Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Nanny State, Police brutality, and other issues

Did you have a nanny when you were young? I had one - infact, my school had one, and she used to walk a bunch of us home from school on some days. Simply put, she was a terror. She dragged us as she wanted, cursed us when we fell back, hit some of us on occasions, and was simply using us to vent her frustrations. Ofcourse, she would be on her best behaviour when any of the parents were around: her true self revealed only when they left.

Why am I talking about this? Well, the recent reservation debates have demonstrated the 'nanny' nature of the Indian state. First, you have a hidden agenda, that comes out only in the last minute. Then, you have the mandatory round of police brutality - non-violent protesters being beaten mercilessly. Finally, you have the denials - the Commisoner of Mumbai Police denying that there was any lathi-charge at all. In fact, Star News did something real cool for once. They broadcast his denial and shots of people being beaten up on a split screen simultaneously. Still, the shameless state did nothing.

Consider this - the brightest, young minds of the country are protesting against an injustice. How does the government treat them? No one listens to them at first, then, the police beat them up, and even after that, no minister had the courtesy to apologize or at least visit the injured students. Contrast this with the treatment given to VIP protesters like Vandana Shiva, Arun'dirty' Roy and Medha Patkar. These worthies are feted, cajoled, and even the tall and mighty Indian state falls at their feet.

I could go on and on about why this is so - but I'll defer it to an other post.

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