‘Slap’Giving

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The common-man of India celebrated Thanksgiving in a unique way this year. He is believed to be thankful for inflation, scams and corruption in every walk of life.

So, one fine day, he decided to show how thankful he is, by slapping the Union Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar, considering him as a symbol of responsibility for the mess. And the mango-man doesn’t regret it, but proudly says he wants to repeat it in future, to show the people in power, that the real power still lies in his hands!

On one side we have the likes of Anna Hazare, and on the other we have Harvinder Singh. Both represent the common man of India. Maybe it is the generation, which is different. But, in the bigger picture, they represent the man who is sick and tired of corrupt politicians. A people’s movement like Anna Hazare’s takes a serious thought, an action plan and maybe some financial and political backing. But what Harvinder Singh did was just a plain-unadulterated-impulsive-reaction-to-corruption. He insists he did the right thing, and he may repeat it in future. It was his way of reacting to intense corruption.

Incidents like these compel us to stop and think where are we actually heading? Don’t we have other means of protest? And, do those other means work? For that matter, what difference will slapping any corrupt politician make? Will the public embarrassment guide them to the path of honesty or will they become more careful in their already corrupt means? In an era of corrupt politicians, is this the only option, the common man has, to vent out his anger? Or, do our politicians really deserve this kind of a treatment?

Harvinder Singh had a massive fan following on social networking sites, minutes after the incident. I am not sure, but I think he might have gained instant popularity just like Kolaveri-Di. From nobody, he became a social-celebrity, in just a matter of minutes. But, does such a fan following show that, if the so called fans get a chance, they will repeat what their Hero did today? I am not sure.

The common man is suffering more than he can actually handle. But does that mean he can go about slapping every politician? Is violence the answer to all our problems? And have we come to a junction where, we assume the only answer to corruption is violence, and we don’t even bother to take into consideration how elderly our ‘neta’ is?

All said and done, I don’t know whether it was a right thing to vent out anger like Harvinder did. But, one thing, I and every other Indian is sure about, is that it is going to be a tough path ahead for the angry-young-man. Because, a politician, and not another common man was the one to be attacked this time, Harvinder might be in trouble. Terrorists roam around freely in this country, they are not hanged even if found guilty. But, a common man who slapped a politician because he could not tolerate any more corruption would have a real tough life ahead and be declared as mentally unstable. This happens, only in India.

Akanksha Dureja

A software engineer, a realist, and a cribber by the day. A chef, a writer, and a dreamer, by the night!

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