People rising

By R Chitra Published on Mar 03, 2017 03:14 PM IST

What is with the Tamils? They seem to be seizing every opportunity to launch protests.

It is a strange reaction given that we do not care to intercede when we see two people wrestling on the road over some petty issue or if a big fight breaks out in our neighbourhood.

But, recently, people have been taking up cudgels on behalf of people they do not know from Adam or issues that do not directly impact them. Jallikattu, for instance, was not an issue that directly affected them. Nor is the Neduvasal hydrocarbon project issue now.

People travelled long distances to be part of the jallikattu protest in places like Chennai, Coimbatore and Alanganallur. The same is happening at Neduvasal. People are coming in droves to support the protesters.

What is intriguing is that the same reaction was absent when the oil disaster in Ennore port was reported. There was a need for volunteers to clean up the mess created by the collision of two ships at the port. But there were fewer takers for the challenge.

People who spent almost every day at the Marina during the jallikattu protest, stayed off the beaches cleaning programme after the oil slick.

Makes one wonder if they did not want to dirty their hands? For, it was a lot of dirty work, cleaning up the coastline following the oil slick. They called for volunteers but I didn't go, seemed to be the refrain of the young and restless crowd.

Maybe, the jallikattu and Neduvasal protests are different - you don't have to dirty your hands or ruin your jeans pant?

If public good is not the driving force for these protesters, what is? Being a part of 'clean' action? Or do they want to be part of a fad?

For, social media is the leader and people follow where its arrows point. Being with it seems to be the mantra - as long as you do not have to dirty your hands.