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

Is The World’s Largest “Democracy” Becoming A Fascist State?

It is impossible to not think about the series of events that led to this disaster, when thinking about the protests all across the educational institutes, all over the country. Our present government came to us at a time when we had no hope, making promises in all the areas which were our major concerns back in 2014.

We were given hope about employment, rupee value, economic stability, lower prices, curb of corruption, etc. But all we have managed to receive over the years are things to distract us from all of these issues where they failed to deliver, expecting us to celebrate things like demonetisation, Pulwama attack, Triple Talaq, 370, NRC and CAA (National Register of Citizens and Citizenship Amendment Act).

People protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act and the police brutality in India.

All this, while a divide is being created between the people in the name of religion, unemployment rate is at an all-time high, we are witnessing rapid economic slowdown, decline in the GDP growth rate, incessant rape cases, mob lynching and extravagant splurging of the peoples’ money, in areas that do not even remotely interest them, let alone benefit the country.

Freedom of speech is a joke for all, but those who sing praises to the party and their right-wing activists. A very big indicator to this anomaly is the fact that most news channels and Hindi newspapers fail to even touch the subjects which are against the interests of the ruling party, while some of them have experienced the luxury of even misrepresenting the information or even doctoring fake news and propagating the same to please the party.

You have to understand that the situation is not just a joke anymore; when the people in power cannot even be asked questions about their decisions that affect a billion people, people who brought them into power, let alone hold them accountable. A testament to this ridicule of democracy is when the Prime Minister diverts all the questions specifically asked to him and addressed to him, to the Home Minister in what was supposed to be a press conference.

If that wasn’t enough, an actor is hired to ask casual questions about the prime minister’s leisures and hobbies and the entire stunt is presented as an interview to the masses. People are being asked to present papers to prove their citizenship dating decades ago, in a country where the ministers cannot produce their degrees; in a country where the prime minister spells strength as S-T-R-E-A-N-H on international television.

If you still choose to believe that CAB wasn’t doctored to be anti-muslim, here are a few facts to be considered.

On May 17th 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed his first press conference but avoided answering any questions. All questions were instead answered by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah.

In the final NRC list in Assam, over 19 lakh people couldn’t prove their citizenship. It was then discovered that from the above number, over 12 lakh were non-muslims. Suddenly, the government starts feeling for the “prosecuted minorities”(other than Muslims, of course) and decides to introduce CAA to handle this issue, which boldly excludes Muslim minorities (such as Shia and Ahmadi Muslims who are being prosecuted, as well as atheists, but nobody wants t0 to shed light on that either) from the provision.

The defence is that it seeks to provide shelter to the prosecuted minorities in the three countries (Pakistan, Afganistan & Bangladesh), but if the grounds for the bill were humanitarian at all, there shouldn’t exist a need to specify the religious groups that would benefit from the same.

An educated guess as to what follows the implementation of CAA and nationwide NRC is that all the people (except for Muslims) expelled by NRC will be able to find their way back in with CAA, while Muslims rot away in detention camps, that are being planned to be set up across the country.

While most “bhakts” applaud Shah’s statement, suggesting that the bill wouldn’t be necessary, if it wasn’t for the Indian National Congress splitting the country, on the basis of religion; let me remind you, that the Two-Nation theory was proposed by Veer Savarkar back in 1935, long before the partition.

All across the internet people, share and Tweet hatred fueled speeches, that only seek to create a divide on the basis of religion, shamelessly. If that isn’t alarming either, the internet is loaded with videos of BJP spokespersons and members fueling their speeches with hatred for the Muslims, playing their followers against the Muslims, promising their followers a “Hindu-Rashtra”(a nation void of any other religious belief apart from Hindutva). Even fearmongering on the premise that if the Muslim population is left unchecked, Hindus would become a minority in their own country by 2050 (which is practically impossible, if you check the statistics and have even a shred of common sense.).

With all of this going on so rampantly, it is impossible for anyone who supports such filth to even claim to be secular.

In a country, whose very constitution is written to be secular and progressive, we find the aforementioned “bhakts” accusing people of being “anti-nationals” when they speak up against the government. If people aren’t allowed to voice their interests to the people they elected, is it really a democracy?

Is it really a democracy, if the government takes decisions that go against the very constitution, if not just the interests of the country, ignores the voices of the masses and takes brutal measures to silence the people and strips them of their basic human rights?

What kind of democracy imposes a curfew on entire states, deploys troops, shuts down public services, cuts off the internet, blocks any media coverage, and then has the audacity to tell the people of the country that everything is alright?

Shouldn’t those affected by these decisions be allowed to tell us about their current state themselves?

Is it really a democracy, if the government takes decisions that go against the very constitution, if not just the interests of the country, ignores the voices of the masses and takes brutal measures to silence the people and strips them of their basic human rights?

Everything that has happened over the course of the past few years brings a Hindi dialogue to mind: “Paisa aur power nange ho kar naach rahe hain, aur democracy ki dhajjiyaan udai ja rahi hain!(Power and corruption are dominating, and democracy is being reduced to shambles).

The further we let this tyranny continue, the closer we get to a future written in blood. When people around you are being oppressed, your silence becomes consent to the oppressor.

We cannot let the fascist greed of the few outweigh the needs of the peaceful many. Let us not hate on any religious or racial grounds but appreciate our differences and grow together.

To conclude, I’d like to quote Swami Vivekananda, from his 1893 speech in Chicago. “I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth.”

Let us take a stand for a nation that he can still be proud of, a nation we can take pride in! Jai Hind!

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  1. Dikshita Desai

    Humanity before religion. Humanity before man-made boundaries. Humanity with kindness and unity. One Earth, wellness of the entirety our responsibility. #IndianYouthForPeace

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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