No acche din for seculars and liberals

Posted by Satyaki Dutta
July 19, 2017

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Democracy as we know it has been the backbone of this country post-colonization. Although the constitution guaranteeing its citizens a secular, democratic republic; marginalization has always existed throughout our country. In the beginning, the spirit of free India overshadowed the sparse instances of infringement. It is evident from the historical nuances that the State applies brute force on the ‘wretched’ with time. With India’s growth as a full-fledged ‘nation’, the process of marginalization gained impetus. The State activated the hierarchical structures already operating silently, silencing the powerless into a vicious doom. Propagating hate and anarchy, the guardians of democracy- be it the political leaders, or the police ­- have listened to all but the oppressed. Now that, the BJP is in power, it has constantly been using coercive force to subdue any voices that seem to be a threat to its sovereignty. A political party driven by religious ideals, the BJP has always had a compatriot in the form of the RSS, who are always a step ahead of the former in ensuring a voiceless environment. Therefore, it has all the more become imperative for the citizens to find their own way into gaining their basic rights which are on the verge of negation. It is high time that we put our trust on the ideals of a constitution designed by the likes of Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar.

Bhakts’ of the current government have started to set afloat a current trend- to single out some people as ’secular’ or ‘liberal’, and lash out at them on the social networking sites. The very concept of branding someone as a ‘secular’ or ‘liberal’ is to consider him/her as the “Other” and is a part of the rightist propaganda of exclusivity. In a democracy, a free voice to resist the government’s decisions is a basic human right, which being denied is a mockery of the foundational ideals of this nation. From religious exclusiveness like ghar-wapsi and beef ban to political ones like the sedition charges put on the students of JNU, the resurgent Right has done it all. For now people who believe in the ideas of secularism or liberalism are made to feel ashamed of. Seculars are taken to be ‘Muslim’ sympathizers and the liberals are taken to be ‘leftist’. The rightist propaganda has successfully compartmentalized the ideals of a democracy. The current religious flux which has been fanning intolerance throughout India has also associated the Muslims with the ‘terrorists’. And the failure of the ‘leftist’ movement in India has already branded them to be useless in the eyes of the public. Therefore, associating seculars with Muslims and liberals with the left is an easy way to project them as ‘anti-nationals’ (a term used easily nowadays). It has become way easy for the ‘bhakts’ to muster public support, while identifying a person as ‘anti-national’, by playing with the already sensitized ‘religious’ and ‘nationalist’ sentiments of the masses. Along with it comes the angst of the mob, the raining verbal or physical attacks on the ‘sickulars’ and ‘libtards’ (newly coined names, used by the ‘bhakts’). The common man is made to believe that he too is a soldier fighting for his homeland, maybe not on the forefront, but on home turf. Fuelling religious turmoil an ordinary man is also made to believe that he is like a Hindu Viking hero fighting as the gau-rakshak.

This very procedure of ‘indoctrination’ is rather a process of ‘intoxication’, where people hallucinate into a world with ‘minimum logic, maximum coercion’, unlike Modiji’s promised “minimum government, maximum governance”. Are these the acche din?

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