Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What's your motive?

A/N: This piece was written some months back when it seemed fairly relevant to what was happening around me. Time has passed, but the issue has persisted in hanging around! So I figured I'll put it up here. For the record, I am not passing judgment on anyone; I'm simply stating an opinion.

April 09, 2006:
My generation's in a furore these days. The HRD Minister announced an increase in the reservation quotas for SC/ST/OBCs in institutions of higher education. So protest marches, SMS forwards, impassioned emails, online petitions et al. have been back in full force. In fact, this time, even fasting and self-immolation were being used from what I hear.

Immanuel Kant said that the value of action depends on their motives, not results. He spoke of "duty for duty's sake"; the only proper motivation for any action is faith in moral law. According to him, doing something because you feel it is good or right to do it is immoral. I don't agree with him to the extent of calling it immoral, but to a certain extent, he makes sense.

One of the emails I got asked us not to join in on the protests simply because Rang De Basanti made it cool to speak out. The writer was right; many of the people who protested against the verdict in the Jessica Lall trial did so for that very reason. There are dozens of such verdicts made in this country, which go unnoticed - either because the victim isn't a model, or because these isn't an inspiring movie around at the time to propel people to notice it.

I'm not saying the hype shouldn't have happened. On the contrary, I'm glad it did. At least Jessica will get justice - hopefully. But I do believe the reason the hype happened was not wholly a desire to see justice. And that is sad.

The motivation for people reacting against the possibe quota is very different. This time, it affects us directly. My own chances of getting into a decent master's program went straight from a fairly optimistic 5% to 0.1%. No kidding.

So I'm guessing the protests will be even more vociferous this time round. However, chances are, the protests won't be covered by as many news channels this time round (After all, Salman Khan just got bail!!!). The hype will be there, but not as visible.


Anonymous said...

...besides, i think there is another reason for the hype not getting its due media attention ... thats bcoz the charm and the 'sex' of the 'novelty' factor fading away into oblivion ... what i mean is that these protests, sms etc has become mundane and hackneyed ... self-immolation was a good eye-catcher but how many people dare it ???

an eg. .... prince falling into a hole .... brilliant story ... first time happening ... chronologists checking record books ... ministers forecasting a vote bank sur-place ...a news channel went ahead and dug the history of that historic hole ... everything is so real and so new ....prince has secure a future 'kingly' life just by falling in that hole... do u think such a thing would be able to captute the same eye-balls if a second child falls ??


ZiggyStrauss said...

Kant, Mathematica, Nirvana... I have a love-hate relationship with all these people/things. it's very emotional.

I'm having long days and I'm not supposed to be talking to you (or vice versa) so I'll comment when we start taking or when I feel better.

ZiggyStrauss said...

*talking (oooch can't see straight)

ZiggyStrauss said...

Actually I don't really have an opinion. The country is pretty disastrous and full of surprisingly stupid people and if you HAVE to reserve then reserve in the lower classes, na!!!

Anonymous said...

Well were u there for the Jessica lal 's Protest march At India Gate..??

Were u There for any of the " N " no. of march that Took place agst Reservation ?

So jus by siting at home ,How can u comment that ppl in the jessica lal protest march did it becoz it was Cool!

there were ppl who had suffered in some or the other the SYSTEM!!..AND THEY ALL CAME TOGETHER..

RBD was a catalyst which made ppl realise that we have to stand for matter its jessica lal..matoo case..reservation or Dusu election..

i know u have digressed from the actual point of writing a comment on ur Blog!.

but jus want to tel u..the Ground Sitution is NOT HOw u ve put it...

a traveller... said...

I really wish people would leave their names... this is annoying!
I get your stand... And yes, I know people who were a part of these protests for better reasons than the ones I've mentioned. But then again, I also know people who did go for the very reasons I've mentioned. I guess it takes all sorts to make a crowd!

a traveller... said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ZiggyStrauss said...

that'd be RDB, I believe, Anonymous Man.

'scuse me for butting in, but I can't resist poor punctuation. I agree it's a rather controversial position to take, but everyone's views need to be respected. Even if you totally disagree with them (eg. I respect Freud though I follow Skinner). Anyway, we are all just one person each and none of us REALLY know what each protester's motive is for taking part in a rally. HOW can you be sure some people don't just show up at protests because their friends are going or because they want their photo in the paper or... hmm, maybe because they LIVE closer by? Everyone's motives are different and you are in no position to make a sweeping generalisation like that... because you cannot give me a guarantee that all those hundreds of people show up for exactly the same reason.

stupid chap said...

Yo This is Hotting up!! :) I kinda agree with Both Sumit (the Anonymous Man ) and ZiggyStrauss , No one actually knows the real motive Behind ppl going to all these protest but the Bottom Line is ..."It's Makin a DIFFERENCE " the end of it all thas wht matters Most!