I’ve received messages on the ManipalBlog Facebook page, mails on the official email id, firstname.lastname@example.org, and on my private mail as well, from various people, known as well as unknown, requesting me to support the proposed unofficial boycott of auto-rickshaws in Manipal. While it is perfectly reasonable demand to make the autowallahs more accountable for their actions and work, I find it silly to believe that a boycott of the autos is a solution to the events that have taken place over the past few days in Manipal.
I, and we at ManipalBlog in general, have publicly condemned the assault on one of our own colleagues inside our campus. We believe that the offenders when apprehended should face the strictest and harshest penalties that will deter anyone else from committing such a heinous crime again.
But I do not agree with the boycott of the auto-rickshaws as the correct way to move forward, let alone the call for violence as advocated on some student groups on Facebook and also by some so-called student leaders on their Facebook profiles.
Is it reasonable to watch Munnabhai MBBS again, considering that Sanjay Dutt is now in jail for anti-national crimes?
…or never watch another Salman Khan film?
…or do you boycott everything Narendra Modi does?
“Reasonable” here ranges from whether a boycott is likely to have my intended effect of stopping the antisocial behavior, whether all the other people that work with my target deserve to get their professional lives caught up in their coworker’s private failings, and how one goes about attaching a financial value to someone being annoying.
While my colleagues at ManipalBlog do not necessarily share my sentiments on this topic, I feel that boycotting the auto service in Manipal will not be the solution to the problem. Catching the criminals and taking the harshest measures against them should act as the right deterrent.