>PDA for Public Display of Anger

>Just when we were coming to accept one kind of PDA – Public Display of Affection – another kind of PDA has been generating heated debates across the world – it’s called Public Display of Anger. It’s the kind of PDA that gets witnessed when an Iraqi journalist hurls both his shoes at the American President in the middle of a press conference.

These are not editorial columns being written by blamed-for-being-biased journalists against errant leaders. These are also not vociferous celebrities on news channels sensationalising issues and attempting to increase channels’ TRPs. And these are not just discussions being carried out by people comfortably ensconced in their drawing room sofas. This is the common man standing up to express an emotion that’s now bordering on the trite – ‘Enough is enough’. What is not trite though is how he is choosing to express it.

In the post-26/11 India, political leaders have been at the receiving end of the public’s ire. When the Kerala CM was snubbed by Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s grieving father in Bangalore, it made headlines. When Narendra Modi stood before the Taj Hotel, Mumbai, and decided to politicise the issue of the terror attacks, it was the public display of anger that stopped other power-wielding politicians from doing the same. And there are no prizes for guessing why Raj Thakeray is conspicuous by his absence in this post-26/11 India! Such PDA against our leaders has been unprecedented.

So have we become more expressive as a race or just impatient with our leaders?

When Bush got the boot, quite literally, the journalist whose boot it was became a demi-hero. Let’s admit it: we loved it and laughed at it! Having given our tacit support to one such action, have we not paved the way for more people to come out in the open with their anger? And considering that one of the most powerful men in the world – the American President, no less – had to dexterously dodge the shoes of a scribe, it should come as no surprise if someone decides to pelt our leaders with an ugly puree of eggs, tomatoes and what have you at public rallies.

To be honest, just the idea seems exhilarating, doesn’t it? But there are few people who enjoy such unequivocal public sentiment as does Bush. And if public opinion is divided regarding a neta or a world leader, would PDA against him still be justified? The reactions then would not be half as funny as the Iraqi journalist’s shoe-in-the-air act evinced. Would a divisive world be able to handle this PDA just as well as it has learned to handle the other one?


24 responses »

  1. >PDA shall prove to be a double edged knife. It may prove to be effective at times like in 26/11 , we may laugh at it like the bush – shooed but then we may also see at times , Public Display of Anger be counter productive also ….

  2. >PDA is alright as long as it is not physically violent, because it can easily turn into unruly mob behaviour, if not properly guided I think. Otherwise, it is great that people are finally reacting.

  3. >”And there are no prizes for guessing why Raj Thakeray is conspicuous by his absence in this post-26/11 India!” Did you say it too early.. he heard it. I saw him on TV today blurting things like, ‘No Pakistani artist can perform..no cassettes of the artist….etc. in Mumbai.

  4. >@GM: Yes, our new slogan should be ‘Anger for World Peace’!@Avaran: I did try to write it like a literary piece – don’t know if I succeeded! And no, I think I’ll never be equipped to write on politics; this is just a comment.@utp: That too :)@JPJ: I guess I spoke too soon. But he did wait for the public anger to die down before coming out of hibernation.

  5. >In the case of Bush, PDA came in the form of the ‘votes’ in the 2008election (although McCain was at the receiving end), and later quite literally in the form of a boot. He will go down as the worst president in American History for sure…But I am not sure how productive hurling a boot is. It sure shows how much anger and disrespect you have for someone, but whether or not it serve any other purpose, I do not know. BTW, I am not getting your post updates. Did you do anything different?

  6. >One shoe, outrageous as it seems, is still understandable, but two?! Even though it never fails to elicit a giggle or two out of me, unlike the other PDA, this PDA doesnt have my thumbs up sign. Youre right, one incident pardoned would pave the way for many more. This time its an Iraqi at Bush, tomorrow, it could be a religious fanatic at APJ.

  7. >@Aneela: Yes, I know what you mean.@Jira: Valid points there.And no, I haven’t changed any settings.@Oxymoron: Exactly my point! And would we be able to handle that and laugh it off as well?

  8. >I really like this post for the thoughts it throws up and the questions it asks. My guess is we’ve snapped out of our existential lethargy because we realized we were standing at the brink and there was no more road to trot along placidly on. If it helps those with public responsibilities pull up their socks and get cracking, fantastic. But we’ve got to watch how far we take our anger and make sure something productive comes out of all the rage.

  9. >I agree with PDA not being the right way to react, like xpresscoffee says it is a a double edged knife.I did think and write in my comments that I wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do, but could never pin point what bothered me. Now I see what is so wrong with PDA. It would be terrible if everyone started expressing their anger like this. Loved the objectivity in this post.You may not agree, but I would have pretended not to notice if some of our favorite guys had been hit. (Hey just kidding!)

  10. >bush had to get that anyway. but, this can be worrying situation if it happens back in India. If it starts at one place, i’m quite sure people from other places will not be far behind!

  11. >@OJ: Point taken.@IHM: I tried to write it objectively as if it’s a newspaper comment, so I’m glad you found it that way.@dolphin: A part of me says that the leaders deserve this. But a more rational part of me says this could get difficult to handle.

  12. >Fantastic post !!! coming to think of it yea… egg yolks and rotten tomatoes !!! sounds incredible. More seriously may be its not right. But the public display of anger is necessary in a country like ours. Thanks to Mumbai and the rage after it, people like Mayawati also decide not to celebrate their birthday after the death of the engineer. If 26/11 and the rage after that wouldnt have happened i am sure people like her would have had a big bash. So what if some one got killed !!

  13. >First time here, though I have read your comments on IHM’s blog :)I liked this post for the way it captures that nascent aggression, coming to the fore, in amount just enough to make one aware of how one could respond, given the right amount of impetus 🙂 Also, you have balanced it well, by not letting it take over and go for the jugular 🙂 🙂 Very balanced view; Especially in these lines:This is the common man standing up to express an emotion that’s now bordering on the trite – ‘Enough is enough’. What is not trite though is how he is choosing to express it.Well said!

  14. >@Hitch writer: I really do wish there was more of a public display of the anger we feel against Mayawati and her ilk. Her decision to not celebrate her birthday is totally political and has nothing to do with PDA.@Usha: Welcome here.I tried to make this a balanced write-up and am glad you saw it like that.

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