Joining the Dots

By Dr Oscar Rebelo
13 August 2011 11:55 IST

Dateline: London 2011

Disgruntled, disaffected and apparently disillusioned youth go on a mind boggling, baffling carnival of looting, thugery and riots that is unfathomable for any London Eye to conceive. The quintessential stiff British upper lip is quivering with genuine rage and an unspeakable fear.

Richard Sannet and Saskia Sassen, both professors of Sociology, trying to make sense of the London riots, write: “All are victims of what people in Britain call ‘the cuts’ the governments defunding of civil society institutions in order to balance the debt. Less government spending programmes means the burden is particularly harsh on the poor. And the poor then react with this misplaced venom.”

Dateline: Arab World 2011

After decades of brutal repression and a stagnant, corrupt economy, the genuine Arab heroes, are battling with their lives to overthrow and prosecute their long standing, entrenched tyrants.

While it’s such a sweet victory to see a pathetic Mubarak caged in like a fossilized pharaoh in a court in Egypt; Assad and Gadaaffi will also have to face their people and the truth someday, somehow.

The lava has burst forth and the Arab spring will usher in a more just and equitable society even if, it takes years to achieve the objective (and the Islamists can take a backseat please).

The rich may be deluded with their wealth and power; but someday the poor strike back and How!!

Dateline: Pune 2011

Water from a river in Mawal, which farmers have used for generations, is to be diverted to a rich municipality in Pimpri Chinchawad. When the farmers protest, they are actually mowed down by cops in uniform, firing live ammo at fleeing protestors.

At least in encounter killings they shoot them in the head.

Anywhere else with such TV footage, any court would take suo-moto cognizance of this barbarism. But in our safe middle class cocoons everything is a reality TV show. Enjoy!

However despite all the brutality, the marginalized and the dispossessed will continue to protest, politics notwithstanding, and how long before my shop or business gets burnt down in a moment of their temporary insane rage?

Dateline: Goa 2011

From excesses in mining to excesses on the tribal community, our completely compromised cops seem to follow this one dictum.

If you are unlucky with Lucky in a farm house; when you can’t lay a trap for Roy the Boy; when cops can’t note fakes and fake notes make cops; when the drug and sex industry is like a holy cow in Goa, and if you the discount the Viscount the cops, I guess, say this to themselves “let’s prove ourselves, let’s go get the tribals!”

So from harassment by a cock a snoot mining industry when they encroach on the land, water and life of the tribal community to arresting them on charges of attempt to murder in the Balli incident (Rioting, I understand but attempt to murder???). The farcical act continues…

There are two members of the beleaguered tribal community, who were actually roasted alive in the carnage or may be the cops will have us believe that Mangesh Gaonkar and Dilip Velip had a short circuit in their bodies and spontaneously combusted.

The cruel joke may be perpetrated on a community marginalized for centuries, but for how long can you crush them without a fight back. The poor will protest non-violently and sadly with violence, but protest they will and someday it’ll reach too close for comfort to the rarified atmosphere of the middle class bubble we live in.

So, join the dots and seen the pattern emerge!!

In a truly integrated world, where communications and mobilization can be achieved by the touch of a computer mouse pad and where constant images of unrelenting greed and unpunished brazen corruption by the rich and the powerful are beamed in like a daily ritual on our TV screens, the folk down the pecking order are livid.  They can barely make ends meet, while the fat cats waltz away from economic genocide  in our country and indeed around the world.

If in the US it is the Tea party Republicans (all wealthy), who refuse to pay extra taxes for the greater good, here it is our Czars and oligarchs who loot and plunder our natural resources to stash billions abroad. The similarities of the modern day Louis XVI and Marie Antonettes is striking.

And as the teeming millions who are going to be on the wrong end of the economic stick gird their lions, to battle out the injustice and inequities afflicting them, the blood bath won’t be funny.

And inevitably it is our comfortable middle class lifestyles and existences which will be crushed for oxygen in this modern day stampede.

So as the global economy is all set to tailspin and crash like Humpty Dumpty and protests erupt around the planet, hold your suspenders guys!!!.  All that we may be left holding eventually will be  our underwear!!!

Have a happy landing fellas: we all have to come back to earth someday even if we stupidly think that we can forever be chasing elusive stars.

Blogger's Profile

Dr Oscar Rebelo

Dr Oscar Rebelo is one of the leading social activist of Goa and a practicing doctor. He led the historic peoples’ movement in 2006-07 to get the anti-Goa Regional Plan scrapped and save Goa from total destruction of Goa’s ecology and natural beauty. He is a Goa-based leader of Aam Aadmi Party. He is also a columnist.

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An article in Goa Chroincle and the newspaper "Tarun Bharat" of 13th August reveals a mind boggling figure of 49 thousand crores stashed by the locals in Swiss Banks --in the last few years under the guise of rendering service to the masses! This makes it amply clear as why there is so much cut throat competition to grab the chairs and perpetuate dynasty rule. The atrocities on some section, the doles to others, are all part of this strategy of grabbing the chairs.

One feels bad sometimes to see a few so called intellectuals -- keeping aside all their self esteem and self respect --stooping down so low as to sing verses of praise for the corrupt elements --just for a few pieces of crumbs -that too from the loot of public kitty......It is time such elements are isolated and candidates with integrity,values, probity are elected to rule .......

- vishwas prabhudesai, loliem | 14 th August 2011 16:24


whatever happens they always have reasons....just as every murder wen has a minister involved ....accused is always MAHANAND....

- ANIRUDH, PANJIM | 13 th August 2011 12:31


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