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Why India needs a new symbol – Dandaa (stick)


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Talent is nothing without dedication and discipline, and discipline is a talent in itself’ 

                                                                             Luke Campbell

It was heartening to read on the front page of Times of India today- 22 Sep 2022- the top court observed that the Government should not be a mute spectator to hate speech and come up with strong measures. It creates social disharmony is the moot point.

Besides hate speech the entire atmosphere reeks of ‘saab Chalta hai’ attitude in India. People keep blaming the national character for this and 70 years after our independence the Prime Minister has to tell us about keeping the society clean! There has to be movement started by none other than the PM himself called ‘Swachch Bharat Abhiyan’ urging Indians to keep our surroundings clean. And some still mock this- Yuk!

Burning public property, squatting on the roads for months on, driving the citizens crazy is nothing unusual for us. You burn private vehicles, throw stones and all sorts of dangerous objects on public, police and even the armed forces. And then wait for the law to take its own course- years on and nothing happens. All this under democratic rights, secular ethos and constitutional provisions goes on. ‘Jo bachch gaya wohi Sikandar’

‘Jo bachch gaya wo bachch gaya jo mara gaya wo mara gaya’- simple

Discipline is dead but long live the discipline!

People have the audacity of jumping a red light at will without an iota of regret or shame. If stopped by a cop on duty people bash him up.

There are pot holes like pock marks and puddles, flooding on the roads immediately after rains start. Why so? This does not happen elsewhere. Are we callous, casual, corrupt, uncaring and collaboratively responsible for this messy situation or all of these as a bundled attitude of ‘saab Chalta hai’? Everybody goes scot free. That is real freedom in action.

Rasta roko, Dharna, pradarshan, Jail Bharo,Kisan andolan, Dilli Chalo, factory lock outs, disruptive yatras, Rail Roko, Chakka Jaam, Cinema bandh, Bharat Bandh, Hamari mange poori karo, sadda haque aithey rakh,Humko Chahiye Azadi, Chcheen ke lenge azadi, candle light marches, flash mobs have become a part of our lexicon like never before. New ideas are launched at an unimaginable rapidity. You can highjack Red fort on Republic day in the capital of the nation, injure hundreds of policemen with some misleading press reportage too.

On top of it we boast that we have freedom of speech as a true democracy and no one can stop us from peaceful protest which is our fundamental right. These protests seldom remain peaceful and most end up in loot and arson, mobs can do what they like and almost get away with anything even a murder. You pray that you don’t become a victim of a rowdy mob. You consider yourself lucky if you escape the wrath of any such mob and reach home safely.

The nose of a mob is its imagination. By this, at any time, it can be quietly led.

Edgar Allan Poe

Stone pelting has become a fashion and a tool kit for protestors. How can so many stones of all shapes and sizes suddenly appear in the hands of ‘peaceful’, albeit ‘innocent’ protestors? Not to mention the ‘victim card’ construct which is invisibly visible all the time.

Shoshan or ‘exploitation card is another trump card these guys play. ‘Political vendetta’, politically motivated, witch hunt and with contentious intentions are some of the lofty jargons in the blame game. And finally when nothing works you justify by saying  ‘When there is so much of unemployment then obviously youth will agitate and go for peaceful protests which sometimes can go awry- kabhi kabhi galti ho jatee hai, gussa aajata hai’.

What about the law abiding hapless citizens? Unko Gussa nahi aata? Are the rules only for them? Why should they suffer at the hands of these people who burn their vehicles, office space and homes to these mobs who have no accountability? I feel sorry for the police who have to accompany hooligans and eventually protect themselves from them while protecting them! Law enforcing agency is over loaded, there is shortage of man power and a constable has to work more than 14 hours a day. This is an organized way of creating chaos and all we can do is to tolerate this every day- patiently- but till when? In the evening prime time news you have ‘let’s debate’ debates on every channel, with same faces shouting their lungs out as if rubbing salts on the morning wounds. Is there too much of freedom to let out our hot steam and in the bargain burn others.

Airline pilots, teachers, bank employees, Safai karamchari, hospital staff and the list goes on. ‘Lage raho munna bhai’.

You try this in Israel which is also a democratic-disciplined country. The Israeli penal code treats stone throwing as a felony, with a maximum penalty of up to 20 years, depending on the circumstances and intentions: a maximum of 10 years for stoning cars, regardless of intent to endanger passengers, and 20 years for throwing stones at people, without proof of intent to cause bodily harm. As per Amar Ujala newspaper, throwing stone on Israeli soldier invites death penalty and the house of the stone palter is filled with stones.

In New Zealand if you throw stones you get 14 years jail. In Turkey even if you have not hurled a stone and are in the mob of stone pelters you go to jail. Even children are not spared the punishment.


What should be done?

We have seventeen national symbols. For example Mango is our national fruit, Banyan is our national tree, Lotus is our national Flower and Peacock is our national bird and national animal is Royal Bengal Tiger.

I feel we need to add one more to this list a dandaa (better a hickory stick- A slender, strong but often flexible stem, as of certain bamboos) as our national regimen or national order to be used unsparingly.

We need this badly if we want to become a developed nation in next ten years. ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’. Discipline is necessary for good upbringing. This adage appears in the Bible (Proverbs 13:24) and made its way into practically every proverb collection. Couldn’t be better for 1.4 billion children of Bharat Mata. I wish the much touted ‘Gandhigiri ‘could work on us- Nah don’t underestimate us.

Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.”

Virender Kapoor
Virender Kapoor
Virender is an Indian who wears many hats. An educationist of repute, Masters in Computer Science from IIT Bombay, he also holds an MA in International relations. He was the Director of a prestigious management Institute under the Symbiosis umbrella. He has emerged as a leading think tank in human behavior, motivation and success. As a celebrity author, his name appears with the likes of Thomas Friedman and Dale Carnegie. His books are now available in eight regional and foreign languages like Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati ,Telegu , Malayalam , Tamil, Punjabi and Vietnamese He has authored more than 36 books as of now which are on Amazon worldwide and several of his books are in the pipeline.


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