Haryana unrest reflects our acceptance for administrative failures

Born out of Partition, we remain caught in eternal time warp.

 |  3-minute read |   27-08-2017
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Let's first count our daily challenges starting from sunrise.

It all begins with storing water for the rest of the day. We stopped demanding 24x7 supplies decades ago.

When we step out for work, we squeeze our way through all kinds of encroachments on our streets. We have become alien to footpaths because there's hardly any left, for example in most parts of non-Lutyens' India, free from trespass.

I tweeted myself about this ugly invasion of public space on several occasions in West Delhi, but backed off when none acted.

We have also resigned to a virtually non-existent state ambulance service. We have made as much peace with noisy drumbeating, outdoor loudspeakers and honking as with the dirty air we breathe in.

Almost 20 years ago, we reconciled with the falling standards of government education. No matter what, we now manage expensive private schooling for our children.

We can only fret that how our courts, our hospitals, our institutions involved in public dealing are bursting at the seams. But we don't treat this everyday disorder as an election issue ever.

It's a devastating truth that we, as a nation, are born out of the bloodshed of the Partition of 1947. Generations later, we haven't really been able to evolve ourselves out of anarchy, big or small.

We may come out in the open once in a while against some outrageous act or behaviour, but we largely remain tolerant of administrative failures.

And this tolerance of everyday lawlessness has, in fact, made us immune to progressive thinking. We may have acquired wealth or gadgets of modern world. But our thinking DNA remains frozen in time.

We don't really assert our right to a dignified life - beyond buy-able by-products of material growth.

As a society, we allowed 1984 to happen in independent India. Next came Gujarat in 2002, then Muzaffarnagar. Each entry on the of list innumerable massacres that have taken place across the country since the 1970s is a subject matter of research.

The latest rioting unfolded in Haryana over the rape conviction of a sect leader, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. But we have been no stranger to chilling imagery - of burnt-down cars, teargas, police firing and of army patrols in civilian areas - which emerged this time from Sirsa or Panchkula.

Haryana replayed it not only for us but for the world outside as a reflection of a nation caught in a time warp.

It's our tolerance of everything gross - right from inadequate water to streets choked by trespassers to pogroms of 1984, 2002 and so forth - that's to be blamed for the indignity followers of a convicted cult head heaped on us.

Given our easy acceptance, someone, somewhere might do it again, and again, and again.

Also read: How rapist Gurmeet Ram Rahim converted Dera Sacha Sauda into a cult of violence

Writer

Harmeet Shah Singh Harmeet Shah Singh @harmeetss

The writer is Editor with India Today TV.

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