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Time to Confront The Goons of India: What Tyagi, Kataria Can Teach Us about Teaching Their Kind A Lesson

By: Sanbeer Singh Ranhotra

News18.com

Last Updated: August 12, 2022, 10:58 IST

New Delhi, India

In a viral video, Shrikant Tyagi was seen abusing a woman at a Noida housing complex. He was arrested on August 9. (File image)

In a viral video, Shrikant Tyagi was seen abusing a woman at a Noida housing complex. He was arrested on August 9. (File image)

In a way, the silence of a vast majority of Indians has emboldened elements like Shrikant Tyagi and Bobby Kataria all over the country

The only way to handle India’s goon culture is to confront the hooligans and challenge them every step of the way, using legal means, of course. The arrest of Shrikant Tyagi – who absconded after assaulting and abusing a woman who decided to challenge him shows that the law works when the system is put under pressure. How is the system to be put under pressure? By using the digital space to one’s advantage. Videographic evidence will go a long way in putting goons like Shrikant Tyagi and Bobby Kataria in their place. Whether it be abusing, assaulting and intimidating ordinary citizens or openly flouting all civic rules to smoke in an aircraft and consume alcohol in the middle of a road – the culprits of all such acts must necessarily be taught a lesson.

While Tyagi ran away like a rat after assaulting a woman who objected to him arbitrarily planting trees on the common lawn of a residential complex in Noida, social media ‘influencer’ Bobby Kataria thought it best to light a cigarette and create a hazardous situation inside a SpiceJet aircraft this January. Such incidents, of goons making life miserable for ordinary citizens due to their supposed political connections, money and muscle power and social media stardom will drastically fall when the common people of India decide that enough is enough. People need to explore all legal ways in which such hooligans can be challenged and be made to run to the end of their wits. Only then will there be a societal consciousness that guides people to confront anti-social, barely civilised and uncultured goons like Tyagi and Kataria.

Tyagi and Kataria are mere faces of India’s goon culture. Every one of you must have, at some point in your life, come across characters like these who think they have the inherent authoritative right to intimidate and harass you. An average middle-class Indian would probably conclude that such goons are not worth time and resources to be spent on. In a way, the silence of a vast majority of Indians has emboldened elements like Shrikant Tyagi and Bobby Kataria all over the country. The only potent antidote available to their poison seems to be that of videos, where their hooliganism is recorded and can be put on display before the entire country, and even the world.

Viral videos of goons harassing, intimidating, abusing and assaulting innocent people also put law enforcement agencies on their toes, who come under pressure to deliver results in a timebound manner. Videos give rise to outrage. Outrage necessitates action, which has been taken in both cases – of Tyagi assaulting a woman and Kataria smoking on a flight. The latter even evoked a response from union civil aviation minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, who said the matter is being investigated and that “There will be no tolerance towards such hazardous behaviour”.

There are some lessons that every Indian must learn from these incidents. First, never shy away from confronting a goon. Most probably, their bravado will be fake and will burst like a hot air balloon when challenged. Second, always seek the help of the police and make it clear in your FIR how you have been harassed. Third, be ready to make a video of all such people you come across and post it on social media if you think the police are not acting on your complaints. Again, that brings me back to you approaching the police in the first place and resorting to digital means of availing justice only when the law enforcement agencies fail to do their job.

Indians are empowered citizens. We are a free and democratic nation where a litany of rights is guaranteed to each citizen. The key, though, is to know that you can stand up for yourself against bullies and be treated with respect, dignity and empathy no matter what your financial status, caste or physical appearance is. No Tom, Dick or Harry should be emboldened enough to strongarm you, assault you, abuse you and not fear the consequences that arise out of their actions. These consequences will push down on the culprits only when those who get bullied stand up for themselves and make it a point to teach the goons a lesson. If you see someone who cannot stand for himself or herself, go ahead and fight on their behalf. Today, it might be somebody else. There’s always a possibility, though, of the bully knocking on your door next. It is important to stop the goons from getting away with their criminal behaviour after their very first offence, failing which they will grow a habit of thinking they have the right to harass ordinary citizens or those who cause them rightful inconvenience.

Frankly, at this point, what is needed is mass intolerance against hooliganism. Gundagardi, as it is called, needs to be made a taboo, practising which will certainly come with its associated costs that will hardly be pleasant in nature. No politician, elitist or any other snob, should act in a manner that disturbs the physical and mental well-being of any other citizen. If they do decide to act in such a fashion, society needs to assure them that they will be dealt with very harshly. None of this will be possible unless Indians are convinced that they have what it takes to challenge the bullies of their world, individually, and better still, collectively. Let Shrikant Tyagi and Bobby Kataria become examples of all that can go wrong in an average Indian goon’s life.

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first published:August 12, 2022, 08:00 IST
last updated:August 12, 2022, 10:58 IST