“Footloose”

It has become the ultimate act of frustration:  whip off your sneaker and fling it at the offending leader’s gourd.  This article talks about the new fad ‘o frustration in India that has become commonplace.

“In India, flying footwear is the new hunger strike, overtaking even the trendy Facebook protest as an expression of civil disobedience.”

The article notes that it is considered an insult in India to show the sole of one’s shoe, as footwear is relagated to shuffling about the dirty streets outside.  Thus this phenomenon comes with cultural influences.

“Shoe-throwing is a real expression of the frustration of the people,” said Anil Bairwal of National Election Watch, a watchdog group. “But you have to consider that citizens are at a loss for what to do. For too long, they have hoped that the parties would improve themselves, be progressive, put the right people in the seats and work for the betterment of the people. But none of that has happened.”

It was, of course, the Iraqi journalist who flung his shoe at the ever-eloquent former U.S. president that started the shoe tossing.  He, unlike the Indians, has to spend time in prison, probably for forcing the president to do something he is not used to: Think fast, Mr. Prez!

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One Response

  1. I think it interesting so see the changes of protests. If the reporter had not thrown his shoe at Bush, perhaps that now would not be the form of protest. It might be more violent or harmful, not just culturally relevant and used as an insult.

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