26 September, 2014


Was the mob action praise worthy? No. Not even desirable
Was it justified? Not justified, but very likely inevitable.
Could this be predicted? Entirely yes, with due sensitivity

Was PETA action avoidable? Yes, eminently, unless they wanted to act as agents provocateur. They could have preached their message in hundreds of better ways.

So, what is the issue? Whether the mob action is consistent with or significantly different from any mob action typical to India? If it was typical why was this not foreseen and anticipated? And if missed, why the big deal about it now?

We are talking of the realm of PRAGMATISM, not IDEALISM. For that we will move to another thread...

What was wrong in pragmatic terms?

Consider a big rally of Modi and HR activists standing outside peacefully with slogans like Down with Genocider, Woman Stalker, Right Winger et al.

Or anywhere in Mumbai courageous secularists saying things that needed to be justifiably said about Bal Thackeray. [Remeber the punishment meted out for just questioning why Mumbai was stalled on his death?] Ditto about Shivaji, Ganesha, Mohammed et al.

Remember the fiasco with exhibiting Hussain? And his exile? Or about a book on Shivaji? Or for that matter of Satanic Verses, or Danish cartoons et al?

In all these situations mob behaviour is predictable, and consistent, though not always justified.

Besides, in this particular case of PETA provocation, there is sacrilege and religious interference.

The PETA act virtually asked Muslims to abandon Islam, considering that animal sacrifice is OBLIGATORY on Bakr Eid. Is that some small provocation?

An Imam in Nadiad is arrested for merely questioning the sanctity of garbha dances [and the VHP activist who actually slapped him remains scot free]. So why not book PETA for this?

And by the way while PETA is known to provoke it also has some sense what not to do. I guess they have not yet launched undressed women lining up against the malls of OUR metros, protesting against fur coats. They are sensitive to average Indian sensibilities. Why not be sensitive particularly to Muslim sensibilities?

Questions galore; not simplistic by any means. Hence answers and value judgement ought to be withheld.

On an aside:
What will the vegetarians eat if tomorrow plants are conclusively found to feel pain? By the way, how arrogant of me to presume that the bacteria I swallow in every breath do NOT SUFFER pain, as if I have bothered to study this.

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