Published: 29th August 2017
Harnidh Kaur's post on Gurmeet Ram Rahim's followers is not only clouding social media but is also asking the right questions
This LSR graduate digs deeper and tells us the psychology of people behind the violence that has affected lives in Punjab, Gurugram and Haryana
The breakings about vandalising property and mob violence over the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim has been flooding our news feeds for weeks now. But have we thought about the reason behind the strongly installed faith in godmen? This is precisely why Lady Shri Ram College graduate, Harnidh Kaur decided to look beyond the actions and understand the larger problem — psychology behind the violence.
With post on "why we can't talk about Dera Sachha Sauda violence without discussing why the Deras were created in Punjab" is taking the social media by storm, Kaur has been able to claim that the socio-economic status of people in the region has played an important role in their blind faith in Deras.
Bursting numbers: The post has around four thousand likes and 1.7 K shares
When asked what instigated her to write the post, Kaur says it was merely because she wanted them to gain the perspective and understand the psychology behind the violent actions. "When I was faced with questions like why does a joker like Ram Rahim has so many followers. I realised that there is always a sociological basis to this. We need to look beyond the obvious."
Kaur, who has been trained to become a social scientist with her course in Public Policy at St Xavier's, explains the ground reality of Deras in an interview. "When Deras come up, they give you promises of a job, employment, upward mobility and promise that they will help you leave the drugs. People in Punjab, who are otherwise helpless, find a rescue gate when a godmen comes with fancy promises. When a Dera comes and promises you happiness in the hopeless life, yes you are going to turn to it. They fail to understand that this is all manipulative," she says.
Bloody hell: The post violence death toll has reached 38
And her post on Facebook that has garnered more than 1.7 K shares expands the thought. Excerpts from her post — "Dera Sachha Sauda has given thousands of people across north India an identity away from the historical oppression they've known. It's given them safety. A huge number of its members are from backward castes, who had converted to Sikhism, but found the same upper caste oppression there too."
So, what's the solution? Harnidh comes to the rescue, "Solution is both, short term and long term. Short term is when we need to control the mobs with force because it may harm the people. Long term would be to look at people who are part of the mob and understand their motivation, which is exactly my post is trying to do. These are the people who have been forgotten by the government, who try to find support somewhere else. The moment government actively tries to reach out to them, the people won't need to depend on such godmen."
(You can read the post here - https://www.facebook.com/harnidh/posts/10155341719866858)