Tracing a challenge which is new in its form and may hollow India’s claim for Global leadership.
Daughters were gang-raped in front of their fathers and then had their heads bashed in. Their fathers were doused with petrol and set on fire. The property was looted. Their bussiness were destroyed and police stood by and did nothing”. -Hindustan times, March 21,2002
The said barbarism committed by an incited mob not only challenging social order but also forcing to investigate the causes incorporated inside. The incident is just one among many to see where world’s biggest Democracy is moving.
The twentieth century mass movements-Nazism, Fascism, had led to wars, genocides and tyrannies in an attempt to create so called “perfect nation” i.e a land of their kind by using state powers (military and economic) and obviously communal efforts. The leaders in these movements were able to organize people for a cause which, they thought, was for country’s interest. Racial supremacy, ultra-nationalism etc. Were the grounds for provocation which were quite effective although, but left them nowhere.
Ridiculously and very interestingly history tells that the Germans and Italians already have used the word “holy war” when the word “Jihad” was not born even, it came a century later. Recalling Hitler “the Jewish capiatalist world will not survive the twentieth century” and other similar anti-semitic provocations had not only influenced the pan-Germany movements but many big personalities of the century. Martin Luther king jr. admitted, in his celebrated work ‘letter from Birmingham jail’, that never forget, everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.
Almost a century later similar kind of lines heard in 2014, when a right wing extremist,RSS office-bearer, Rajeshwar singh, raised the war cry “the Muslims and Christians dont have any right to stay here, so they would either be converted into Hinduism or forced to run away from here”.
What makes these Rabble-rousers for such fiery assertions. Travelling the past makes it clear – who hanged Jesus on the cross?, who forced Socrates for Hemlock?, who hanged Saddam Hussain?, who killed Gaddafi? These incidents were mind game of few scheming opportunists, they succeed in organising the innocent but ignorant crowd for organized crimes. Their own wills always have overshadowed nation building, national integration and national interest. Whereas the mob had to wait forever for the return gift and never got the share in fruit.
Wondering that the emergence of cultural nationalist in Germany, revolutionaries of Russia, chauvinists in Italy and anarchic terrorists in France and Spain are brainchild of very cunning messianic individuals whom the crowd always have admired.
But what’s happening in India is a caricature of mechanised and unrealistic aggrandisement of patriotism. Which never been a subject during our great freedom struggle when the essence of nationalism was at its zenith. Another interesting thing done in last few decades by some ‘religious extremists’, was to mislead socially and economically deprived masses and ‘youth in leisure’. They have been mobilised and used at many occasions. Ultimately, lobbyism came into picture.
In seventy years of independence no institution emerged out as influential as lobbyism is today. ‘Mob justice’ is a big challenge not only for common masses but even for ‘honourable judiciary’. It would be no wrong to say that India nowadays witnessing the era of “Pax Vulgus” (peace under the terms and conditions of mob). In nineteenth century when Britain was a global hegemonic power and since no power was there to challenge it, this period came to known as “Pax Britannica” i.e peace under Britain’s terms. Then came the century of USA.When many European powers ruined themselves in world wars, US emerged out as global leader as it was architect of some glorious institutions like World Bank, IMF and United Nations. This period dedicating US called “Pax Americana” i.e peace under terms of America.
India is dreaming about “Pax Indica”(peace under India’s terms) which would be a ‘dream comes true’ moment if India somehow able to get this achievement. But this dream seems to be in suspicion. India’s integrity is under severe threat with the rise of regional Demagogues. They are succeeding in misleading the masses and dividing the societies by several gimmicks like-religious sentiments, sham patriotism etc. Unfortunately country’s most productive age group i.e youth are being trapped. How an enemy can be defeated when you are weak from inside?
Needless to ask, why ‘youth’ are being trapped. Unemployment and job crisis has become a nightmare. Especially for the government which came in power promising ‘two crore’ job creation annually. The ongoing Railway recruitment clears our vision where 2,37,000,00 applicants are struggling for just 1,27,000 posts. In such pathetic environment many are being used by political parties and other religious organisations for ‘online abuse’. They are being paid,although very low, to abuse those disagreed people whom they never met even.
In this entire argy-bargy, many are being corrupted by frequently spreading the phobia of nationalism. Which after India’s independence disillusioned and has became ever distorted terminology. The touchstone has been changed completely, now your love for the country will depend upon your hate for the other country. In 2010 the west gifted “neo-nationalism” to the world. With many positions it also holds right-wing populism, opposition to immigration, opposition to Islam and Muslims. The ongoing lynching of Muslims by right-wing extremists is ramification of this new version of nationalism.
It is a harsh but true assessment. Early this year, during the release of the film Padmavat (originally Padmavati) many regional groups were busy giving life threat to actors and director even after supreme court’s approval for release of the film. How can we forget last year’s incident when a Hindu group unfurled saffron flag in Udaipur court premises and beaten the police. They were supporting Shambu Lal Regar, who was charged for burning alive a west Bengal labourer Mohammed Afrazul on a live camera.
These are few amongst many frequently occuring incidents. This is the time when law and order maintaning institutions should rethink about their strategies. They should see the issue differently which is very new in its form and thus the maneuvers dealing it should also be upgraded one. No doubt, “Pax Indica” would be achieved because India’s land is very fertile, it has produced great personalities and statesmen. The need is to become strong internally to rule the world and that could be achieved through internal harmony and national integration otherwise we along with our big dreams are moving towards a big predicament.