Can we allow mobocracy to overwhelm the law of the land and make destruction of public and private property seem like legitimate protest? This is the basic question all citizens must ask as shocking scenes of mob violence with protestors revelling as public and private transport worth crores of rupees set afire by them are reduced to ashes are seen in various parts of the country in the last few days.  Although people have a right to dissent in a democracy, the methods adopted not just in the present violence over a new recruitment scheme but in all cases of dissent over the last few months are a matter of concern for us citizens. That we have lost the ability to debate, discuss or differ on issues in a mature and civilised manner is a cause of worry as we destroy our own property instead of talking to our own people and telling them where and why we differ over issues.

The land where non-violence was a way of life and extraordinary debate moulded public opinion, is today a land where violence is the norm. Sparked off over policies adopted by the ruling party in the centre and those in power in all the states, violent protests do not achieve anything. They result in the death of innocents and destruction of property that the nation can ill afford. They also provide immense satisfaction to our enemies lurking on the borders and waiting for opportunities to attack us. A strong opposition has an important role to play in a democracy but unfortunately to oppose is being viewed as being synonymous with violence. It is time our youth resist the temptation to make our nation a mobocracy whatever the issue in question. We need to take a leaf out of the book of nations that place the country above the self and stop looking at sane voices as those affiliated with one party or the other. Informed debate is the sign of a mature democracy and we need a magnanimous ruling party and a responsible opposition to achieve this status. Let democracy prevail.