It was mid afternoon. I was in Panjab University, sitting in the library and completing my daily work on internet when I heard some shouting. I noticed to the window and saw 2 groups of people protesting against each other.
Not understanding the words as the sound muffled through the window, I could imagine it had something to do with regular party promotions or something to that effect to attract the freshers towards them and gain their votes. With the police looking on, the demonstration continued for well over an hour. When it was finally over, the groups dispersed, the cops left and the obvious leaders of the demonstration groups calmed down.
I noticed those people giving handshakes and hugs to each other and to the demonstrators as they left and I couldn’t help wondering to myself what difference they thought they had made. I’m certainly not questioning their commitment but, certainly yes, the way they achieved it.
Whats wrong with their methodology is same as the difference between fighting against something and fighting for something. Fighting against something have never lead to the way of achieving anything and nor it will. Once you are done with a particular subject, another subject will surely rise. You will always find something to fight, not for a good reason but just for the sake of protesting. But if you are fighting for something or more importantly for someone, then it will lead to a large following of your leadership, and in this case, that’s what those political parties wanted, I guess.
Throwing rocks and mud on each other makes a statement, but it rarely changes anything. Worse, it widens the rift between the two sides, making it more difficult to build trust and to cooperate. On the other hand, doing the hard work of finding commonality in cause and purpose and working together to bring that cause to life, changes everything and this is how amazing things happen.