Saturday, September 30, 2023
HomeSocial OpinionsDharnas Decoded

Dharnas Decoded


By Anusha Gupta

That there can be too much of a good thing is a truism that bolsters the law of diminishing marginal returns, which states that as a person goes on consuming more of the same good the utility derived from it falls. There are such things as too many Dharnas, too many protests. When there is an excess of choice, target audiences can either be impressed or indifferent. A recent influx of protests has proved the latter to be more obvious.

Simply put, a dharna is a protest or fast undertaken by a person or a group of individuals with a view to obtain compliance and a demand for justice. A quick look at the past year will show many disastrous dharnas. Take Arvind Kejriwal for example, this newly appointed CM of Delhi recently staged a protest and demanded the suspension of two police officers. The streets were filled with people coming out to support him and newspaper headlines screamed “CM of Delhi to sleep on the streets.” What did it result in? No, I am not talking about the suspension of those two police officers; I am talking about the shutting down of metro for two days because of security reasons, the inconvenience caused to the people who depend on the metro for travelling and the loss of man hours and productivity.

With these facts on the table, we come to the question of what Mr. Kejriwal was trying to achieve with these protests. Every dharna has a purpose; people come together against a cause.  In 2011, the August Kranti agitation had a very specific target of passing the Lokpal Bill and that eventually happened in 2013. The 2012 Delhi anti-gang rape agitation was also specific in nature and even that led to the Justice Verma Committee and eventually death sentence for the criminals.

Even in the unlikely event of the Delhi Police coming under the State government, the AAP has not shown any convincing ideas, administrative skills or governance models to suggest that they will handle the police better and bring down crime rate. Too many protests by the current CM and the ruling party have not led to enlightenment or awareness; instead it has only caused an increase in the problems of the city.

They say excess of everything is bad, I guess this time they are right.



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