mid-day editorial: You can't earn peace through violence

Jan 03, 2018, 06:07 IST | mid-day correspondent

We had a tiresomely familiar and frustrating start to the new year, with the eastern side of the city witnessing violence after the Bhima Koregaon clash spilled over from Pune to Mumbai yesterday

We had a tiresomely familiar and frustrating start to the new year, with the eastern side of the city witnessing violence after the Bhima Koregaon clash spilled over from Pune to Mumbai yesterday.

Several pockets in the city, like Chembur, Sion, Bhandup, Mulund and Powai were affected, and Mumbaikars were characteristically helpless and stoic as they struggled to reach their destinations.

We had hoped the opening note of the year would be different. It is time to take a turn towards peaceful, organised protest. It is shocking that a life has been lost in Pune because of these protests, all of this over the commemoration of a battle that took place 200 years ago.

When will angry protestors realise that violence only harms them. It is their infrastructure that is being destroyed, and both protestors and the gathered public have lost their lives.

It is important to keep calm, and voice dissent in simple but effective ways. Resorting to stone throwing, damaging vehicles and causing logjams takes away sympathy and empathy for the cause and, in fact, earns the ire of the public.

Raasta rokos, morchas, marches are effective ways of drawing attention to a cause, making people sit up and pay attention to a particular problem or injustice. Yet, when this degenerates into a riot, the focus changes. Then, the aspect most remembered is the violence and carnage, rather than the cause at the heart of it. People will only remember that a man lost his life, or how many buses were burnt.

In any case, violence and vandalism can never be condoned. Restraint and discipline is more effective than wanton violence and disruption. March the path of restraint and maturity.

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