After the recent clashes following the conviction of the Love Charger, Sant Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan, the whole country is in a state of shock. They are startled at the ferocity of the followers and the conviction with which they fought.
The Ram Rahim violence brought about an ugly side of people. It reduced them to their base instincts and forced them to commit heinous, inhumane acts for reasons which were well, fallible to say the least.
These people burnt buses, trains, paralysed 2 states and partially crippled the third. According to a news report, they even had a plan to bust the guy out, Bollywood style and had proper code words established to put a plan of attack into motion.
But now that the uprising has died down and the Supreme Love Charger is in jail, let us talk about it what happens after such events of violence happen, after the melee is over and the time comes to rebuild, who pays, both in monetary terms and otherwise.
After burning at least 5 buses and 2 coaches of a train, the supporters of Ram Rahim (henceforth to be referred to as Love Chargers) caused around 445 trains to be cancelled. State Transporters also cancelled their services to affected parts. As a result, flight prices shot up. So much so that a one hour flight between Delhi and Chandigarh cost Rs. 9,000-15,000.
The hotel industry suffered major losses as well. People started checking out quite early in the week in fear of unrest and violence. According to this article and by The Tribune, only 10 percent of the guests actually stayed back.
This extreme loss of revenue hurt not only these businesses but the state government which lost out on around 20 cr in revenue from taxes.
Adding on to this, the virtual choking of roads in Punjab and Haryana additionally caused a significant loss in revenue as well.
The Ram Rahim violence caused not only a monetary but a severe mental impact on people. The sheer brutality that he witnessed from the arsonists induced a state of fear from which recovery will be a long time coming. People are scared to come out because they don’t know when the violence will start up again. They do not know when these misguided misfits will roll out in force and damage everything in their path.
These events damaged not only the psyches of the people who bore the brunt of the attacks but those who committed these acts. Over 30 people died and over 250 were injured, most of whom were the supporters. My heart goes out to their families who have to rebuild in the aftermath of the Ram Rahim violence and have to deal with this painful a loss.
So, if you look at it from a bird’s eye view, for the sins of a self-styled godman, for his excesses and liberties, he did not suffer. Although he will serve his sentence, we are all too aware of the comforts that elites enjoy in prison. He will come out on the other side even more of a ‘saint’, still adored by his people and still on the pedestal of a godman.
But you know who does suffer, the people. The people who died and those who were injured. The people who bore the brunt of the Ram Rahim violence and were paralysed by fear when they were unwillingly caught in the middle of it. Those who will suffer are the people who lost their businesses and revenue and jobs due to this madness.
And it is these people who will have to rebuild. Ram Rahim will have his coffers still full, overflowing even. But we won’t. Rebuilding will cost money that would have been better spent building instead of rebuilding. We will have to repair our psyches, our broken relationships with the people who did these acts because, at the end of the day, they are people, our countrymen. We should not simply abandon them for the sake of a fat cupid on a modded bike.
Image Credits: Google Images
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