'Silencing will only backfire'

Tackling corruption

'Silencing will only backfire'

People have in one voice described the eviction of Ramdev and peaceful protesters as ‘inhuman’, ‘mindless’ and ‘baseless’. They wondered what was the fault of the demonstrators and under what section of Indian Penal Code were they arrested and beaten up.

Metrolife spoke to a few prominent people and the common men and women in the City to gauge what Bangalore felt about the entire episode.

Samuel Paul, founder of Public Affairs Centre said that while Ramdev did make some very genuine demands, some of his suggestions were impractical. “The police action and people’s attempt to turn Ramdev into a  martyr – to the extent that his life was under threat – were unnecessary. I think the government’s aggressive and unnecessary intervention has shaken the confidence of the people in the government,” he said.

He added that the civil society’s initiative to address corruption must be taken very seriously by the government, “the act of silencing will only backfire.”

Arundhati Nag, a theatre person who has led and been part of several protests said that every protest must come with a sense of responsibility. “Governments can’t turn their back on protests. These groups must take up issues that affect a large section of the population and must follow it up on a regular basis,” she said. She felt that since we’re a democracy, the government can’t silence people and ignore their plea.  

Everybody has to abide by the rule of law, that’s what Justice Shivraj V Patil, former judge of Supreme Court of India had to say. “We have conflicting versions here. People say the arrest is baseless and the government says circumstances made the eviction inevitable. But action must be taken only after thorough investigation,” said Justice Patil.

Justice  Michael F Saldanha, (retd) judge, High Court of Karnataka said that the act by the police was totally justified. “First of all, fast unto death is an attempted suicide. It could create a frenzy and cause serious law and order problem. The police could have arrested him on grounds of attempted suicide,” said Saldanha and added, “if the police feels that there is ‘reasonable apprehension’ of breach of peace then attempts can be made to avert that situation.”    

The ordinary people believe that corruption has become an indispensable part of life. Rathish B, an employee of Convergys, said, “People lack independent thinking and are nose led by the political leaders into protesting for a cause. Some analyse the issue, others blindly follow.” Dakshinamurthy, a chef opined that people have accepted corruption as a part of life. “Governments have to pay heed to people’s plea in a democracy. They can’t ignore it. But now the trend seems to be silencing people and roughing them up. What are we coming to?” he asked.

Amishal Modi, an educationist, said no matter what people do to raise awareness and protest. “Things won’t change and governments won’t get any better. What’s the point, people are not taken seriously,” she pointed out.

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