Saturday, February 6, 2010

Amitabh Bacchan

When you protest, you can protest on someone's behalf by actively defending him. This would include defending his stand/opinion in public or in private, or simply defending the fact that so-and-so has the right to express it, regardless of the repercussions it may have. You defend the fact that expressing your sentiments ought not to jeopardize the security of an individual. On the other hand, you can also defend someone by recognizing the shortcomings of the diffident's points of view. When cars and buses and taxis are ransacked by mobs in Mumbai, you stand up and say that this course of action is illegitimate.

When you do not make any statement at all, it is either because you are undecided, or you are indifferent to the problem, or you passively accept the fact that what has happened is justified. If, however, in addition to this, you write about the prowess of an individual associated with the problem, i.e., the head of Shiv Sena, at a time of distress and violence, you condone his actions. Timing is never incidental. To play the fool by making side-comments is irresponsible and, frankly, even more devious.

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