The example has to be set by our politicians, because it is they who lead or mislead the people.
Jagdish Batra, Professor and Additional Director, English Language Centre, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Whoever said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a dictator and that India lags behind other democracies (or even dictatorships, as some aver) in freedom of speech and action must have a weird sense of humour.
One has just to cast a glance around to see how people are becoming more and more comfortable with ignoring the law and even taking the law into their hands, and cocking a snook at the government agencies and even the judiciary.
The silliest thing that happened on the law and order front and went without corrective action was the blockade of the roads in Shaheen Bagh way back in December 2019 which went on for months on the issue of Citizenship Amendment Act.
The protesters merrily carried on their agitation, holding aloft the tricolor as a symbol of allegiance to the constitution of India while caring two hoots about the appeals from the leaders of the elected government and even the advice of the apex court to clear the site and not cause hardship to people!
Had Covid19 not taken a fierce form in March 2020, and the people not been worried about their health, it would have gone on for, God knows, how long!
If this agitation had been quelled the way such agitations had been during previous regimes, (one remembers the June 6, 2011 episode when Baba Ramdev’s anti-graft agitation in Delhi with thousands of his followers was broken up following breakdown of talks with the central government emissaries including influential cabinet ministers and the protest site razed in no time), the vested interests at the back of such agitation would not have felt emboldened.
Published in: The Times of India
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