While the affluent kept themselves busy celebrating Friendship Day and preparing for Rakhi, a future headline silently laid its foundation right in the heart of the national capital this Sunday. The little known young poet Imran Pratapgarhi, who had initiated a ‘blood donation’ campaign to mark the blood being spilt in India in the name of the hatred and discrimination, succeeded in making inroads into the Lutyens’ zone. The government failed to realise that another Kejriwal or Hardik Patel-in-the-making was here. And he has the potential to stay.
#लहू_बोल_रहा_है was trending on the day, and despite not being featured on national media, Imran found tens of thousands of followers waiting to be his audience. Sources say that the boy had been preparing for the final event for months. He went door-to-door in different cities, used mushairas or poetry symposiums to fuel anger against hate crimes. His following kept increasing and he became something of a heartthrob amongst the Urdu-poetry-loving-youth of India.
Don’t just believe me and my words, check out the number of views on his YouTube videos. Follow his tweets and track his Facebook page. You’ll get to gauge the status and assess the potential of this young poet who could very well be the next neta.
His speeches, and more so his poetry, is fiery and anti-vigilante. He speaks against the mob-lynching incidents, but the flow of his talks leads him to spill lava against the establishment. Narendra Modi and the RSS become his ultimate and obvious targets. Quite effortlessly, he’s becoming a rising, fiery, grass-root level leader of minorities, Dalits, and downtrodden people suffering from the government, the government’s policies, actions, inaction, or facing the wrath of the right-wing organisations that find patronage in the government.
To give a more homogeneous look and feel to his campaign, the poet smartly sought out the support of a few mahants and the likes of Swami Agnivesh. This tinge of saffron was enough to make it look like more than a Muslim-only gathering.
I am not sure if the government, led by overly cautious, always alert people like Amit Shah and Narendra Modi has indeed missed the rise of this new potential neta, or has conveniently chosen to remain silent because this is exactly the kind of polarised opposition they want.
Whatever be the case, one thing is for sure, this country is missing a strong and active leadership in the opposition, and this vacuum is bound to be filled by people of all sorts. If all these factional, regional, sectarian parties decide some day to unite and fight against the government, the easy ride that the lotus has enjoyed so far might end that day.
We need good deeds from the government on one side, and a strong opposition on the other side, to keep things balanced and the democracy healthy.