Nobody knows how many they were in number. Official figures say at least 30,000. Unofficial figures go up to 1,00,000. But one thing is certain: what had started as a dharna and a students’ appeal to the vice-chancellor of Jadavpur University (JU) to punish the in-campus molesters of a girl student, had suddenly become a sea of passionate protest that flooded the streets of Kolkata last week.
How much progressive liberalism can our dear old right-thinking government take? How can it unflinchingly fall in line when our highest court looks below the belt? The avuncular, ostensibly God-fearing sarkar also needs to protect our revered social conventions, our cultural traditions, our delicate sensibilities.
It is not every day that I have the good fortune to agree enthusiastically with the venerable Dr Subramanian Swamy. Right now, I am in luck. Dr Swamy has been trying to quash a deal between Jet Airways and UAE’s national carrier Etihad Airways; and this week the Supreme Court has asked the Centre to respond quickly to his charge that the government wrongfully facilitated this deal against the public interest.