Agitation due to vegetation

February 17th, 2010

I am not a sociologist. But few things are quite stark. Food and clothing, education and jobs (in that order) are main concerns for every society.

Whether it is a tribal in West Bengal and Orissa, the unemployed in Bihar and UP or even, an Ajmal Kasab in Pakistan, these simple needs drive people to crime, agitation and all forms of violence.

And proponents of ideologies use this deficiency in the society to their fullest. Without pointing at any particular party or terrorist outfits or even, religious fanatics (because all of them are to blame), over the years, it has been clear that a few people can gather thousands and lakhs around them by promising these few things.

Yes, many will argue that there are college students from affluent families who are indoctrinated at an early age. True, but the bitter truth is that I have seen a whole lot these ‘ideological students’ settling down in proper lives after college. (Come on guys, in most cases, it is not about a country’s independence)

In fact, one of my seniors was a part of the group that demolished Babri Masjid demolition. Today, he is happily settled as an information technology professional.

Many so-called communists of the 60s and 70s are happily working in capitalist organisations, quite a few even in business newspapers, magazines and television channels.

Governments, as a result, should primarily focus on the troika of food and clothing, education and jobs. Instead, we find politicians taking positions that they will use force to crush the agitation.

Sure, it may be crushed. But a next generation of poverty stricken and oppressed will always rise.

A small example is a place like Manali. In a recent visit, I discovered that even if one wishes to travel late evening (which is like later than 10 pm), there is little fear. Most people, though not so affluent, are working.

My car driver on the last day was an interesting chap. The 25-year old owned 8 cars, a few apple and other farms. But he was still driving his own car. Whenever I had to leave the car to make a purchase or see a location, he would assure me that none of my valuables would be stolen. And nothing was.

The satisfaction of a full stomach, decent clothing, some education and a job goes a long way in keeping people happy. Alas, our problem solving measures tend to concentrate on too many other things.

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