» News » India at Raisina: The People were the Heroes

India at Raisina: The People were the Heroes

By Tarun Vijay
December 26, 2012 12:18 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

'The youth atop the poles on Raisina Hill need respect and an accommodating attitude. Not lathis and water cannons,' says Tarun Vijay.

Even if the government, scared of the People, has shut down India Gate and shown a kneejerk reaction, so evident in every failed ruler's life and times, India registered an unprecedented 'no' to this bad governance.

With homage to the policeman who died unfortunately while on duty, we witnessed a stormy silence on the Hill which rules India.

Turning every politician speechless, India had invaded Raisina Hill, its power centre.

Parliament on the right and North Block, South Block and Rashtrapati Bhavan in their sights, the People surged and climbed atop poles to announce the residual remnants of the British colonial legacy completely meaningless and pale.

Standing there, I felt as if I was amidst the Purabia troops marching from Meerut to Delhi in 1857 after the Mangal Pandey incident.

I have not seen how 1947 was achieved and what mass revolt means. Even the struggle against the Emergency was different, on another level, where the politicians were the heroes.

Raisina Hill's heroes were the People.

Leader-less, without any agenda or manifesto, and without the banner of any organisation.

That exactly was the People's strength that shook State power.

If it was a demonstration by any political organisation, a youth brigade or any reformist movement, the government would have attributed political motives to it and got busy with its business-as-usual charade.

But the People wore the colours of India. They were young, angry and indisciplined.

I was there for two days and saw the hatred for politicians in their eyes.

My son mingled with the crowd, but he went separately.

My wife, in her usual jeans and shirt, turned a student and said if she could have found a stone, she too would have hurled it at North Block.

You may argue that the young have to be calm, reasonable, not take the law into their hands, be sensible, speak logically and talk to the leaders. After all, politicians are the democratically elected representatives of the people and the Constitution empowers them to run the country, and Parliament is supreme.

Whatever the youth demand, death to the rogues and the rule of law, justice and equality can only be achieved by a system, which is US.

Continue arguing and vomiting your intellectually high-sounding phrased sentences -- using difficult, unusual words to weave in a magic of another award-winning essay that may become the cover story of a magazine.

But who cares?

Those who care a damn for their identity and photo ops write India's cover story.

They want justice right there. On the roads.

The roads, Kingsway turned Rajpath, which carried swanky million dollar cars swaying into the citadels of power, were trampled by the muddy chappals and canvas shoes of tri-coloured youngsters challenging the power which had given them the hypocrisies of high- decibel debates, scandals, stinking rich leaders sermonising on the importance of simple living and an India where nothing works on the ground.

Babus in ministries don't reply or even acknowledge your complaints, general hospitals are so heavily crowded and scantiness reigns that no leader, corporate, media heavyweight and bureaucrat would ever go there, leaving the space for the 'other people'.

Buses are unsafe. Trains are dirty, never run on time and rail reservation is one hell of a job.

The worst roads and public transport system are provided to the localities of the poor and low-income group people. The best buses run to Shanti Niketan and South Ex.

For every government job, the unwritten rule is to grease the palms of the presiding officer.

Less than 50 vacancies in the Northeast attract 70,000 applications.

A journalist doing his job in Manipur is shot dead; his final film shot and secure in the cassette goes missing in police custody.

For every First Information Report something special needs to done to 'justify' the 'auctions' of the 'richly rewarding thanas'.

Officers commit suicide for fear of political vendetta, the police is used for personal cosmetics and reforms refused, farmers are ruined and drink pesticides, education is becoming costlier and inaccessible for the poor, stone images gobble up thousands of crores of rupees, society is divided into Hindu-Muslim-Christian extremities to gain votes, and criminals are shielded for political reasons.

What more do you need to have the marble edifice of State power crumble under the shoes of those who do not care for their career, but want a truly democratic and just India?

If it is a family party, five of the kitchen members run it; if it is a non-family party, five of the core committee members run it.

Do we really believe there is inner-party democracy in 'democratic' India?

'Law of nominations' by a few drives Indian democracy.

Can this sham-ism deliver?

We need a dialogue with the People who are not collected in hired buses. The lost connectivity with the masses has to be rejuvenated through the sheer example of sincerity and honesty.

Non-governmental mass organisations, having no political ambitions, have a greater role to play.

Ironically, the so-called non-political mass leaders too have exhibited their ugly political dreams, making the People more disillusioned and angry.

It is the failure of the non-political leaders who have shown a brazen political cleverness at every moment when the aam-aadmi began trusting them, at every level that has further deepened the vacuum of space in the People's faith.

Let a new politician rise, someone who is sincere and fearless, who can walk into the crowds and shake hands with them and initiate a dialogue.

The stone-throwing crowd and the youth atop the poles on Raisina Hill need respect and an accommodating attitude.

Not lathis and water cannons.

Tarun Vijay is a member of the Rajya Sabha; member, Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, national spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Party, and honorary director, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Tarun Vijay