It’s a season of protests!

In this Sunday’s Hindustan Times, Vir Sanghvi writes that Indians love to protest. Give them a cause and they will protest it! Can’t refute that now. Can we? Given that its has been a season of protests. From Narmada Andolan to Reservation policy to da Vinci Code – there are protests galore. When I thought about why we protest so much, I couldn’t help thinking of my history teacher in class ten. She had categorically told us during a bandh that the bandhs and protest were the legacy of the father of the Nation himself! Mahatma Gandhi in his non violent protest routes, showed us Indians, the power of Satyagrah – when the protestors stopped work and sang bhajans under huge banyan trees. No doubt that it served the purpose. The British factories were closed and the Raaj suffered losses. The method continues still, though the loss is borne by Indians. And so, we learnt to protest from Gandhiji (but forgot to learn his discretion on what to protest about!) and are now protesting away to glory!The three most high profile protests in the last quarter have been Medha Patkar led Narmada Bachao Andolan, the medical students led protest against reservation and the protest to ban the release of Da Vinci code in India. I have to say about the protesting catholic groups that I am quite impressed by the way the protest has been carried out. Signature campaigns and reaching out to the right authorities is much better than shouting slogans and burning effigies. And now they are ok with the release provided it carries a disclaimer that the film is a work of fiction, which for fans of the book comes as a relief!

The med students used a more active approach. What with protest rallies all over the place. The laathi charge in Mumbai was an unfortunate incident and the YFE (Youth for Equality) is enraged about it. You can read their blog here. I heard a radio show yesterday in which 3 YFE members were participating and two things they said made real good sense.

First is that they are not against reservation per say, but they want the reservation to be economic need based. They want a committee to define the deprivation & economic need and allot reserved seats to those who really need it and will benefit from it as against the creamy layer who just take benefit of the system. The point they made is that someone can be deprived of education at the secondary and higher secondary levels, and thus need reservation to get into a grad level or a professional course. But once the said person is in it, the same facilities are extended to him or her as an ‘upper caste’ student. Then how can this person still claim deprivation and seek admission in the post-grad courses? I agree completely! Now, to placate the protesting students, the govt is now saying that the number of seats will be increased. Tell me, will that not load the educational institutes? Will they be able to cope up with the additional load on their resources??? With many institutes unable to provide the basic infrastructure and facilities to their existing base, we are only going to degrade the quality of education by increasing the number of seats. Has the government not thought of this??? I doubt that they would have missed out on this point. If they still wish to increase the seats, them are they not worried about the quality of education that we impart to the coming generation?

The second point that the YFE made was regarding the reservation in jobs. Now the govt can increase the number of seats in colleges, but how will they generate jobs? And imagine what it will do to the morale of the country if deserving candidates are passed over because of their caste! And al those of us who think this probably does not concern us, think again… will it never affect you, even in the smallest of ways? And if you still say no, remember that

“The consequences of our actions is so complicated, so diverse that predicting the future is very difficult business indeed”

J K Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

So if you feel about these issues and feel they will not concern you in any way, don’t be certain about it. It may affect you – so speak out about it. That’s the least you can do.


31 responses to “It’s a season of protests!

  1. well thats true..and recent incidents..jus prove it

  2. Hey I’ve sent the list of my songs :). Do check it out. Let’s see how much does it match.

    Hey this post is long I will come and read later on :).

  3. Very well thought out post. And I agree with it totally. Reservations based on caste is totally wrong and only further aggravates ‘casteism’. Plus, in post grad/technical institutes it has to be merit all the way!

    So DVC is releasing finally! Phew! Good relief…

    Kudos for a wonderful post!

  4. BTW, u need to update my link on the sidebar 😀

  5. Navjot Kashyap

    Nice post. Yes, it should not be based on caste.
    One more thing from my own experiences – most of the people who are selected through reserved categories are not even able to reach the final year of the college – they fail miserable in the 1st/2nd year itself. The people who are able to complete the courses are the once who already have got good school education and hence ideally there shouldn’t have been any reservation for them. On in other words – the benifits always reach the wrong people.

  6. Vir Sanghvi is write and it applies for we Nepalese too. We are not far behind then Indians. I used to love Vir’s program Vir ka Teer :).

    Yes, I’m completely agree with you there should not be reservation on the basis of caste not even genderwise. More or less Nepal is also going to be the same very soon as it’s not remained Hindu Kingdom anymore since yesterday’s historic declarations. I’m sure it’s going to make many changes – good and bad both.

    As Navy said reservation is not bad, it is used and benefited for the right people but it reache and ends with wrong people.

    Very well written post.

  7. Some protests are justified, others are not. I support the Narmada Andolan and to a certain extent Reservation policy.

    I think Gandhi paid for his policy of satyagrah because he was shot when he started using that against Indians (read upper caste people). The problem is that Indians are a racial society, so they don’t mind when you do satyagrah against Britishers but if you do it against upper caste people then they don’t like it. Gandhi was using his methods for upliftment of harijans and brahmins didn’t like that. They didn’t protest during the freedom struggle coz they needed him but as soon as they got it, they shot him.

  8. Catholics are the most educated religion in India and so it was expected that they will do it the “right” way. The sad part is that Govt. has refused to put a disclaimer or delete one or two scenes that affect them and has no bearing on the story of the movie.

    Nobody actually expect Indian Govt. to listen to minority concerns anyways. What do you think would have been the reaction of Govt. would be if some movie has distorted hindu religion for e.g showing that say Lord Rama had an affair out of his marraige? Just saying that the movie is fictional doesn’t justify the use of religion.

  9. As far as te Reservation controversy goes, I don’t support reservation because the politians implementing it gives a rat’s ass about lower caste people. I still think though that something should be done about it. Its not fair that there are 15% Brahmins in India occupy 75% public jobs.

    We need to find ways to replace them by 60% of lower-caste people. One of the ways could be free education for lower caste people. Private schools should be given tax-incentives for taking few lower caste people and giving them free education.

    Although, it seems that current generation will have to pay for the mistakes of their ancestors…

  10. @ godo,

    yeah, its sad and true… 😦

  11. @ silky,

    have not been able to check then still 😦

    will defi chk them this weekend…

  12. @ DJ,

    thankuu ji…..

    DVC relase has been postponed 😦 God knows when it will release…..

  13. @ navy,

    oh yes, that is a well observed phenomenon….. are the authorities blind to this?

  14. @ silky,

    i dunno why but i don’t quite like him…

    So what changes do you think will come about in Nepal? Or have you already felt a change?

  15. @ Ricky,

    yes… some protests are justified while others are not… it lies in our hands to decide what to protest about and what not to protest about!

    But the govt has instructed Sony pictures to add a disclaimer and they are doing that now. As far deletition of scenes is concerned, if the vatican has accepted the film with the disclaimer then why can’t we?

  16. @ Ricky,

    I don’t think that the gov does not listen to the minorities… in fact they take special care of the minorities… and honestly, i wonder why the issue was never raised when the books were being sold? Why this hullaballoo at the time of the movie’s release?

    As for reservation, i have already said that reservation should be need based and not caste based…. what the politicians want or not is really not my concern…. but when their actions start adversely affecting our lives, we need to raise our voices….

  17. Its because Vatican has a population of less than 200 and we have 20 million Christians. Every country governs its own laws. Vatican disclaimer does not hold for any Christian countries. The movie released in N. America without any disclaimer.

    Will you accept a movie with disclaimer that makes mockery of your religion by proving that the God you have been worshiping is not God but a normal mortal human being?

    Even you and I know that, what Dan Brown wrote about Jesus was BS. He just used his imagination and made the whole story using Da Vinci paintings/structures. It will hurt Christians if someone writes BS about their religion and calls it fiction.

    By the way, Vatican has told its followers not to watch the movie.

  18. Yea sure, Govt. really did took care of minorities when 2000 were butchered in Gujrat riots in one week in the 21st century.

    The reason for such hoopla when the movie is being released is more than obvious. 2 Billion people in world cannot read. More that double people watch movies than they read. Also, movie shows things graphically. It makes things obvious. It has the ability to affect people more than books because it gives picture to your imagination.

  19. Only a fool would assume that such moves by the Govt. wont affect him/her. This is one protest that deserves support from all.

    Hey by the way anks Khoooool template yaar. I too wanna one.

  20. Rulake gaya sapna mera and Tadap Tadap ke is my fav too.

  21. first of all..let me congratulate u on a very beautiful new template. good work.

    and i agree with what u have said.
    Quota issue – well, one day the upper class r gonna be the opressed ones and then we can also go and demand quota…

  22. @ vicky,

    I agree that making a mokery of anyone’s religion is absolutely wrong and will definitely hurt the sentiments of its followers. But my point is that why all the hue and cry now? The biik released and went on to become a best seller and the fact that the movie was being made was common knowledge….. so why no one raised a voice then?

  23. @ ricky,

    take the case of ‘the passion of christ’…. there were protests while the movie was being made… why did the similar protests not happen while da vinci code was being made?

  24. @ ricky and vicky,

    the last comment was meant for u ricky…

    *when will i stop getting confused between the two of u*

  25. @ bhagya,

    thanks for liking the template!

    did u participate n any ralr? protest movement?

  26. @ bhagya,

    oh yeah… these songs are marvelous!

  27. @ vicky,


  28. What do you prefer out these two scenarios? Brahmins in Varanasi stalling the movie WATER before it was being made or Christians decryng the movie after its made?? It’s the same thing. There was a law-suit filed in US against the movie but its a free and democratic country and so a bunch a hooligans like in India cannot stop a movie from being made.

  29. By the way, Christians raised their voices when the book was released too esp. the Opus Dei Foundation which was projected as a vilian in the book but are like any other religious groups. I have read extensively about them and Dan Brown just exaggerated their reigious believes. Any religion can be shown as villain if one start making stories about them.

    I personally never read about protests against Passion of the Christ in India. But then we don’t have a significant Jew population. Protest against Da Vinci was also limited to Asian countries because in US they just debated over the issue not protested.

  30. Enjoyed a lot!
    » » »

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