A tale of protests losing significance, not because of the argument but because of the moral policing attitudes
This article is just an opinion about the moral policing attitudes and indecisiveness of society. It is not in support of, or against any protest, community, or groups.
Till the time farmers were protesting peacefully, using their right to protest and maintaining the law and order situation, the farmers were right and subjected to have people’s support. The moment, a small section of farmers choose violence, and ugly methods to seek attention, the obvious opinion about the farmers changed. They have been called with titles like Khalistanis, Aatankwadis, Goans, and whatnot. Well, this random switch in the opinions about the farmers, what is it based on? Can the violent actions of a section of farmers, who are now not making a ‘perfect victim’ reduce the validity of the arguments of the other protesting farmers? Well, it is a classic tale of moral policing affecting the cause of the protest.
What is moral policing?
Moral police, as I see it, ensure that a collection of standards is accepted and practised by everybody in the control area. Here, for the protests, it means that the protestors should be tolerating, lacking agency, remain quiet and peaceful, and be tolerant of injustice. In simple words, if they are the victims, they should be looking and behaving like ‘perfect victims’.
The idea is very similar to tone policing. You all must have come across incidents where while explaining your argument, you have gotten a bit emotional, or angry or furious. And at that time, the tone of your argument is being pointed out instead of the value of the argument itself. The same is the case here.
Instead of considering the problems of the farmers, the arguments they have raised, and the problems they will get in, due to the newly passed farm law, the society, in the backdrop of the violence on 26th January has now started identifying the farmers are not the victims of the problem but the problem itself. It appears like a section of farmers acted against the moral code (which itself is disappointing) and hence their argument is now not really important as they don’t look like victims.
Now, Why is this problematic?
a) The idea and the mentality of supporting only those who look like a victim but actually are
b) Thinking that the survivor should not have an entity and are worthy of support only if they don’t have agency
c) Removing support from those who are fighting their battles
d) Implying that we can not resist discrimination until the recipients are tolerating
What should be done?
A condition of moral policing will only generally when the moral code will get affected. And the moral code generally gets dismantled when the level of intolerance and anger increase. It shows that something is passing the tipping point. The outcome of that becomes rage and violence. But can that really silence the argument, the reason for agitation?
So, in such a situation, form an opinion on the basis of the reason behind the anger.
Are we asking you to support violence?
Well, violence can never be justified. Any section that is doing so should not be supported for inflicting violence. But one must not ideate to form opinions about the section and question the credibility of their argument because they are angry now.
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