Dissent is good, spitting isn’t

Dissent is one of democracy’s strengths because you are free to disagree with someone’s opinion and everyone’s allowed to express his or her opinion. In authoritarian regimes, if you dissent you’ll probably disappear or something bad will happen to you. However, there is such a thing as dissenting in a civilized way and acting like we are evolved beings and not primates.

Apparently, some activists didn’t get this memo. Excerpts:

A group of ABVP activists on Thursday went on the rampage at Delhi University, vandalising the venue of a seminar in protest against presence of S A R Geelani, acquitted in the Parliament attack case, and spat on him.

…Trouble started just after Geelani reached the venue. An activist went up to the dais and spat on Geelani’s face twice, saying “shame, shame”. The ABVP activists then went on damaging the windows, doors, chairs and the microphone to disrupt the meeting.

So, being an accused and being acquitted does not absolve you in the eyes of the ABVP. In their court, you are guilty if accused. And, let’s for a moment assume that the person is guilty though he has been acquitted, does that allow anyone to spit on him? What’s next–stoning people in the town square? For a country that won it’s independence using non-violent means, we sure seem to be changing our tactics. I hope the activists who created trouble are punished.

Geelani didn’t shy away from the event and had this to say, which I thought was terrific:

“This is a trailer of fascism. The fact that we held the meeting shows that we succeeded to beat the fascist forces. Now the fascist forces are becoming strong in the country and are trying to suppress the democratic voice. We should not allow that to happen,” Geelani said.

Democracy good. Facism bad.


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