‘If I Speak Out Alone, It Won’t Work’: A Free Thinker’s Appeal To Fellow Indians

Dear readers,

I am Sumantra Mukherjee, an ordinary member of this beautiful civilisation which was built on the values of empathy and compassion. You need not see me, but lend me your ears, open them, and listen to what I say. In the last couple of years, in our own nation, we witnessed the deaths of rationalists like Govind Pansare, M.M. Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar, Ranjan Rajdeo, Sai Reddy, Ramchandra Siras, Gauri Lankesh etc. The reason they were killed, is because they were determined to be the mouthpiece of crores of people who are living the lives of slaves. They dared to challenge a superficial world built on the pillars of hatred, deceit and violence. If we go on to file an FIR or register our protest against these rogues, their menace increases even more. But how many more liberal thinkers, journalists and scholars have to die before we wake up? How many more days do we continue to suffer?

They try to suppress our voice through bullets or derogatory trolls on social media. The police will do nothing. These influential politicians try to exert control over the police, and these same politicians foster these rogues. If these rogues come out in public and threaten or murder people for being free thinkers, then these rogues must be punished and their political bosses must compensate for the damages.

They can beat us once, twice, or thrice, but the fourth time, I will take control of myself, stand up, raise my voice firmly and express my dissent. I, on behalf of the civil society of India, demand the arrest of these rogues who have been killing free thinkers, who celebrate these deaths with triumph on social media, who behave disgracefully in public rather than resorting to rational options like dialogue, discussions, writings or debates that respect logic, philosophy and reality. The existence of a human life can not be restricted within the perimeters of imaginary affinities, where humans are divided in the name of caste, creed, religion, etc., where affinities have to accept the orders of autocrats, where there is no space for public dialogue and where power flows from the barrel of the gun and not from the tip of the pen or from the word of mouth. This is not the society which our founding fathers envisioned in their quest for freedom. We want a compassionate society that mourns the death of a rogue, quenches the hunger of an orphan, and wipes the tears of a widow, irrespective of religion or caste. We want a society that does not create a terrorist out of a penurious and enslaved soul. We want a society where happiness is given a higher priority than GDP and justice does not get adjourned until another date.

Today you can go to the market, buy vegetables, go home, have your food and go to sleep peacefully. But tomorrow when you wake up, see an issue which concerns you and you raise your voice, these rogues will descend on you with their abuses and violence. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want these rogues to destroy my right to freedom of thought and expression. If I speak alone, it won’t work. You all have to raise your voice in unison – or else this darkness can never be surmounted.

Yours sincerely,

Sumantra Mukherjee,

A free thinker.

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