Gurjjar riots expose the weak arm of the law in India
During the almost week long riots (over the Gurjjar community’s demand for inclusion in the Scheduled Tribe list so that they can get better access to government jobs and preferential treatment for admissions) when 25 people were killed, the electronic media bombarded us with rioting scenes in four states of India – Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. Disgusting scenes caused by the troublemakers and hoodlums – burning buses, throwing stones, attacking trains – reached every corner of the country and they made every ordinary Indian bow down in shame. But it was clear that the hoodlums were enjoying themselves. The violence went on and on.
Thankfully the Supreme Court has echoed all our feelings when it rapped the governments of these states by calling the failure of the the police and the government to control the goondas a ‘national shame.’ The Supreme observed:
These protestors feel that they have done a laudable act when TV cameras were focused on them. It is a national shame that hordes of people are destroying public property and no preventive action has been taken.
Yeah, these people actually thought they were heroes. We could see their grinning faces, as if they were on drugs or something. I guess some people get a high by carrying sticks and stones to make their point. Whats even more disgusting is that the police seemed helpless.What if something bigger happens (something that arouses more passions) – then what are will the hoodlums be allowed to do? Burn the country?? I shudder to think of it.
This widespread violence simply goes to show that India is more or less peaceful country because most of the time these people choose not to do anything. The choice is theirs, not that of the police.
Some of them are unemployed anti-social elements who spend their time exhorting money from businessmen, getting drunk and beating up their wives and girl-friends. When they do decide to join a riot, they create havoc and they can do it easily.
What sort of country have we become? What sort of message are we sending out to the world? That we are lawless? The fact that this happened mostly in Rajasthan, which is a tourism hub means that this news will go first hand to people all over the world. Many people will choose never to visit India again. Its quite clear that the rioters have no national feelings. Forget about shame. I don’t think they know what that word means. Whether or not they have a legitimate demand or not is hardly the point.
People who use sticks and stones and arson to make their point deserve no concessions. They should be locked up.
Update June 2008: The Gujjars started their agitation again. You can read about it here. They did it really large-scale this time and went up to Delhi…and this agitation has already cost industry Rs 4,500 crore and the railways suffered a loss of Rs 2-3 crores daily. Today people in India clamour to be labelled “backward” and want free goodies, and well, why blame just the Gujjars. The government is dispensing these goodies to other groups too isn’t it! As long as the reservation policies of the government stay, these kind of agitations will continue to happen in this country.
(The photo is from IBN)
Related Reading: Violent mobs should pay
Docs in India often have to face irate mobs
Comparision of violent crime in the world
Too many policemen on VIP duty in India
Poor people to Police ratio
Dalit violence in Maharashtra after Ambedkar’s statue damaged in Kanpur
Fake mob attack by political party