Vantage point

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Sunil had gone to Pune this weekend. He told me about how a big gang of VHP/BD/RSS types commandeered 2 reserved bogies of the Pushpak Express and did not let passengers with legitimate reservations even sit in their own place. All those harrowed passengers had to come to Sunil's bogie. Needless to say, all these saffron loonies were headed to Ayodhya.

This morning I went to our "Leadership Development" class where the Prof showed us clippings from the movie Gandhi. The guy sitting in front of me said "Man, I just hate Gandhi...what can we learn from him?".

One clipping showed him address a big gathering of angry Indians in South Africa whom he first arouses into feeling angry and then channelises their anger by peaceful means. He convinces them to follow non violent means and yet not give in to injustice. The remarkable thing is those angry people agree!!

That was then, in 1894. Now we have members of so called "volunteer organisations" and "religious organisations" using muscle power to illegally take over seats paid for by other people. These people the sanghists kicked out, they were mainly Hindus. yet they were meted this treatment, all for the sake of a temple for a god whom we call "Maryadapurshottam".

Suddenly I realise that I shouldn't feel surprised if the revulsion of people like my classmate is reserved for Gandhiji and not for these people. That is the sort of society I live in.