Government buses, Government offices, Government officers, Government Railways are the most prominent targets for people who are out to vandalize public property in the name of public good. What is the ‘Government’ doing? Nothing. State and Central Governments spend time in passing the buck. At the end of the day, ‘mango man (aam aadmi)’ gets affected.
Why are such violent forms of protest not meaningful? First of all, the state does not have the liberty to use violent force against the citizens. At the same time, the citizens also do not have the liberty to use violent force against the state. Second, a section of the society (be it Jats, Gujjars, Women, Pilots, Doctors, etc) cannot stall the lives of other fellow citizens. Such an act amounts to the violation of human rights of these other fellow citizens whose right to move freely, right to life, and many other rights are violated. Third, discipline distinguishes 21st Century India from the uncivilized world. In a democracy, protests against the government or for that matter any other organization have to be carried out by the pressure groups in a peaceful manner without affecting the citizens.
What should the Government do to tackle this menace? Some of you might have heard of a bill called “Anti hijacking (amendment) bill 2010” which disallows the Government from negotiating with the hijackers. Similarly, no grants should be made to groups that stall the Government activities directly or indirectly. Further, burning of buses, blocking of railways and vandalizing public property in any way has to be construed as an attack on the State. Stringent punishment has to be awarded for people involved in such forms of protest. The terms of engagement (be it use of water cannons or tear gas) has to be codified so that the Indian Police Service and other paramilitary forces can deal with such protests.