The Kiss of Anger and the Dance of Hate

Hinduwebsite editorial - Protesting
From The Editor's Desk

(Hinduwebsite Editorial - Exploring Truth Amidst Illusions and Distortions)

In 2011 a group of young women under the banner of Pussy Riot staged several protests against the Russian Orthodox Church and Vladimir Putin, the Russian President. A documentary made about them showed that as part of their protest some of the girls in the group engaged in group sex in the streets in full public glare. Their movement caught the attention of the international media and the world public.  To some of the recalcitrant elements of society what the women did in public sounded "rather cute and adventurous," and what Putin did in retaliation was rather brutal, authoritarian, and unnecessary. In Russia, those who hated Putin loved them, and those who loved Putin hated them.

Around the same time there were protest marches in the US by extreme radicals against Wall Street Bankers and affluent people to highlight the socioeconomic inequalities, greed, corruption, and the influence exerted upon the government, and policy makers by powerful corporations. The movement was called the Occupy Wall Street or the Occupy movement. It lasted for several weeks and disrupted normal life in many US cities. It also attracted worldwide attention and helped some politicians to capitalize upon it to increase their popularity and divert the public attention from the real problems. The movement also generated pride in some to be part of the 99% rather than the 1%. It looked like in the heat of the movement some people embraced mediocrity as if it was a virtue and showed their contempt against the establishment by acting violently, blocking traffic, and raiding ports. There were clippings that showed people shouting in public holding placards, "We are the 99%." It was as if they were saying that to be in the 99% was a great achievement, and there was some virtue in being part of the crowd rather than being an exceptional person.

Right now, a movement is going on India also. It seems to be spontaneous, but as it happens in several spontaneous movements, some extremely anti-religious and leftist elements in India are capitalizing on it to increase their popularity. The movement, which is called by the media as the Kiss of Love, is organized as a protest against moral-policing. Those who participate in it express their grievance by kissing in public in the name of freedom from moral authority and from the obligation to be socially responsible. They are doing it, knowing well that kissing in public, is not allowed by the laws in India. When the police arrest them, they use the opportunity to make more noise and flood the social networks with even more messages. The situation is well exploited by few local leaders and elite groups to inconvenience their political opponents and make some political gains.

Protests are part of our modern existence. The cry for milk which we make as babies assumes many forms as we grow and become adults. In some, the cry grows louder, as anger and frustration builds in them towards their parents who neglect them or ignore them, and manifests in their adult behavior as a cry for attention and freedom. Let us examine why some people take up frivolous causes to disrupt normal life, why they pick up insignificant aspects of life and blow them out of proportion, or why they want to make exceptions as rules, and take exception to the enforcement of rules.

Let us take the three popular movements that we have stated before. What is common to them? They are the desperate attempt by some people in society to gain attention, or the fill the vacuum in their lives by some causes that seemingly give them a sense of righteousness and direction. Their cries of dissent are the creaks of a chaotic civilization that is on a steep climb to find meaning and purpose in a vast and empty universe. Their behavior and social attitude reflect the declining moral standards and the increasing decadence in our social, cultural and religious values. The protests appear to be for righteous causes, but they are mostly held for frivolous reasons, similar in intent and purpose to the temper tantrums of the kids who demand from their parents more chocolate, playtime or television time.

People who participate in these protests are mostly those who have problems with their parents and authority figures. They show little respect for laws, and find trouble following instructions or honoring the age-old institutions of family and society. You may also find in them marked contempt for authority, morality, discipline, structure, And tradition. Most of them are born and brought up in cities and urban areas, with the little idea of what true suffering means and how people live in the rural areas and face hardship and poverty. They also possess little knowledge of the world, since they do not study enough or understand the big picture. The most hardened ones among them even betray a strong preference for free sex, crime, violence, and drugs. Despite their indiscipline, and lack of self-responsibility and initiative, they live and act as if they are entitled to certain social and economic privileges.

Whether it is the extremists in the Middle East who have assumed the mantle of defending Islam from quixotic causes and imaginary grievances, or the splinter groups in various parts of the world who organize protests and marches for various frivolous causes, what is common to most of these protesters in contemporary world, is their seething anger, fear and dissolutionment with the humanity. They are not here to uplift the world or reform it, but to vent their anger and express their displeasure for no particular reason. They are angry at anyone and everyone who appears to be an authority figure, an affluent person, an important public figure, a religious teacher, or a powerful nation.

You will find them using some social cause, political reason, intellectual movement, or weakness in society, to vent their anger, alienation, and frustration. Their temperament is similar to that of spoiled children in dysfunctional families who do not want to adjust, do not want to respect, do not want to cooperate, and do not want to help anyone, but expect their elders to comply with their demand to be free and do whatever they like.

The protesters, who come mostly from broken families and irresponsible parents, bring the same attitudes into the open through social and political causes, as they lack direction and specific purpose, and channel their negative energies for frivolous purposes that tend to undermine the order and regularity of society.

Most of them do not take responsibility for their lives, and live and act as if they are wronged by others, and as if society and the world owe them the obligation to make them happy and comfortable. By voicing their grievances, they disrupt the normal social process and seek freedom to break the laws and indulge disruptive actions.

It is true that there will always be causes for people to be unhappy about their lives, conditions and the world, but those causes cannot be resolved by staging protest marches, or organizing terrorist activities. People must first focus upon their own lives and take responsibility for them, doing their part to make the world a better place to live and the people in their lives happy. Your duty towards society is not to disrupt society but to ensure its order and regularity by doing your part, making your contribution and using your discretion to channel you energies in the right direction. You have a duty and obligation to represent the right causes that promote and contribute to social harmony, peace and wellbeing. The so called kiss of love is actually a kiss of anger and hatred towards other members of society who disagree with them. Love does not protest, and there can be no love where there is anger and frustration.

Society makes progress through the effort of individuals who take responsibility for their lives, and who keep on doing what they can, despite the problems, hardships, and limitations. There are no limits to the good we can do, but there are limits to our freedom, especially when we are in public places. We cannot disrupt society by removing the social constraints that have served us well in the past in regularing it. We cannot let out the evil in us to find expression in the name of freedom and liberty. If we want to accomplish changes on a large scale, it has to be done in a civilized manner, honoring and respecting the laws that are meant to protect us from chaos. As countries become increasingly liberal and free, you can expect more of these agitations and protests.

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