Smorgasbord - Politics, Lisp, Rails, Fencing, etc.

My musings on assortment of things ranging from politics, computer technology and programming to sports.

Friday, March 03, 2006


On this day:

Protests and Violence - Psyche

In Lucknow, 4 people were killed as anti-George Bush protests turned violent. In the past also many people died, and property worth millions were destroyed during violent protests in Nigeria, Pakistan etc., against the cartoons.

Many people must be wondering why such protests needlessly turn violent and hurt the local civilians and property. Rarely ever is the offending party anywhere near the scene of protest, so what end can be achieved by needless violence and self-destruction.

Well the truth is (at least in India, and I can imagine quite likely in Pakistan, Nigeria and other developing nations) the people who participate in these rallies are rarely genuinely concerned about the issue at stake. Even if occasionally they do sympathize with the issue, nevertheless they participate in these rallies only for monetary benefits.

These protests are generally organized by local politicians or pseudo-religious leaders and they pay the participants wages for taking part in the rallies. The poor people who go to these protests are most often well aware that there will be some violence but still the lure of easy money is strong enough to overcome the fear. The leaders then hire some goons and miscreants to cause violence, because generally the success of the protest is gaged by the amount of violence and destruction it causes, besides it also helps in getting coverage in local and international news.

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