Impotent Armchair Anger..!

While having a discussion with a close friend of mine, “I told him, “There’s so much of anger, about rapes, potholes, economy mismanagement and poverty in the country! But I don’t see any change!”
“Bob,” he said, “No change comes with armchair anger!”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Anger which runs itself out, once we’ve finished discussing and yelling about it from our armchairs!” he said with a grim smile.
I realize today, how true it is. There’s no doubt, people are furious with what is happening all around; the rapes, petrol hike, lynching episodes, imposition of restrictions on eating habits and more, but what do we do, once we stop cursing the government or bishop, or municipality, from our armchairs?
Nothing!
On 7 June 1893, a young practicing lawyer, was thrown off a train in South Africa for refusing to comply with the racial segregation rules of travel. He was travelling from Durban to Pretoria on a first-class ticket for official purposes. While he was seated in the first-class compartment, a European man called the railway authorities and asked for the man looking like a ‘coolie’ to be removed from the coach.
He had gone to South Africa with a one-year contract to practice law. But when his contract ended, this incident was instrumental in his decision to stay back and defend the rights of coloured citizens.
‘Should I fight for my rights or go back to India, or should I go on to Pretoria without minding the insults, and return to India after finishing the case?’ And then he realized, ‘It would be cowardice to run back to India without fulfilling my obligation.”
He remained in South Africa and launched various campaigns against the white regime. He founded the Natal Indian Congress to fight against the discrimination of Indians in South Africa and was soon regarded as their leader.
It was in South Africa that Gandhi honed his skills in satyagraha.
Pietermaritzburg honoured him by renaming the railway station after Gandhi on his 142nd birth anniversary in 2011!
But it didn’t end with just a station being named after him did it? No, it went on from that town in South Africa, to the whole of India. His armchair was neither, the first-class compartment, nor Pietermaritzburg. It was a movement called, ‘non-violence’ that encompassed the world. What about you and me? Did we spend yesterday talking of the horrible Mumbai rape? Or did we feel it was an ‘obligation’, yes ‘obligation’ as Gandhiji said, to implement measures within our areas of authority where women were safe?
Or did you just go through a violent bout of severe armchair anger?

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8 thoughts on “Impotent Armchair Anger..!”

  1. Bobby lead the way and I’m sure a lot of people would join you. Looking at the present situation, don’t we see even the judiciary sitting idle without even trying to do something about it? Changing the system and the mindset in today’s India seems a Herculean task which would only result in jail with no key to open the gates. Sad but true.

  2. An outburst of anger at atrocities because we are hurt, or embittered is like a leaping flame that dances for a moment, flickers and then dies out.
    We need to do something constructive to eradicate the problem without resorting to violence and revenge .

  3. Thanks for focussing on the burning crisis today in India. They’re getting away with murder if rich or are goons of the govt.It seems a statue of Godse is to be erected in UP in his place.I always sign petitions that come round against crime not dealt with justly by the authorities who sponsored them, in all probability. 🙄

  4. We all are collectively responsible for the state of affairs in India today. We were having 9 to 5 working hours not because employers were generous but people fought for it since 1960 to 1990. The succeeding generation enjoyed the fruit of the preceeding generation and not moving out of their comfort zone and keeping silent about exploitation and ended up with work from home without specific hours and less pay. We are a peculiar generation expecting others to fight our battle and blaming others.

  5. Armchair anger is the first step unless we get angry and emotional there will be no push to act The point is if we don’t further the emotion to get the wheels of action going the flames of provocation will die down as is happening to most of us. So let us direct the emotion of anger in what ever way possible to bring a change however small in ourselves and our surrounding

  6. True Bob Being armchair critics doesn’t help anyone We often hesitate to do anything for fear of possible repercussions We also hesitate saying how one person can possibly make a difference Like the example you quoted it actually takes just one person to take the first step in the direction of positive change As he rightly said, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’

  7. All on Bob’s Banters write so well…The ideas which Bob comes out with is Mind blowing and the replies too…Leaves me perplexed with such good writing n thoughts…

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