I always wondered why people turn violent, why they want to kill somebody, knowing very well that it is going to ruin their life as well. Life gave me a first hand experience to explore the answer or should I say that enlightened me with answer.
As usual, I went to my home town on weekends and after spending weekend I was returning by Gwalior Mail (From Barauni to Gwalior). The train was already 10 hours late when I boarded it. But since I had reservation in it and could not manage to get reservations in other trains, I was helpless and had to board this delayed train. Though most of the trains were running full, this train was empty (at least the AC coaches). Probably due to its history of late running for me it was always an option when I dont have any pre-reservation made and have to go home, as I easily get place in this train.
So we were only three persons in whole AC three tier coach. We reached a small station called Bhatparrani, a station near Gorakhapur. Though the train was not scheduled to stop there, it stopped and seemed stopped for eternity. Hours went by but the train did not move. I asked my coach attendant, what’s wrong?
He replied ” There is some problem at the next station, so train will go once the problem is cleared. Actually, people are burning train at Gorakhpur Station in protest of arrest of Jogi jee.”
My heart sank. How can people do this?
I asked “What happened to the passengers?”
“They were asked to vacate.”
My conversation with attendant was going on and we heard loud voices near by which were coming to us filtered by closed doors of coach. We looked out of window. A crowd of around 40 people was coming armed with sticks, swords and what not. Mostly in the age group of 12-30 years, but the biggest section was of 12-20 years old. They were shouting something, which we could not figure out. Hurriedly I put the curtains on the window and even before I could finish putting on the curtains a big stone crashed on the other window of our coach. Then come another.
We three just made ourself safe from these stones by moving away from window. We looked at each other. Me, a student of Scindia School who was going to attend his school at Gwalior after vacation, and a person accompanying him. They started knocking the doors. Luckily the attendant has locked the doors. They tried unsuccessfully. We gathered our luggage and decided to move to AC 2 tier coach, where we had around 6 more passengers. We moved to AC 2 tier. A six-eight month old baby was crying endlessly, probably sensing his mothers uncomfort and panic.
The mob went on crashing windows of the standing train. It went on for around 30 minutes. After that there was a pause, for ten minutes. But we could not muster the strength to come out of train and look for something for drink or eat (the train was standing there for more than 4 hours and it didnot have any pantry car.)
Then again the noise began. Same people returned and starting banging our doors again. Probably passengers traveling in AC coaches were easy meat as our windows had no protection only glasses and that too were broken, shattered by them. We were standing in one of the corners. All together. Praying. Suddenly a sword came through the window. Looking for something. Now voices were coming clearly to us after the glasses were gone.
“Arre phunk dente hain salon ko.. darwaja nahi kholte hain to..” (Lets burn them, if they dont open the door.) Somehow I managed to get a glimpse of this brave man who wanted to burn us alive. A boy of 13-14 years old. With a big stone in one hand and a flag in another. His opinion was supported by many.
I badly wanted to have a gun, one shot and you are dead. To make tomorrow morning headline. An innocent kid shot by an irritated passenger. Innocent!! I was becoming restless. No future, no ideology, no compassion everything was taken over by this pang of hatred. Suddenly I saw a person (around 30 years old, dressed in Khadi, I wondered if Gandhi could see his Khadi being donned by these maniacs). Here in the coach, the baby was crying endlessly. And his parents could do just nothing. Probably he needed some milk or water.
While the person was talking to the mob, stones were coming to the train.. suddenly some men in Khaki appeared and crowd started to move hither and thither. Shouting slogans. We got some relief.
After 30 minutes, the people were no where to seen. I looked at a tea seller on platform. Invited him in the coach, as we were too afraid to step out of the train. He came in and we got some tea for us and lots of question for them. We came to know that the idea to burn the train was dropped as some politician ask them not to burn the train.
I was shocked, so they were being controlled!! Controlled by some politician. The guy who wanted to bomb our parliament, should have been successful.
Now look at the picture published in Dainik Jagaran, one of the leading dailies of India. The caption given is “ People protesting ….” Look who are the people. We should be proud how our kids have become mature, the have developed strong sense of political and social scenario and now actively participating. If you look carefully, you can figure out who are the people at front and equipped with stick and stones. Invariable in mobs the theory of “Leading from the back” applies.
Consider if police tries to control the crowd and in order to control them if they have to resort to laathi charge (they have to, if not to control the crowd then to protect themselves). What could be the morning headline is anyone’s guess.