Thursday, November 30, 2006

Violence in Bombay

... and around the state as well. Dalits, incensed at the desecration of a statue of Dr. Ambedkar (the principal architect of India's constitution and a hero not just for Dalits) in Kanpur, like nearly 2000km away!, go on a rampage in parts of Bombay's suburbs and around the state, burning buses, stoning vehicles, and, setting the Bombay-Pune Deccan Queen on fire near Ulhasnagar! (NDTV has been showing the footage of the burning train all afternoon.)

I'd gone to South Bombay for lunch with a friend, (no signs of any tension on the way or back), and on the way back on one of the FM stations a correspondent was talking to a guy in Worli who claimed to have stoned a bus and set a taxi on fire. "This is to pay the government back." The logic escapes me. "Ask his name!" the radio jockey from the studio interjected, but the guy didn't respond. A few minutes ago an NDTV anchorman said that a few protesters they'd talked with (in Nashik?) said that they wanted to state Home Minister to resign. When asked how an incident in Kanpur was his fault, they just said the whole UCP/Congress government in Maharashtra had to go.

The scenes are reminescent of the Shiv Sainiks going on a rampage around Bombay back in June (July?) after a statue of Meentai, Balasaheb's wife, was desecrated in Shivaji Park. Obviously this isn' just a spontaneous outburst of protest. Why Maharashtra? I'd suspect that it's the RPI (a local Dalit party) flexing its political muscles. Besides, it escapes me how this is supposed to help Dalits in their fight against the horrific oppression they still face across the land.

So this is how the world's largest democracy works.

Mera Bharat mahan indeed. Sheesh.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

I hear you. I don't say 'Mera Bharat Mahan' anymore.

Great blog. Thanks.