I was driving to work today and was about 100 meters from the intersection when my wife shouted BJP flags. She is generally not interested in politics, but her instincts have told her that flags of the nation’s second largest political party on the roads, meant trouble!
That is the sad state of affairs in our state and country. Just like when you see a policeman on the road, you don’t get a sense of assurance; instead, you experience a sense of fear. Similarly, people have gotten to a point, when they see political party flags, it means trouble.
In any event, a bunch of BJP activists randomly walked to a busy intersection at 10:00 AM to do a raasta rokho. They obviously chose the location and time carefully. What must be their criteria? Cause maximum inconvenience to people.
The first thing that crossed my mind is- who are these people that have time at 10:00 AM in the morning to be on the roads to stop traffic? They really have to be jobless. I am willing to bet that 90% of the people who were travelling on the road at that time of the day have to be working. Now, that is the sad state of affairs. About 20 jobless people have made the lives of nearly 2000 miserable. This is the price a civil society pays when good people don’t rise up against evil.
Samme or strike is a democratic right. RTC bus driver, a school teacher, secretariat employee, or a Singareni worker has a right to go on a strike- as long as they don’t demand pay for the time they didn’t work. There may be some contractual/legal obligations that prevent certain members of workforce to go on a strike, but we don’t need to go into those details. Painting with a broad brush, it is a worker's fundamental right to go on a strike.
However, our society seems to have lost the sense of distinction between fundamental rights and enforcing one’s views on rest of the society. A raasta rokho or rail rokho is not a fundamental right. These activities violate passengers’ right to travel to the destination of choice after paying the fare. People who stop trains and traffic should be arrested and prosecuted.
Similarly a bandh is a fundamental right, if and only if the business closes voluntarily. I was watching a petrol bunk on the day a bandh was called. The business opened early in the morning. Around 10 AM, when they expected hooligans and hafta collectors to show up, the business closed down. From that point on, for the rest of the day, petrol bunk owner played a cat and mouse with those that want him to shutdown his business. This kind of bandh is not a fundamental right, but is outright illegal.
People of our state quietly accept violation of our fundamental rights that happen on a daily basis. They constantly harp about government’s failure to bring things under control. However, they never point the finger at themselves. The responsibility to stand up for our fundamental rights start at the level of individual, then at the colony, then at a ward, then at a constituency, then at a district, then at a state, and then at a nation. Instead, we tend to think it should happen in the exact opposite order. Sure, bring on President’s rule- which is nothing but a dictatorship. When that fails, let’s hand the rule over to the United Nations. Problem solved!
“All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing”- Edmund Burke
Save Andhra Pradesh!