My Views

Mass Street Protest – Not for India

Posted in India and World, Internal Security, Reality Check by dullar on January 31, 2011

When the Arab world is boiling and people have descended into streets demanding a fair, able and righteous governance, the world has been gripped by a sense of awe and confusion. What has made the people to come to streets? Is it ripple effect? Or surfacing of long suppressed agonies and frustrations? Many analysts and commentators are now talking about further spreading of the protests in different corners of the world, at various level – national, regional or local.

In India, common man has always thought of such protests as – are they worth fighting for. Democracy, some say, along with Judiciary and more so, 2 decades of economic reforms have insulated a large section of society from the day to day problems of governance and livelihood. People, above middle class, have been less concerned about corruption, politics, scams etc because their life’s goals are fulfilled and rooted through corridors of market economy, which by and large has sustained its growth through last 2 decades. Urban population happy with their (Increasing) monthly pay-slips, and pseudo-satisfied in increasing consumption are not the protest material.

For some time, rising inflation has dented the pockets of common man but there is little evidence of their dented spirits and faith in the market economy which continue to be promising. The section of society which lives below lower-middle class is the one which can provide for any protest whatsoever. But they are the voices which mean less than less in the power corridors- both economic and political. They are amorphous, segmented and unorganized to prove to be any danger of concerted protest, if at all.

The only form of threat of such street protest in India lies in pockets. Kashmir’s youth protest sometime back is one of them. But they have been effectively, if not sustainably, controlled, thanks to organized and fully controlled army, which operates under the garb a democratic political environment in the valley.  Further the central government dolled out some economic packages to temporarily feed envious Kashmiri youth. In the south, Telangana movement has been on fire for some time and will continue to do so, as it is also fueled by young blood of college and university students. Their demand have some color of genuineness but a long drawn out political and administrative path for dispute redressal might puncture the steam out of people’s spirits.

Democratically elected governments, police, independent judiciary, grass-root governance systems, civilian controlled army and para-military forces, and a rapidly growing economy are very effective in insulating mass street protests in India as witnessed in Arab world.


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