This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Mayur Kumar. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Dear Mr. P.M.

Disclaimer :
This write-up doesn’t want to harm anyone’s feelings or sentiments. Please mention that the article is in a question form rather than a conclusive form, apart from the last paragraph. Although the whole article is meant to be restrictions free in terms of expression hence it’s written in accordance with the article 19 (1) (a).

Are you awake? Are you working? It’s almost 2 AM and we’re in the middle of the night and what I’ve heard about you makes me believe that you must be working right now. I’ve heard that you don’t sleep much, so it’s probably a good time to talk to you I guess?

Okay, let’s do it.
You must be hearing about all the lynching and the abusing that has been going on in our country regarding a particular religion and its sentiments. People who have been violent say that whatever they’re doing is only in the interest of this country. The other side, however, is silent for now or maybe screaming but in vain. And you too say nothing. So I thought I needed a few answers from you.
Since when did this country become a Hindu Rashtra Dear Mr P.M.? As much as I understand and know, our constitution which runs this humongous country’s administration says clearly that we’re secular. If you don’t know yet, here is how the preamble goes:

” WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN, SOCIALIST, SECULAR, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought , expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

And since you love to converse in Hindi because ‘Matrabhaasha’, here is the Hindi version of it :

हम, भारत के लोग, भारत को एक संपूर्ण प्रभुत्वसंपन्न समाजवादी पंथनिरपेक्ष लोकतंत्रात्मक गणराज्य बनाने के लिए, तथा उसके समस्त नागरिकों को:सामाजिक, आर्थिक और राजनैतिक न्याय, विचार, अभिव्यक्ति, विश्वास, धर्म और उपासना की स्वतंत्रता, प्रतिष्ठा और अवसर की समता, प्राप्त कराने के लिए,तथा उन सबमें,व्यक्ति की गरिमा और राष्ट्र की एकता और अखंडता सुनिश्चित कराने वाली, बंधुता बढ़ाने के लिए,

दृढ़ संकल्प होकर अपनी संविधानसभा में आज तारीख 26 नवम्बर 1949 ईस्वी (मिति माघशीर्ष शुक्ल सप्तमी, संवत दो हजार छह विक्रमी) को एतद् द्वारा इस संविधान को अंगीकृत, अधिनियमित और आत्मार्पित करते हैं। 

Read the highlighted parts. So if we run by it, the constitution, then why are people doing things against it and still are getting away with that easily. Since you’re from the ruling party and you have the complete control of the government, I really want to know what is your policy towards the Muslims or people other than the Hindus of the country? And please be blunt and honest. What does your party or RSS or Shiv Sena or VIHIP or all of you actually want? What’s going on in your head?

And what I don’t understand at all is that since when has the word ‘secular’ become a derogatory term now in India by those who go against our constitution? Why do people call one ‘sickular’ if they support humanity instead of one particular religion or caste?

Do you not accept our constitution? Do you hate Muslims or Christians or Sikhs? What is it? Why is there so much of hatred towards each other? If you want to remove them completely from this country, why don’t you just pass a bill and do it once and for all? Why so much politics over it? You have the power, right?

Or just declare this country to be a Hindu Rashtra like Nepal. But then you’ll have to leave Kashmir because obviously Kashmir includes Muslims. Muslims follow Islam. That’s not your religion.

Make Khans of Indian film industry go away from this country, be it Shahrukh or Salman or Amir, they’re Muslims right? But can you actually do that?

And why the hell is Late APJ Abdul Kalam so ridiculously famous over here? Change his name to APJ Atul Sharma or something Hindu, since your fans are changing Mughal roads to Hindu roads and Ahmedabad to Karnavati.

You like saffron? cool, wear it, eat it, sleep on it and change the color of our national flag to saffron with an ‘OM’ symbol marked on it. Once you change our country and constitution to a Hindu state, who’s there to stop you?

That way, at least we all will be clear that our country is not secular anymore. We all will behave accordingly.

Tell me this, why do Indians teach their kids in the schools to be secular when in the future the kids will grow up and they’ll get to know that all they read was a big lie? Why do you allow killing people on the basis of their religion if we are all a fraternity? No answers? Right.

You should better make our country a Hindu Rashtra limited to itself. No globalization whatsoever. We’ll make in India and sell within India. Who cares about the huge borrowed funding from the Christians of the world?

And please when you do all of this, declare Adolf Hitler to be your idol as well, because then he won’t be a bad guy, he’ll just be a hero who tried the same stuff as you. True blood matters you see?

Can you do all of this? If not, at least show your side. What side are you on really?

Whatever you do, we, your fellow countrymen will make sure that the country runs according to the constitution. In peace and harmony. And don’t you worry at all because we’ll keep being secular till the last breath we take. Because that’s what our country is. A secular state.

– A common Indian who didn’t vote for you. Proud.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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