, 2011 - 16:58
 
Biplob Ghosal
Loud and Clear
 

The nation is abuzz with the Sharad Pawar slapping incident. The big debate that now arises is whether resorting to undemocratic means to target people in power in the world’s largest democracy the only option left. Or is there still a ray of hope in adhering to the Gandhian way and making our voices heard.

After witnessing such an extensive debate in Parliament, my mind questions whether people lost complete faith in our Parliamentarians?


No doubt that most of the ministers are now referred under the corrupt taglines, but still, one needs to remember that being violent does not lead to justice. Being the world’s largest democracy, the people of India carry a huge responsibility.

Though Parliament on Friday condemned the incident, initially, many Opposition leaders tried to gain mileage from the episode by saying that the common man is angry and frustrated with the rising prices and as a result, the Union Agriculture bore the brunt of this. But I would like to ask them that on the one hand, they are condemning the incident and on other, they make one feel that the act is justified. If they are so worried about the common man, why don’t they come up with ideas in the public forum to bring the prices down and give a lift to the economy? It’s high time that they should set an example by not just politicising every issue.

Few months ago, we saw a successful anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare. The fact that the non-violent movement initiated by Anna brought the Establishment literally to its knees is itself a fine example of peace and harmony and at the same time, it also teaches how to vent one’s anger as well make your words count.

But in this particular incident, one gets stunned with Gandhian’s initial reaction. I am not sure whether Anna wanted the minister to be slapped one more time or not. Though the social activist later condemned the incident, Anna needs to weigh his words as the whole nation is watching him.

In the past few years, especially after George Bush’s shoe throwing incident, many Indian leaders cutting across party lines have faced such humiliation. P Chidambaram, LK Advani, Omar Abdullah, BS Yeddyurappa are a few names on the list. The shoe incident became a trend. In that sense, the latest Sukhram and Pawar incidents leave us with a potentially dangerous situation. The last thing this nation would like to see is people taking law into their own hands.

Being a common man, I understand that muzzling public opinion, political injustice, rising prices and frequent scams can make one feel frustrated, but we should remember that we are a peace-loving nation and our history doesn’t allow us to endorse violence or incivility. Let’s join hands and condemn this incident. Even if we have our angst against the politicians, let’s pledge today that we will use our biggest power – our voting rights to teach them a lesson.



First Published: Saturday, November 26, 2011 - 16:58

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