The perception of desperate times promotes desperate moves. The fervent search for the illusive truth, the deepening distrust for the national leadership, the worsening socio-economic situation—all these are not the premise of societal harmony and ease. They are instead the cause of protest moves.
The so-called preemptive calibrated response has a simple translation: escalating violation of human rights!
Such a response has already been tried before for so many martial law years. The ultimate result is history: as the then national leader became weaker, the protest rallies became stronger. The leader fell. The protests were safe and well.
Let the powerful beware of demeaning the dignity of human persons. May those who wield brute force respect human rights. Otherwise, they lose—at the end of the day. Human history is full of hard learned lessons that raw power, brute force, inclusive of gun power ultimately surrender to rightful causes and truthful realities. Even the Berlin wall fell.
Protest marchers, noise barrages, public rallies are but expression of exasperation. These are the effects not the cause of socio-political instability. These are the products not the origin of socio-economic crisis.
Even the envisioned “People’s Tribunal” is a manifestation of frustration. It is but a move in search of truth—in the felt absence of trusted government agencies to go for redress.
It is false to claim that peaceful assemblies have neither any use nor direction. It is also false to assert that any popular tribunal has no message nor impact. They are pregnant with social relevance. They are people seeking answers to serious socio-moral questions.
Would that an apparently simmering social volcano not eventually erupt. More than the constituents, it is the leadership that could trigger the eruption. And when this happens, everybody is a loser.
When truth is out, contentment is in. With a righteous leadership comes popular unity as a sure accompaniment.
23 September 2005