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When passions desperately needed cooling : Part I

Posted by Shreyans Jain Monday, 4 February 2013 0 comments

The Indian society is characterised by an environment that sustains conflicting and competing views, where the differences are resolved through the medium of reasoned debate and prudence prevails before a decision is reached. However, such dialogue is not possible if some intolerant groups try to silence differing views through outrage or some malicious forces try to create unrest by appealing to the sentiments of innocent citizens. In either case, a slight provocation causes the emotions to manifest themselves in the form of vehement protests which lead to disastrous consequences – from straining the social fabric of the nation to widening the chasm between different communities.
This is a fictitious story that brings out how communal passions were aroused to add fuel to the fire at a time when they desperately need cooling. The story attempts to unfold the causes that led to the exodus of a community and turned another marginalised community into a lynch mob after a hatemonger managed to finagle the mike at a political conclave and spilled venom on the masses through his hate speech.

13 July 2012: It was a hot sunny afternoon. A large crowd had gathered in the Ramlila Maidan in the scorching heat to catch a glimpse of their cherished leader. The stage was adorned with garlands, posters and flags of the political party. The entire ground echoed with the chorus of slogans raised by the people in respect of their leader. Each and every individual present there could be seen cheering and fluttering the flag with a great sense of pride and enthusiasm. As the electrician continued to examine the audio amplifier system, speaking hello…mike check…hello… to decimate the cacophony, the leader along with other members of his political party arrived in his helicopter. A team of security officers rushed to escort the VIPs, gesticulating wildly at each other and barking orders into their hand-held phones. The entire ground was covered by a blanket of dust. As the leader stepped out of his helicopter, he was greeted warmly with sweets and garlands by his supporters. In a few minutes, the VIPs occupied their respective positions on stage and the leader waved his hands passionately at his legion of supporters, indicating them to initiate the ‘extravaganza’.

After a brief round of discussion on various political and social issues came the much awaited moment – when the leader had to deliver his speech, The King’s Speech.

Hum na jaati phechaante hai na dharma, hum keval hindustan phechaante hai (I have no other religion than being an Indian!)”, the leader proclaimed with great pride. A spirit of patriotism descended on the crowd that had gathered in the ground. Following this, he conveyed his gratitude for the hospitality shown to him and then expressed his ‘deep’ and ‘genuine’ concern for the plight of aam aadmi whom he felt, was being victimised and butchered at the hands of the demon of corruption, inflation et cetera. But then, his ‘wise’ words came as a bolt from the blue.

My dear citizens, lend me your years”, he roared in a highly commanding voice. The crowd clapped rapturously and the entire ground started vibrating with cheers.

I feel”, he asserted, “Equality in India has become synonymous to appeasing the elite at the cost of the interests of the marginalised sections of the society. I take this opportunity to remind you that our community was liberated not by arms, but by unleashing the voice of our people. They [referring to the community of the party in power] fought with weapons, but we fought with non-violence and voice. It was because of the efforts of none other but ours that the communities could come closer to each other and sort out the differences”.

He took a pause to wipe off the saliva that had oozed out of his throat to his lips with his handkerchief.

Continue reading : When passions desperately needed cooling : Part II


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