Where art thou, oh peaceful people?

April 12 & April 13, 2006. In the history of modern Bangalore, these will go down as two of its darkest days.

In a ‘tribute’ to the fair name of a demised actor & more importantly, a thorough gentleman, so called ‘fans’ & ‘mourners’ wreaked havoc & damage the sight of which has not been seen earlier.

The very fans that Dr. Rajkumar referred to as ‘Abhimani devaru’ (fans who were God to him) let loose hell on the streets of Bangalore.

In the process, this gracious city that is slowly turning into a cosmopolitan and globally recognized workplace resembled a battlefield with mobs unwilling to show dignity and restraint in coming to grips with their grief on Dr. Rajkumar’s demise.

Instead they looted, pillaged, burnt, fought and let’s not deny it, have been responsible for the deaths of 5 odd people! Its image has been tarnished, perhaps, forever.

Is this any way for ‘fans’ to express their grief? Could not they have anticipated that it would have been easier to catch that ‘last glimpse’ on TV itself instead on the funeral route? What a wonderful image we could have presented to the world had a peaceful, solemn, dignified procession happened instead. The phenomemon of ‘superstars’, ‘demigods’ etc in the film industry would then have been better understood by people watching the events unfold from across India & the world.

Instead, what came across was the anarchy that overtook Bangalore. So much so that, whatever fond memories can be recollected of Dr Rajkumar, it will be tinged with the frenzy and chaos that accompanied his funeral rites.

No justifications can be accepted for this kind of behavior. If Dr. Rajkumar would have anticipated the madness that his death would generate, he would have perhaps preferred the hills where he was held captive.

That the CM, the administration and the police force were caught unawares and left hapless was plain for everyone to see.

‘Brand Bangalore’ was a misnomer – during the 2 days that saw frenzied mobs, ‘Brigand Bangalore’ should have been more appropriate. So much for a city that is called India’s Silicon Valley!!

Behind the facade of glitter & the gloss, the malls and the eateries, the brands & logos, the metrosexuals & the Page 3 types et al, one can only see poverty of thoughts, beliefs & action even in the acceptance of death as a way of life.

What a sad state of affairs!


7 Comments so far

  1. BangaloreGuy (unregistered) on April 14th, 2006 @ 6:13 pm

    Unless this “modern” Bangalore started only a couple of years back, I have seen worse, and quite frankly Bangalore has seen lesser violence than before – and I have seen it reduce, actually.

  2. Suyog (unregistered) on April 14th, 2006 @ 7:33 pm

    I agree with you here Ravi. But what I am unable to digest is the constant association of the tag names given to Blore (“Silicon Valley”, “Brand Bangalore”) with yesterday’s incident. Let us face this fact clearly – Bangalore is not all about IT/BPO. There are folks here who have nothing to do with the tech space. At the same time, there are anti-social elements here like in any other city. As BangaloreGuy has said, Bangalore has had its share of violence in the past too (Urdu news, Cauvery…) but also at the same time these have been so much in the past and for such a short duration that there has been no mental trauma or wounds that have been left unhealed. Just compare that to the anti-sikh riots in Delhi or the 1992 riots in Mumbai. Bangalore to my mind is one of the safest cities to do business in and that is the reason you see so many companies stay put.

    Yesterday’s acts are not organized acts of violence. These are just spontaneous animal acts – you really cannot plan to do something about this. They have to be dealt on the ground firmly. That is what failed yesterday. Blaming the city and the people is not the way to go.

  3. usha (unregistered) on April 14th, 2006 @ 9:28 pm

    There may have been a couple of events in Bangalore which were worse than yesterday’s violence but never associated with the death of an eminent son of the soil.
    It is the total lack of any cause backing it that makes the mindless violence more unacceptable.

  4. BangaloreGuy (unregistered) on April 15th, 2006 @ 1:14 am

    And why exactly should having a cause make mindless violence acceptable?

  5. Sreenath (unregistered) on April 15th, 2006 @ 1:42 am

    Mobs and riots are not new to India. And the only possible cure for this disease is to eradicate illitracy. But as long as corrupt politicians exist, they will always want the majority of the citizens to be illetrate, so that they can lure them into political battles and also since they are easily lured when some politician speaks of the good of the farmer/poor. What they do not realise is that they are in no way benefitting from them by their false promises.
    As was expected, the karnataka politicians have now started battling it out against the present governement for mis-handling the situation. SO we can very well guess that this was no unplanned incident, instead was a cunning plan of the opposition parties to encourage mobs and arson on the streets so that they can later blame the government and bring it down.

    It is a sad world of politics and i do not see the situation improving unless some of the educated individauls like those who have posted comments on this thread and more outside do not stand up to save their country from a certain death!

    The REVOLUTION is Coming. Can you see it.
    If you think that educated individuals must enter politics and steer this country away from doom, please visit http://www.lokparitran.org/ and support our cause.

  6. usha (unregistered) on April 15th, 2006 @ 7:43 am

    Bangalore guy, I am sory i should have worded my thoughts more precisely – mindless violence is unacceptable at all events, whatever be the underlying cause. The unacceptable behaviour that we saw recently is rendered even worse becasue it does not even have a cause to justify anger.

  7. Ravi (unregistered) on April 17th, 2006 @ 11:00 am

    @ Bangalore guy:
    Sure we’ve seen violence in the form of stonethrowing, looting, bus-burning etc but do let me know just when in the past have we seen such violence as policemen being chased & lynched?

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