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Irreverence pays November 30, 2006

Posted by Sharath Rao in india, rant.

Angry at the desecration of BR Ambedkar’s statue in Kanpur, Dalits in several parts of Maharashtra went on the rampage on Thursday, setting two trains on fire, damaging over 100 buses and clashing with police in violent protests that left three people dead and over 60 injured.

Call me faithless, arrogant, whatever. I dont think there is any person/animal/earthly or heavenly entity/idea I respect so much that his/her/its ‘desecration’ will lead me to destroy public property and kill innocent people. How can this be excused ? Calling them uneducated, ignorant and therefore eligible for leniency by law ? Poor and insecure people ? Or maybe since I have already declared my position in the first sentence of this article, I just dont understand what it is be faced with that situation. Thankfully.

KPS Gill puts it quite rightly.

The contempt for the law is not limited to the state and its agencies, and to those who exercise power through these. It extends to the overwhelming majority of citizens who will ignore, if not actively breach, the law at almost every instance when they feel they are not being monitored and would not be liable to penalties. The internalisation of law and of accepted social norms and mores, the hallmark of civilised societies, is becoming increasingly rare, with our educational systems, as well as the example of elders and the leaders of society, failing comprehensively to encourage or inculcate any desirable value system in our children.

I thought we will break any law if we know we are not being watched. Turns out the qualification wasnt necessary. Just this will do – “We will break any law.”



1. Achala - December 1, 2006

I have never understood such ‘reverence’ either. Destruction of property and murder is inexcusable.

The reason we’re seeing more and more stories like this would be explained with the key words “…and would not be liable to penalties.”

People will break the law when they know that they won’t be held answerable for their actions. And what do we do when the law (or rather, people associated with law and order, i.e., politicians and the police) guides the rampage along instead of containing it?

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