Thursday, April 14, 2011

The right of the powerful to break the law

When someone famous broke the queue as though it was their right, the polling officer did not accept it as the way things should be. Instead he followed the due process, and asked the people in the queue: "Does anyone oppose this?". Instead of being afraid of authority, the famous actress' fame and power, the mob and the police who generally discourage lone dissenting voices , someone was brave enough to raise one. Instead of playing the killjoy with some lame rubbish, he justified his opposition by saying grand principles about democracy. Instead of mob justice : the mob labeling him with an epithet - 'jobless' is typical - and asking him to shut up - and then supporting the actress and the right of the powerful to break due process-, and on-the-spot-police-justice : the police asking the rebel voice to "shut up and not create any problem, otherwise you will be in lockup"-, the mob was silent, and the police enforced the due process. That is: because there's someone challenging it, the book says : the famous actress cannot break the queue. This, while not being violent or aggressive, but placating the actress, suggesting that she can come later when the queue is less, and not saying anything bad to the rebel guy, just accepting his dissent.

This perfect, Utopian narrative, about law being enforced, due process followed, is something we can be proud of. I am happy about this.

The pessimist in me wants to bring in the role of Asianet camera in this Utopian drama - in due process being followed, and the police not yelling at the rebel guy - then that would be a forced Utopia, a kitsch. My own experience says this is the correct version. But let's be optimists for now, perhaps we cannot generalize, perhaps things have changed...

Now, back to what happened:

A fan is allowed to do that gesture, of vacating your place in the queue for your favorite actress, yes.

An actress assuming that she deserves to vote ahead of all others: No.

If she wanted to not stand in the queue, she could have done what other famous people do: come and vote in the morning, or in the evening (which she eventually did), when the queue will be very less.

Whether or not the guy was sober, what he did was perfectly sober.

I am forced to write this clarification, because several people in facebook, youtube and even in media: Mathrubhumi etc - support the actress' right to break the law, and finds that the problem was with "only" one guy.

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