Road blocking for everything
A few days back I received a video, showing - organizing a road block by three or four gentlemen protesting against the increase in the rate of “Yu” from 80 rupees to 150 rupees. One of them was uttering that “we are not going to withdraw the blockade till the old rate is restored”. I shared the video with some editors and journalists – they also expressed their sympathy and moral support to the hapless group. Such kind of important issues are being ignored by one and sundry. Price rise.
A boy was drowned in a stream; the local people became angry- “we are not going to take the body of the boy till we know the reason for the death of the boy”. Actually a group of local boys were swimming in the stream; the flow of the stream became stronger as there was heavy down-pour the previous night. The boys came up from the stream but a boy was missing. The boy’s mother came rushing; within a few hours villagers and local police could somehow fish out the boy from the stream a few kms away from the swimming spot. Now a JAC was formed and they said the body won’t be claimed till it is found out by the concerned authorities – ‘why he was killed, murdered, assassinated and thrown into the river’. The mother and father of the kid became helpless – only the JPC would decide.
Local leaders have arrived, village headman, Pradhan and even the local MLA, all joined. JAC demanded - boy’s mother should be given a government job; father is already working as Chawkidar in the local school. They were also insisting on a CBI enquiry . Until and unless a CBI enquiry is ordered the State highway shall remain blocked and the dead body of the child will not be picked up. CM arrived – CBI inquiry assured – blockade opened .
One Activa scooty was lost in a co-ed college; students became agitated; actually the scooty belonged to a good looking girl student; all the boys became more agitated; College Student Union came into action; they immediately blocked the road and cancelled all classes. They demanded that until and unless the Activa was recovered and the thief was caught and punished – the roads in and around the college would remain closed. The Principal of the college tried to appease them saying that – ‘ a new scooty will be purchased from the college fund and the matter will be given to the police – FIR will be lodged accordingly’. The boys and student union didn’t agree ; instead they alleged that the Principal was taking the side of the thief. The Education Minister had to rush to settle the issue.
One bullet was found at the gate of a Doctor; it was reported to the police and police came and collected it. A JAC was formed against the bullet-party. Dharna was organized with local Meira Paibis on the road just outside the house of the Doctor; a tent was instantly set up - carpet, chairs, drinking water, tea-snacks were arranged for the same. They were demanding an apology from the bullet keeper/party. Local MLA came ; he was street smart – murmured something in the ears of a few leaders and Imas . Within minutes the agitation came to an end. The matter was settled; Doc is safe. All dispersed. Finally, a man turned up to the doctor asking for some few thousand bucks - for the tent, carpet, chairs, tea and snacks. The clueless Doctor had to foot the bill.
A family of drunkards quarrel among themselves every night. Their neighbours became so irritated, what to do? They thought out a plan to socially boycott the family till they reform their nocturnal obnoxious behaviour. In fact, the family of the drunkards was ostracised by the local people. The family of the drunkards became annoyed and became louder till late night; a JAC was formed to deal with the family. They reported the matter to the police - police came and went away; within minutes the shouting - yelling continued. In desperation JAC decided to block the national highway which runs through the locality - till the matter was sorted out. Finally the top leadership had to intervene as the matter belonged to his Constituency.
In the beginning of the Covid pandemic every locality wanted to block the entry of outsiders in their area for fear of infection. When Covid infected a family in the neighbourhood, the next locality banned the entry of vehicles, scooters, men and women from the infected side. Over-reaction to certain happenings or incidents make us illogical and irrational. Vigilantism in the wrong direction again leads to anarchy.
During the last State election a group of people in a Constituency, did not allow a candidate to enter their locality for campaign – this is a new addition to our democratic culture. Bandhs , blockades, shutdowns, rallies, protests, demonstrations, strikes, wakat miphams etc. are being organized in every nook and corner for something or the other – these are the signs of a vibrant democratic society. But, too many democratic assertions hamper the progress of a Democracy.