Yesterday, while I was riding my bike on the way back home from college, I saw a small banner of the Congress party on the ground. I was about two seconds away from crossing past the flag, but those two seconds gave me time to think about a year long battle which had been going in my mind from the day I understood the difference between the Left and Right. In those two seconds, many thoughts flashed through my mind and a state of dilemma spread over me. Either way, I was not going to run over the banner as it featured the famous tricolour, with which everyone (who is not anti-national) is familiar. In my school, my teachers had taught me to respect the tiranga. So I decided to turn my bike at an angle of 20 degrees, to act as a perfect patriotic Indian. Meanwhile my mind was struggling to choose a side to support. Why did I not run my bike over the flag on the Congress’ banner? I was about to become a political guru sitting on my lovely bike.
I thought of the results that the Congress had given to India, while ruling for many decades. What was there which deserve my praise? Was it the scams of the telecom industry, or remaining silent about the beheading of Indian soldiers on the border, or failed government programmes, or the legacy of the Gandhi family? What was there which could arouse the praise of a small student of a deprived state?
Then my mind shifted its energy towards Modi. I am talking about Modi instead of the BJP because his image is bigger than his party. BJP is now known by him.
I was no longer in mood to think about the achievements or failures of the ‘Modi janta party’. I was disturbed by the Kathua gang rape case. In classroom debates for and against the BJP, I had to now switch sides. Earlier I was happy to say that the BJP-led government had taken India to a new dimension; they were conducting experiments which I thought would bring some revolutionary changes.
A year ago I was confused when Yogi Adityanath was made the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Someone said that he was just like an albatross around Modi’s neck. A mahant with no political experience was made CM, just because of his controversial comments against minorities.
I decided to forget this because I thought any government will make one or two mistakes, and so I let it be.
I was almost neutral until this Kathua rape case made headlines. I got to know that advocates of Kathua bar association had prevented the police from filing the charge sheet. They were shouting “Jai Shree Ram”, while doing so. “What the hell is this?” This was the first sentence in my mind that erupted.
They were acting just like Lord Ram had told them to stop the filing of a charge sheet, that Lord Ram supported the rape of an innocent child.
Under BJP rule, the slogan of group like these have become the slogans of many ignorant followers. They have start to think that by chanting these slogans, they have become superior to the judiciary of India. Lord Ram is there to protect them.
A few days ago, my native town, Aurangabad of Bihar state, was in the news because a riot took place on the occasion of Ram Navmi resulting in severe damage to the city, and people’s daily lives. There was also group of young boys who had no idea about the story of Ramayana, except that Bhagwan Ram had revolted against minorities.
From the time I have started reading newspapers and about the political situation in India, I developed an interest in politics. I was informed about things by my father, sometimes, on complicated issues. From coal-gate to the 2G scam, from the assets of Robert Vadra to Chara Ghotala in Lalu Raj, everything was at least related to corruption, nepotism, and the concentration of power in a few hands. But if you see the current scenario you might think about an existential crisis. You are not actually Constitutionally free. If you go against the establishment, you are termed as anti-national. People are framed with many charges like the attempted assassination of the prime minister of India.
There is a difference between anti national and anti-government and people need to understand those points. People in power label a few as anti-national, and the rest of the work is done by media houses.
As I started to swim deep in my pool of political thoughts I stopped when I noticed that my phone was ringing. It was my mom. She told me there was building tension between two communities in the city, and she wanted me to remain where I was.