It was morning of 26th August 2015. Mom didn’t wake me up to go to school today. I was happy to have my unexpected share of holiday. Dad told me not to step out of the house at any cost. The reason for it went with him to office. In return he did promise me a ride in our car across the city tonight.
I could see holi mata from across our car window. It stuck me then that the holiday was due to holi. “But mom you forgot to get me a pichkari for tomorrow”, I heard myself saying. Dad told me that it wasn’t a holi and instead, a bus set on fire. “Why would people set a bus on fire, which later is to be used by no one else but them?” I wondered.
After we reached home mom and dad explained everything to me. My 7 year old mind couldn’t grab most of it. But as far as I understood, it all started with a 21 year old businessman Hardik Patel conducting rallies against the reserved seats benefits that lower classes enjoy in our country. Hardik bhaiya is demanding the government to provide similar advantages to patidars too. But I wonder, how can you include a community into minority when it’s actually not, if you go by numbers. Another alternative given by Hardik Patel is to abolish the reservation system for everyone. The later one sounds more logical than the former. Then why can’t he directly demand for something which is rational in the first place? Maybe I am too small to understand the reason behind this.
So yesterday he conducted a rally here at the GMDC ground. Police protection was provided to ensure that the really gets completed successfully without any hurdle by miscreants. But Hardik bhaiya wanted the collector to be present there. So his demand was again fulfilled. But then he also wanted the CM to join them, which I think was a bit too much on his part. Even dad doesn’t buy me another chocolate when I demand for it after getting one already. Also, the government had provided him enough time to use GMDC ground but he even broke the time limit. Hence, he was arrested.
Things turned ugly after he got arrested and continued to be uglier even after he was released. Police began beating people heartlessly, due to which one citizen lost his life. On the other hand a mob of miscreants started destroying government properties (busses, jeeps, collector kacheris and even police stations). Now this is the most confusing part of the story according to me. What is the point in burning jeeps? What difference would it make to its owner? Not even 12 hours have passed after the incident and those officials are roaming around in a brand new jeep. So nobody cares. By turning those BRTSs into ashes, people are creating more and more trouble to nobody but themselves. Because government doesn’t use BRTS, it is to be used by the people. In the upcoming days don’t dare to make a fuss about the traffic problems that you will face. The mob murdered its own saviour.
That was about Hardik Patel and the mob. Now let us know what methods the city police adopted to harass innocent people. They broke into people’s residence, injured them badly and fled. The victims told that the officers knocked the doors, asked for a glass of water and when people went to their kitchen to fetch water, the police kicked the door open and beat them up. This is something seriously unacceptable. How can the ones who are meant to protect the people turn themselves into a beast? It’s like your murderer is the one who is meant to save you.
My understanding about this whole episode is that everyone is right in some ways and wrong in the other. The only bunch I find wrong in every way is the insane mob. As far as my little brain registers it, the root of the problem lies in the system of castes. I don’t know what my caste is and I now feel proud about it. I am glad to have risen above such social divisions that get you so out of your mind that you don’t see the one you are slaughtering- humanity. Today the scenes which I saw in the television horrified me. It seemed as if someone had secretly painted the whole city black overnight. I was scared. What if police would come and beat me up for no reason?
Next, morning I go to my small garden with my mom. I dig the ground and place a small seed into it. “What are you doing, baby?” my mom asks. I have the answer very clear in my head. I hear myself saying, “I will plant a small rose over here. And when they grow up I’ll pluck three white ones out of it. I’ll give one to Hardik bhaiya, second to the police and the third to the mob. Along with the rose, I’ll also request them to stop all the violence that is created since yesterday.” My mom just smiled at me.
After few months, the roses do grow. There are thorns along with them. But one thing I’ve clearly understood is that however sharp the thorns may be, but they cannot rise above the flower, ever. Same is with peace. However hard the situation may be, peace was, is and always will be on top of violence. So, today I wish to give my pending gifts to all the three wounded bunches. I am sure they will accept it because mom always says, people are never bad, circumstances are.