This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Ashu Shukla. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Dear PM Modi, Everything Is Not ‘Fine’ In India!

More from Ashu Shukla

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was welcomed by MPs at the Palam airport New Delhi, when he came back from a state visit to the United States. During the visit, he addressed more than 50,000 Indian- American communities in the presence of American President Donald Trump and other senate members in the state of Houston, Texas.

The event was popularly named “Howdy Modi.” According to the organiser, the Texas India Forum, there were around 1,000 volunteers and 650 Texas-based welcome partners involved in the arrangement of the program. The event gained such large-scale attention because of the size of the crowd; it seemed akin to the kind of crowd that would gather for the Pope’s visit to the US!

However, while addressing the crowd, PM Modi chanted ‘Everything is fine in India’ in several Indian languages. What grips me most and which is also a matter of concern is, the head of the state delivered such comment when his country and its people are in the middle of numerous hassles. The question which captivates me here is, does everything really seem fine in India?

First things first, the repetition of the phrase in several languages seemed like an act of coming to the rescue of Home Minister Amit Shah, who on the eve of Hindi Diwas, hailed Hindi as a unifying language of India and encouraged its use as an official language. Although after an attack by the opposition, he clarified his position regarding it, as it had a profound impact on the sentiments of the non-Hindi speaking population due to the historical baggage attached to the linguistics politics of independent India.

Is The Economy ‘Fine’?

Another aspect one needs to look at is the condition of the Indian economy. According to the data released by the government, the GDP growth was 5% in the quarter of April-June for the financial year 2020, the lowest in the six years. The unemployment rate was at 6.1% among the youth. This was the larger picture; if we look at the micro part of it, there is a gradual decrease in production activity and sales in the automobile industry. Maruti Suzuki marked with a 26.7% decline in its sales of vehicles, including export.

Are Mob Lynchings ‘Fine’?

Notwithstanding the economy, issues like mob lynching of Muslims in the name of religion and forcing victims to chant “Jai Shree Ram” (Hail Lord Ram) are also projected as ‘fine’, whereas these crimes have a serious impact on the peace of the nation, and provide room for social imbalances among communities.

Lockdown In Kashmir – Also ‘Fine’?

Not only should we consider these examples of economic and social instability, but the issue about the abrogation of Article 370 in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Furthermore, the lockdown of people, by banning communications and internet facilities since 5th August 2019 to date has also been sidelined by the government, and especially our news channels.

The Kashmir lockdown issue seems to be of least importance to the leaders of the BJP government. According to some news reports, a few groups of people among the US gathering were protesting against the Kashmir lockdown, which was not covered by our media channels.

Issues Relating To NRC

The other major issue is the National Register of Citizens of India; in my opinion, this is an example of hate-mongering by the government against the Muslims, the issuance of the NRC listed 19,000 people as illegal immigrants that left them stateless. Also, as the Home Minister, Amit Shah said in the rally: NRC is a must for national security. He ensured the rights of Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, and Christians refugees while not mentioning the Muslims, who are around 200 million in numbers in India and around 34.22% in the state of Assam in particular(2011 Census Data: Assam). For this, he was attacked by opposition leader Mamata Banerjee.

Regardless of all these aspects in the Indian socio-political and economy, if these brute realities are labelled as the new normal or ‘fine’ then there is a real crisis in the secular and democratic institutions of India, where the political narratives are constructed through rhetorics, and the discourse of normalcy has been created which delineates that everything is fine.

You must be to comment.

More from Ashu Shukla

Similar Posts

By Sannaya

By Dr. Manish Goutam🇮🇳

By Ashish Kotadiya

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Read more about his campaign.

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.

Read more about her campaign.

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.

Read more about her campaign. 

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.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

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.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below