mid day editorial: Protest without disrespecting the law

May 16, 2018, 07:05 IST | Team mid day

Reports have emerged about an NCP MLA from Thane district and party activists tearing sugar bags stored in a godown in Navi Mumbai

Controversy and fracas is heating up over sugar imported from Pakistan. Reports have emerged about an NCP MLA from Thane district and party activists tearing sugar bags stored in a godown in Navi Mumbai. The MLA, who represents Kalwa-Mumbra constituency, said hundreds of NCP activists raided the godown, located in Dahisar Mori area of the satellite town of Mumbai, and tore the bags containing the imported sugar.

This comes on the heels of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), which had already opposed the sale and distribution of imported sugar. MNS leaders from Navi Mumbai visited wholesale traders in the Vashi agriculture produce market committee (APMC), and warned them against the distribution of sugar.

While sentiment and belief is one thing, we hope that these sugar raids will not disrupt the ordinary person's life or schedule. Every political party has a right to credo and action, but it should not come at the cost of citizens.

The relevant party and its workers can hold a peaceful protest outside these godowns if they so desire, to raise awareness. They could also put up their resistance on social media and create awareness about why they oppose the Pakistani sugar. Do voice your opposition, do give vent to your anger or ire and do reinstate your stand. That is your right as citizens of a democracy.

Yet, one must always do so with a respect for people and violence should play no part in these protests. Beware of political shenanigans, which aim to capture eyeballs, rather than espouse the party line or philosophy. Actions like this must not snowball into confrontations with innocent people caught in the crosshairs.

Say no to Pakistani sugar if you wish, but do not disrupt daily life. Respect the law and the people, otherwise you fear losing sight of your cause in a spiral of violence and hooliganism.

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