By Saem Hashmi:
Mr. Prime Minister, you should know that we as Indians have never been ashamed of being Indian at any point in our lives. I have been a proud Indian throughout my life, even after being targeted time and again for being a Muslim.
What we as Indians are ashamed of, is the political state of affairs in this country. Corruption was an epidemic in the UPA government. Please don’t be under the impression that BJP doesn’t humiliate me with its corruption and misuse of power. Corruption isn’t about money alone but of the very moral, ethical, religious, sentimental and human core values that your government has turned a blind eye to, causing grievances to the minority and to the larger population.
I have been ashamed of mockery disguised as sympathy that the government has offered as a response to farmer suicides. Untimely rains and weather may hold the blame, but as a central government, it was your duty to limit and contain the unprecedented rise in the suicides among the farmers; people who have made sure that this nation of a billion doesn’t go hungry.
Every time I hear some of your BJP MLA’s say something provocative, I feel ashamed. I wonder why aren’t they booked for inciting hatred towards a particular community in India which may lead to rioting. I also wonder what happens to all those who have successfully managed to deface properties and areas named after Muslims in Delhi and no actions has been done.
I feel ashamed every time a girl is raped. I have a girlfriend. Every time she is out partying, I worry for her safety. What has been done to control rape besides small naïve steps by your government or the one previous to it? Perhaps it is against Indian culture for girls to be out late night, but raping is a part of it.
My head hangs in shame over atrocities towards the lower caste people. Newspapers have been plagued by this. You say we are a developing nation with immense growth and promote bilateral affairs with other nations. Have you for once thought of promoting bilateral ties between different religion, caste, creed, sect and sex for harmony?
Why is it that the law bows when a high profile person is charged with murder, or rash driving or amassing wealth or inciting violence or rioting? Why is it that the rich get away with all the impunity while the poor and the middle class people are the ones to suffer the wrath of the justice system?
I feel ashamed of the atrocities that the people of Kashmir and Nagaland have to face time and again at the hands of the institutions of the government and are protected with such impunity that no one till date has been charged with human right violations in spite of great coverage by Indians as well as foreigners.
I feel ashamed every time a mob has burned down a place of worship, and slaughtered people on the line of Hindutva, ghar wapsi and ethnic cleansing. Why is there a creation of Islamophobia in the society by certain elements? Why has your silence lingered?I feel ashamed of the fact that you regarded me to be ashamed of being an Indian ever.
In words of Rabindra Nath Tagore:
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth…..
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit…
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake