Karni Sena goons attacked a school bus. The horrifying video shows children and teachers shouting, crouching and trying to protect themselves. They burned malls, trashed theatres and attacked schools. The PM continues being silent, probably waiting for the violence to get over before he condemns it. If he condemns it. But his silence is nothing new.
2017 saw the highest number of lynching incidents driven by communal sentiments. There were 25 cases in just 7 months of cow-related deaths, and all murdered were Muslims. 2017 was also the year of hate crimes with 37 incidents related to cow or religion-related hate crimes.
But the Prime Minister of India continues being silent.
At his World Economic Forum address recently, PM Modi talked about how we need to fight against climate change and international terrorism. What he did not talk about is how he and his Government continue failing to discourage terrorism (that’s what we need to call it) that happens inside India. Never before have we (those born in the 90s) seen national scale, rampant violence and propaganda the way we’re seeing right now.
What’s even more unfortunate is how blindly his followers continue supporting the growing communal tension, contributing to the further shrinking of spaces where we can ask the tough questions from our Govt.
The only time PM Modi speaks is when his favourite journalists who have always outrightly supported him are the ones interviewing him. His interview with Times Now and Zee TV was a joke. His comment about the “gol gappa stall owner” representing growing employment was a joke and a tight slap on the (jobless) economic growth our country is seeing right now. And an even tighter slap on the face of all those who suffered due to demonetisation and had to pay with their jobs, businesses and their lives.
What also continues being unfortunate is that our Prime Minister and his ministers, who once were few of the most critical voices against the Government before his election, are the ones whose supporters and Govt. represent a complete lack of interest in accountability and transparency.
One is forced to believe that fringe groups are now the mainstream. That controversies like Padmaavat are played out so citizens never talk out about the RTI amendments the Govt. is trying to bring in, the clamping down on privacy they’re on to and the distortion of justice that we’re seeing every single day.
And on this Republic Day, if you feel that all these questions are unfair and that citizens of this country don’t have the right to ask them, then you’re a part of the problem. Is this the society we want to create?