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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mangalore Madness - A Threat To Freedom

The news channels as well as the news papers of the country are shamelessly covering the shameful event of Mangalore to no end. What happened in Mangalore is a major threat to the very idea of freedom. Freedom of any kind. Unfortunately this is not the first time the freedom in this country has been usurped by vested interests of some individuals, singly or collectively in a group. The politicians of the country and at times the law enforcement agencies in this country have time and again turned a blind eye to the perpetrators of such crimes and even when they have been forced to take action, which they have pretty reluctantly, they ensured that the guilty got away scot free.

How impotent can a nation and her citizens get? What kind of a constitution did our forefathers make that permits gross violation and abuse of the tenets of the constitution as well as the laws of the land? Fanatic groups based on region, religion, caste, creed, language etc have been allowed to fester in this land. All of them under the garb of freedom and choice. All of these groups have resorted to violence at some time or the other. Mangalore was just a repetition of the precedence set or rather allowed to be set by the politicians of this country who have been intransigent to such attacks on freedom of the citizens and justify their inaction citing all such incidents being an aberration. More and more people resort to taking the law in their hands because they have political patronage and are sure that nothing can happen to them.

The self styled moral policing is not limited to small unknown groups. We all saw what happened in Mumbai, the most forward city in this country, when it came to Public Display of Affection. The government itself was so concerned that the matter reached the courts and laws were passed to curb the PDA. These are all signs of an immature society which refuses to understand or accept the meaning of unbiased and unconditional freedom.

The lack of Political will was evident from the fact that the Police refused to arrest the President of the Sri Ram Sene, Mr Muthalik after the incident. When the public pressure mounted the man was arrested in connection with an earlier case. Mr Muthalik is so arrogant about his beliefs that he still feels that the incident was justified. Well meaning and innocent men and women assaulted for just being in a pub and Muthalik finds no cause for concern. Being the leader of an organisation Mr Muthalik is as guilty as the goons who carried out the attack. But our Government and the Politicians do not want to apply that logic lest someone holds them responsible for the everyday problems facing this country. I saw Muthalik's interview on TV and can say that his ideas, disposition and attitude was much more vulgar than the most vulgar scene ever shown on the Indian TV.

In the beginning I said, the News channels and papers shamelessly covered the incident. I said shamelessly because of two reasons:
The first being there was one shameless man or woman who was filming the entire episode and did not even attempt to help any of those girls and boys in distress. He/she happily went on videographing the incident for monetary or professional gains. Why is the media not identifying this reporter or person who himself was irresponsible and immoral enough to not even try to help those boys and girls? The media is now harping on someone else to do something about it. The news anchors putting up a disgusted face on the TV. Will someone remind them that one of their own was also standing their and doing nothing about it.Who will if they themselves do not really care?
Secondly all of us know that these small fanatical organisations and at times the big ones also thrive on publicity. Just like the terrorists more often than not the idea behind any act is to gain publicity and send some message to the society. Relentless coverage of the incident and and the people /organisations involved only helps further their cause. I think the media of this country should understand that. More so when all of us know that every news item is just another marketing tool for the media house.

India is getting out of hands. The politicians will not do anything to stop the erosion of the very fundamental rights of the citizens of this country. It is high time time the citizens started forming their own citizen groups to fight this internal terror and ensure their own safety.

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