by any political party. Today with hundreds of TV channels covering everything live,even one banner of protest along with a press conference is more than adequate to reachout to millions of viewers without need to break glasses, pelt stones, burn tires or damagefurniture to attract attention.
Technology for mud slinging has improved with stingoperations, doctored CDs & websites and so bricks & mortars are not required fordamaging private & public properties. All the political parties must evolve a code of conduct for peaceful demonstrations.
At present no one knows if the politicians & people seen indulging in rioting on TVscreens have ever been punished. The government and political parties are not interestedin taking any actions as quid pro quo. Under these circumstances, the journalists or newschannels and NGOs should compile information on follow up of cases against rioters of political parties along with damages incurred and publish information periodically to highlight inaction or action taken.Today the society has by and large become fault tolerant to an extent that there is generalcynicism when it comes to political system and general governance. Either there is totalindifference or sudden outburst of pent up feelings resulting in unexpected blow ups. We,as members of society, must calibrate our responses based on data and factualinformation and resist unreasonable diktats & political interpretations of creations of artists, professionals, writers, and leave it to individuals to decide what one should see or read and what one should not. If people do not like a book, the word of mouth wouldensure that a book does not sell. If people do not like to watch players from some teams,they would switch off their TV sets or do not go to stadium to watch a match.The recent amendment to IT Act 2000 has resulted in the government withdrawingexecutive powers to ban pornographic web sites based on morality alone. Governmentcan ban such a website only if it causes public disturbances creating law & order problems. Perhaps our political parties have their hands full with cricket and film releasesand have not yet protested for this abdication of executive powers. In fact anything whichis banned invokes more curiosity and enhances salability and becomes counterproductiveto the protestors’ objectives.The political parties would do well to focus on more serious issues like soaring inflation,hoarding of commodities, power shortages, pollution of rivers, garbage management incities, traffic management etc. instead of trivial issues. The budgets of the states and thecentre are round the corner and they could significantly contribute in programformulations and budgetary allocations. We have not seen any significant positivecontribution in controlling the inflation effectively. It is unfortunate that serious issues donot have the mindshare of the politicians and common man is left to fend for himself.Valentine Day has come to stay now, Jinnah sells faster in book stores and all the Khans& the Bachchans are doing well. And the political parties will be looking out for newnon-issues while the common man is still struggling. All the best.Vijay M. Deshpande