Is India Headed Towards An Emergency?

I fear for all my brothers and sisters in India.

People protesting against the new citizenship law in Seelampur, Delhi on Tuesday 17th Dcember. (Photo: Reuters)

Massive unemployment, student protests, police brutality, anti-constitutional laws, the arrest of opposition leaders, ban on communication and shooting down free speech – If this isn’t an emergency, then what is? But why are my brothers and sisters, who are not willing to leave the comfort of their homes and join the protest, unable to see what the rest of us see? Maybe the entire country is not facing all these problems and atrocities, but should we wait for the entire country to be carpet-bombed, with all these 7 plagues, for us to acknowledge what is happening? Hell, even U2’s Bono called it out at his Joshua Tree concert in Mumbai on Sunday.

The latest revelation is that the all-India National Registry of Citizens drive (NRC) has already begun – with the NPR or National Population Register. In short, the government is for the first time, going to collect Aadhar information during population census drive, which will be linked to the house number, and other information about the citizens, which will be collected; such as number of years of living in a particular place, reasons for moving to other places, distance between house and workplace, mother tongue and other languages known.

I had a Dejavu while reading this. In February this year, Trump’s USA implemented a similar policy, by which the US Census Bureau in the 2020 census will ask every American household to record which members of their family are US citizens. Just like our government’s justification, the US government’s justification for the question was that asking about citizenship will provide more information about who is in the United States, and more information is always good.

According to this article, “it was obvious to everyone that even a single citizenship question to their 2020 census could scare away millions of immigrants from filling out their mandatory surveys — throwing off the count of who’s present in America that’s used to determine congressional apportionment for the next decade, allocate federal funding for infrastructure, and serve as the basis for huge amounts of American research.”

In India, we will be facing a similar issue but on a much larger scale, and just like demonetisation, no one can comprehend the impact. So, why is team Modi adamant on this path that is leading the country into the centre of a black hole?

Granted, the mess was created by the UPA and India needed a conservation capitalist government to bring in reforms to improve the economy. But instead, we got a continuation of the failed UPA 2 policies on two deadly steroids: oligarchy and authoritarianism. Team Modi won’t get India out of it. They simply can’t because they have to give up power.

The only hope for any political solution is not the congress or any other opposition party. It is the BJP itself. If they don’t stand up against Modi and simply bend over like the Republican party in the US, Modi will have no choice but to declare an emergency in two or three months, in order to stay in power and suppress the public uprising. Is this what we as Indians want? Is this what India deserves?

Similar Posts

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 Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’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