Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why do we enjoy an ailing Britain?

This is the title of my latest article in Dawn, which you'll find here.

Having written it, I now wonder if this will prove to be my most misunderstood article yet. I hope not.


  1. I feel a spontaneous rioting as a sequel to an isolated shoot out in a Northern suburb is not related to any specific political or economic demands but more the urge in the unsocial elements to looting, arson and vandalism. May be the violence was fanned by the unemployment and cuts to public service spending. We could not see any orchestrated opposition to the government with demands and meetings before the riots started indicating the suddenness and lack of premeditation in the whole thing. We have been witness in our own country when bandhs are called unsocial elements taking over leading to bus burning, damage to public property and looting. This is a common trait. The involvement of blacks and the Caribbean population from depressed classes indicate the poorer classes making some quick money out of looting and also rendering it easy for vested interests to give a racial colour.The fact is that poorer people took advantage of the lawlessness of a few hooligans.
    To read anything more is stretching the issue too far. It is essentially a law and order problem though it highlights the need to uplift the conditions of the less fortunately placed people. That it has happened after lapse of several years show the general effectiveness of British police unlike here where riots are far more frequent.
    However I liked the way you presented your view point cogently.

  2. Very nice -- quite a synopsis.
    Could't resist a toothy grin on the Melanin deficiency and the land of Sherlock Holmes explanation.
    Even I feel frustrated at the direction in which India has moved, since Kautilya, Ashok, Takshila university. How did we manage to go back in time from "developed" to "under developed" and "very confused" as on date.
    I mean how can any situation force a literate and progressive nation into dark realms of povery and polarization of wealth? Beats me.

  3. @Parthasarathy sir - true. I have witnessed firsthand the hijacking of a terrible agenda by petty vandals when riots erupted in Mumbai in 1992. Any bloody excuse becomes good enough. This article gives a historical perspective on the recent London riots.

    @Arup - glad you enjoyed the piece, buddy. And I'm thrilled that you've latched on to the introspective (underplayed) angle in the write-up. It does us no good to blame external forces for our condition.