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Does BJP Really Deserve A Second Term, Especially With Such A Huge Mandate?

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मोदी समर्थक
We clearly do not understand the difference between reality and rhetoric.

The 2019 results are out. For the first time, I feel like believing that the polls were rigged. How else the mandate- and that too a massive one, went to the ruling party despite the dwindling economy, unprecedented levels of unemployment, gagged institutions, disastrous aftermath of demonetization, implementation of GST, lynching etc. I wish to believe that we are rational thinking beings, and if the polls are the real ‘janadesh(voice of the people)’, then it is something to worry about even more.

Lok Sabha elections 2019 are the strongest reflection of the pretence that we ‘Indians’ have been hiding behind since generations. We call ourselves the best; we swell with pride while preaching the world about the philosophy of  ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam(the world is one family)’, when in reality we do not refrain from questioning the presence of the migrant labourers from less developed states in the metro cities(in their own country) of the more advanced states.

The hoax of secularism authorises the state as well as the people to remain quiet when members of the minority communities and disadvantaged group are lynched, raped and killed. Under the garb of democracy, we watched (hopelessly and indifferently) the opposition getting completely uprooted from the political battlefield. Democratic politics without a strong Opposition is frightening and can soon turn into a dictatorship.

How is such a vast undisputed mandate even possible? In the last five years of the Modi government, the stark inequalities in India have only worsened. The poor did receive a gas cylinder, but most of them were unable to afford a refill.  The electricity indeed found it’s way to the electric poles, but not into the houses. Farmers continued to commit suicide while the Mallyas, Modis and Choksis abandoned their ‘motherland’ one after the other, robbing it and perhaps chanting Bharat Mata Ki Jai! The banks could not retrieve anything from them but remained prompt in penalising the small borrowers, even pushing them to the verge of suicide. Despite all this, we the people of this sovereign nation have chosen to bestow a second term to the political party which has only made false promises.

They launched a cleanliness mission to eradicate open defecation and even built toilets but turned a blind eye to the people who risk their lives every other day to make the dream the of Swacch Bharat a reality. These people kept dying in sewers and septic tanks, while their kith and kin had their feet washed by the Prime Minister. Despite such a dismal state of affairs, if we choose to give another chance to this government, then clearly we do not understand the difference between reality and rhetoric.

The electoral decision making by the people of India has failed the test of times. Social realities were conveniently ignored and the much-celebrated unity in diversity has gone for a toss.  Ironically the top echelons of the saffron party are celebrating this massive victory with the pronouncement of their adherence to the constitution. Nothing could be more ambiguous than this. Patriotism is being redefined- again in a binary, albeit of a different kind. The ‘tukde-tukde’ grandiloquence versus surgical strike; laying down of a brave officer’s life-fighting terrorism versus attribution of glory to who assassinated the stalwart recognised as the Father of the nation.

I can only sum up with the lines which I am borrowing from Lawrence Ferlinghetti, an American poet, painter, socialist activist, and the co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers in San Francisco-

Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
Except to praise conquerors and acclaim bully as a hero…
Pity the nation, Oh pity the people
Who allow their rights to erode And their freedoms to be washed away…
My country, tears of thee Sweet land of liberty.”

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  1. Eureka Jonala

    Well said! Good one! 🙂

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
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