Road rage must be controlled

Mar 25, 2014, 07:53 IST | MiDDAY Correspondent

Yesterday, this paper carried a front page report of a parking row that escalated to such an extent that a 50-year-old man at the centre of the row was kidnapped and had to go to hospital to get his injuries treated. The report stated that the victim called Subramaniam alias Junni Merala, asked the driver of an SUV to move his car ahead so that pedestrians had space to walk. The Sion resident was, as a consequence, assaulted, kidnapped and thrown out of a car one hour later with the kidnapper Rajendra Thakur being arrested.

The focus is not on the argument between the persons or that the police arrested Thakur; the spotlight should be trained on the fact that a trivial matter escalated to such a level that a man was actually beaten up and kidnapped and hospitalised.

Anger management, please!
It is symptomatic of a larger malaise — absolute intolerance of the other’s point of view, an overpowering road rage and the tendency to go to extremes. We have seen road rage cases taken to new highs, or drop to new lows altogether.

People have such a short fuse these days that they are left unsatisfied by mere verbal altercations; maybe it is the stress of contemporary living, the traffic conditions, or even the severe space crunch in the city that causes arguments on the road to lead to physical assaults and tragically, in certain cases, even death. It is one more indication of how cheap life has become.

People need to control their anger, put human life above all and ensure that spats are resolved verbally or within the ambit of the law.

Road rage is only one aspect of the growing violence we see all around us. Society now has such a short fuse that the smallest issue is enough to set people off, often in dangerous ways.

Fisticuffs following fury is a barbaric way to settle altercations. Let’s put a premium on life and limb, instead of making the smallest of things an ego issue. Resolve altercations with at least a shred of dignity, if not amicably.

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