THE OTHER SIDE
The violence in Delhi brought various things to mind including wall paintings in Dehradun. It might seem illogical but there are similarities. The violence, deaths and mayhem caused in some parts of Delhi are deplorable to say the least. However, this should also be taken as a wake up call by sensible citizens. What one must realise is that the riots were the result or an effect of the real problems that have continued in society for decades. These problems and anomalies have been nurtured by politicians and other elements for many years for their dubious political and other gains while citizens remained apathetic. Even after the riots and deaths, many are shamelessly peddling lies and hatred as part of their ulterior agenda. Sadly, many in the media and ‘intellectuals’ are also presenting highly biased views, twisted opinions and lies to present a distorted picture. There is much that one could say about the recent happenings in Delhi and its causes. Some believe that this is the time to elicit focus on various aspects of the real problem and its effects especially through the social media. As a result various factually correct and many incorrect bits have flooded the social media. However, one thinks that this is not really the time to elicit focus on all the facts especially since we have often proven ourselves to be lacking in maturity needed to acknowledge facts with a cool head. The general tendency quite popular these days is to express hatred and be judgmental or worse whenever someone presents facts not meeting ones beliefs. Even when facts are plain and simple to understand, there is a tendency to reject them if they do not suit the narrative one prefers. This proclivity is also one of the factors which led to the situation in Delhi.
However, there are times when the effects of this weakness to ignore facts are presented in aesthetically pleasing forms. Take the example of the wall paintings by various artists on some walls in Dehradun as part of the smart city project. Some of the paintings done for beautification of the city are quite good. However, does one wonder why we needed wall paintings for beautifying the city? Traditionally, in this mountain state, the local architecture is such that homes and other buildings are aesthetically pleasing and full of art and craft. There is greenery around too. Hence, there was little or no need to paint walls in public places as is being done in Dehradun. Till some decades ago, most parts of this city had greenery and homes that were either aesthetically designed or at least did not appear ugly. But slowly, unplanned urbanisation was facilitated to replace green and open spaces with constricted clusters of mostly ugly and gaudy cemented structures marring a once beautiful city. Just like the factors which resulted in the Delhi violence, the unplanned urbanisation and environmental degeneration in Dehradun was criticised by some only to be met by negation and negligible or ineffective corrective measures. In the case of Delhi, the anomalies resulted in violence and deaths while in the case of Dehradun the effects appear different and also aesthetic in some instances like the wall paintings. The more damaging effects will start to hurt more in a few years. The establishment at the national level and in the state are either planning or undertaking some measures to address the issues. However, in the case of Dehradun, sops like wall paintings and some additional benefit for those constructing the facade of their building using native architectural designs might be too little too late. Still, all is not yet lost either in Delhi or in Dehradun. What is needed is to unlearn the fallacies that have been planted in the minds of citizens. We need to learn facts and practical realities, and work accordingly unless we wish to get stuck in a cycle of violence and damage to which we react after it is done instead of preventing it in the first place.
Saturday, 29 February 2020 | Paritosh Kimothi | Dehradun
Author: Paritosh kimothiParitosh Kimothi is the Deputy News Editor in the Dehradun edition.
Paritosh Kimothi is the Deputy News Editor in the Dehradun edition.
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