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Monday, September 10, 2012

Wolves ate our goats, but we blame Lions

            I don’t know whether I hold a view of less popularity when I condemn Aseem’s cartoon displaying the lions of our emblem as blood thirsty wolves symbolizing the corrupted politicians. It’s true beyond trial, that the country is drenched in corruption when we have lost fastidious honest politicians in history. It still remains a mystery and a topic of debate whether corruption can be uprooted completely from the country where we start bribing as early as we are born, with a tip to the nurse for the good news of birth. The answer to the debate can be understood only in the future, like time answered Swami Vivekananda’s thoughts of economic liberation to abolish castes or Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violence for complete ‘Swaraj’ or Martin Luther’s dream of racist free USA, when they always had critics to advise that their goals are too lofty to achieve.
         There occurs no second thought on the status quo of nation’s corruption and there is no refusal to the sincere yearning by every fellow Indian for a corrupt free state, though they don’t demonstrate austere commitment to the cause. But, the intensity of the problem is never an excuse to sacrifice the self dignity. The demonstration, even for a social evil, if done without poise, fails fundamentally and without purpose. It is sacrificing one ideal to gain another.
         Now, the caricature of the national symbol portraying the Lions as wolves, no doubt nails the message quite hard: - no doubt about it. The intention is unquestionably pure to shame the shamming politicians. By fighting against corruption, are we not fighting for the truth? Are we not fighting for the ‘dharma’? And look at the tool Aseem has chosen, the national identity symbolizing ‘dharma’ which quotes ‘Satyameva Jayate’- ‘Truth alone Triumphs’, one of the greatest philosophical symbols which every Indian needs to be proud of, an iconic representation to the world that we had always believed in virtuous ideals even at a time when most part of the world were still in barbaric state. Disrespect to such a noble emblem for the problem we are still a cause is like killing ourselves to feed us. In one of the debates in a website on Aseem’s arrest someone has sarcastically commented “Yes, screw the nation, but protect the emblem”.  Unfortunately, emblem has its root so deepened in the nation and an insult to the emblem is definitely an insult to the country. If the emblem is not that sacred, why we have one? People may change and their problems too, but not the ideals of a nation, which is hardened and synchronized with its identity. How many of us will be comfortable if Aseem portrays ‘mother India’ as a prostitute to create awareness on the social problem of prostitution?
        What are we teaching the children? We teach them to be virtuous in kindergarten and we fail to carry the values, worse we demonstrate and patronize the massacre of virtues by supporting such open shame of national symbol under the pretext of noble intention against corruption. And what are we conveying to the people of the world? We, as a nation have failed to establish a corruption free country, have poisoned ourselves in corruption and exhibit least constructive actions against the cause, but try to abuse the holy constitution, holy national symbol because we wanted to convey a message. Forget corruption for an instant, can any of us atleast comprehend the message we have conveyed?
         I don’t support corruption, like I don’t support other social evils like reservation or child labour or forced prostitution, and above all I also don’t support mad irresponsible actions and demonstrations hiding under the sheep skin of noble cause. 


monu said...

i didnt think of it as an insult.. anyway, we are a democratic country.. look at America, they protect the guy who made a movie causing people to get killed.. we can't tolerate a cartoon? where's our sense of humour gone? :D

Hariharan K said...

Hi Gayathri,

Thanks for expressing your views. I have got few feedbacks from other friends in email, and generally this was taken light heartedly when compared to the arrest and sedition charges against him. So let me take this opportunity to write to al my friends :)
From your response and many others in the media, the main focus is on the action taken by the government. I am in complete agreement with many in criticizing the government's harsh response. In fact, i consciously never mentioned that in my writing because i too dont agree with the treatment and accusation of sedition. We all know that Aseem was just a pawn captured in congress's hatred to Anna Hazare.
So basically, we are not talking about government's move.

Having secluded the problem now only to Aseem and his cartoon, i would like to ask you whether your empathy for Aseem is basically from your hatred towards government? Rather, instead of seeing the actual case, you are looking at the opposite (government, which you despise) and inferring Aseem's case as the theoretical counter of the 'opposite', which will definitely yield in empathy.

Symbols are definitely a part of us, its etched with our culture and not everyone will feel comfortable in tainting a bad image on them. Its same as insulting idols in the temples; some may be indifferent, but many are affected. Even if there is so much of wrath, i believe he could have expressed his anger in different way instead of attacking the holy symbol.

Btw, you might have seen one of the recent images floating in FB : a poster in tamil nadu where they had replaced the heads of lions with P.Chidambaram, Karthick Chidambaram and rahul gandhi. Sure enough Congress behavior is not to protect the symbol; they care the least for it. But i do for it.. :)

Basically, if we decide to ignore the congress attitude on this issue and concentrate only on the action whether Aseem's fundamental thought process of attacking the holy constitution, a representation of truth and dharma to taint corrupt politicians, then i think it is not correct.

The following is an excerpt from the famous speech – ‘I have a dream’ by Martin Luther King, the importance of dignified protest emphasized so clearly; hope you might know that he was inspired to lead this following our own Gandhiji
“But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force “