There’s been a lot of outrage over the rubber bullets used by security forces against the Kashmiri protesters. A group has also morphed celebrity photos with pellet marks to raise awareness against their use. I get it – they’re dangerous, they can hit vital areas like the eyes, and can cause permanent and lethal damage.
But you know what? So do stones. If you get violent, prepare to face the consequences. There are many non-violent ways to protest. If you refuse to use them and decide to break the law, then fuck you. Rubber bullets are headed your way!
Let me say that I don’t agree with AFSPA. I don’t particularly care about Kashmir either. It makes no difference to me whether or not Kashmir is part of India. I don’t get worked up about Pakistan or “India Murdabad Slogans”, or separatists movements. Let them exist, I don’t give a damn. You know what I give a damn about? Violence.
I think rubber pellets against rioters is a great idea. My only concern is why they are not used more often throughout India to quell dangerous mobs. Communal violence, and political riots are common features of daily Indian life. When Jayalalitha was finally imprisoned, the political goons in Chennai went amok, burning buses, destroying public property, and decimating businesses. Those guys deserved a rubber bullet in the face, if anyone did!
Where’s my sympathy you ask? Well, my sympathy only extends to non-violent people. For example, if the police had used rubber bullets during the Anna Hazare campaign against violence, I would have been outraged. If the police used them against the JNU students peacefully protesting Kanhaia’s arrest, it would have been unacceptable. Unless someone uses violence, the state has no business using violence in return.
But if you raise up your hand against someone – including the police – then god help you. I don’t advocate that they be killed of course. In fact, we need to use the minimum amount of effective force to stop a violent mob. The key word here is “effective”. From what I understand, rubber bullets are very effective, and lesser measure don’t seem to have much of an impact in Kashmir.
I’m no fan of the police in India. I think the police system is one of the most corrupt in India. But officers have the right to defend themselves. And when someone is throwing a stone that can crack skulls or even kill, rubber bullets are a perfectly good response in the absence of other measures.
I would be super thrilled if the police used these against all violent riots in India. Where were the rubber bullets during the Gujarat Riots? Or any other time a mob has gotten violent? Let’s mass manufacture these and send them to all corners of India, so that we can finally be free of violent assholes seeking security in numbers.
I have zero sympathy for anyone who raises their hand in violence.