Friday, January 20, 2006

Violence and Peace

A few days back there was an accident at an intersection near our house. The usual Indian kind of accident which happens only in India. On a "highway"is a village/town road that connects into the highway. People who want to go to the other side of the highway, have to go through this intersection. This intersection is what I call, a free-for-all intersection. Therefore you honk, scream, come in at full speed like cars and you get right of way. Or you can heave, sigh and scare like a truck and get your right of way. Or you can rumble in, roll about and slowly go like a roadroller or tractor and get your right of way. Or you duck and weave like a two wheeler and go through the gaps. Every once in a while a pedestrian or a two wheeler is involved in an accident with a truck or car. The car or truck owner faces the ire of the people around since cars and trucks are "big" and pedestrians/bikers are "small" regardless of whose fault it is. Sometimes the car or truck is burnt down, but rarely is a biker/jay walker held responsible.

Last week, there was an accident between a bike and truck and a subsequent demonstration and blockade of traffic for almost 3 hours. Next day onwards two policemen could be spotted standing there almost round the clock.

Many years back in Bombay, a truck (or was it more than one) was stoned over an accident. This was followed by rioting at a similar intersection (again in Bombay) some distance from the intersection near our housing colony. Accidents happened at our intersection also, but this was typical middle class Mumbai where there people dont demonstrate or resort to violence. Soon after there was a subway at the intersection where the rioting happened, while the peaceful intersection got a subway after almost 5 years and some more accidents.

This scenario is seen in many parts of India.

Question: Is peace more rewarding or does one have to resort to violence to "get" benefits such a simple subway? or a flyover? or even roads? or police protection?


Madhan Karthikeyan said...

This all base to the public behaviour of Inidans...if the behaviours is atleast half the attitude in their home..problem is solved!

Mridul Narayanan said...

"only the crying baby gets the milk" and if the baby kicks and screams, he gets it faster. This behaviour is natural and not specific to Indians.