My Letter To Fellow Citizens On The Chaos We Are Living Through

Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), one of the best universities in India turned into a warzone. Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) started catching the fire of the protests in JMI, JNU, IIMC, IITs, institutions that have already been fighting for the rollback in fee hike. Delhi University Teacher’s Association (DUTA) has been on frequent ‘indefinite strikes’ since I started going to DU’s Bhagat Singh College in 2017.

Lately, during our end-semester exams, the association decided on the continuance of the indefinite strike with the boycott of invigilation, evaluation, and all other official duties to press for their demands. Where are we headed, MHRD? Already, with each passing year, there has been a cut down on education expenditure and no interest of the concerned authorities in investment in R&D, with only a few world-class universities renowned globally. What’s the name of those universities? IIT, JNU, DU, AMU, JMI, etc.? Are we sure? 

The price of onions has been towering high, milk prices have risen by ₹3, unemployment rates have been at an all-time high since the last 45 years, the GDP has been at an all-time low since 2014. Never mind, India’s ‘first full-time woman‘ Finance Minister has got it covered.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Before you label me a misogynistic, I’d say in my defence that I’m a proponent of feminism, but, in the case where you have to lead a country in a highly competitive cosmopolitan world, your gender shouldn’t become a priority over your capability and knowledge in the field. If you’re not fit for a job, you’re not fit. In my opinion, the saffron party’s most deserving, and perhaps one with extensive knowledge of economics, Subramanian Swamy has bluntly accepted that the economy has been performing poorly.

Supreme Court of India.

India’s ex-top judge was accused of sexual harassment. All-important cases related to human rights got postponed as ‘Mandir cases’ became more critical. Delayed justice to the family of rape-victim, an incident that saw the nation-wide protests, yes, it’s been almost seven years. Respectable judges, we are sure you need some time to look into cases for fair dissemination of justice, but haven’t you realised yet that they were the apparent perpetrators till date?

Working of the judiciary this way is undoubtedly discouraging for women, subjected to such structural violence, which leads to many cases settled outside the boundaries of our courts frequently. The Unnao rape case survivor wrote a letter to you, asking for security, as her life was threatened earlier this year. Taking late action didn’t prove to be in her favour.

A discriminatory and hasty Act related to the key populations was made leaving them prone to more structural violence but you didn’t consider to step in upholding their rights and dignity. Judiciary of India, we hope you are listening, or are still busy being friends with ‘Mizaru‘?

“The three monkeys are Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who speaks no evil.”

Media, the fourth pillar of any democracy of the world, or instead, I should call it the weakest in India’s case. I’m sorry, we don’t subscribe to your channel to not telecast issues that matter. We don’t wish to see if aliens have secretly inhabited parts of India or the prime time “debate” segments where badmouthing, and fundamentalism is seen at its best. 

Lately, in a news segment related to the weather forecast, it was reported that heavy snowing in the northern states and unusual hail storms took place in Rajasthan, making it look no less than a skiing site. What should have been expected of the news channels to educate citizens? Climate change? No, instead, in the segment lasting 10 minutes, what could be heard was, “an influx of tourists, traffic jams in the area, increased problems of locals on how they are unable to go commute properly.”

किसान
Representational image.

If only you could have focused on the agrarian crisis, the situation, the cause, and its relation with global warming, it would have been highly appreciable. Citizens are often found full of self-determination and anti-European sentiments, but a little bit of eurocentrism now and then, taken to observe the functioning of news channels never will not and shouldn’t hurt the 4th pillar of any democracy, I feel.

Though well-informed citizens have resorted to online media to curb the problem of fake news by verifying the same from various sources, the least you can do is to keep in check the authenticity, bias and relevance levels of the segments you telecast, keeping your political propaganda aside.

Rahul gandhi.

Rahul Gandhiji, we are quite confident that you’re not ‘Rahul Savarkar‘. But, your coalition partner, Shiv Sena (who idealises Savarkar for their own reasons which I think should be respected), and the Congress has a coalition in Maharashtra with them. Ideology; what? Your speaking skills are highly deplorable, and I feel that your comments on the sensitive issue were disgraceful.

It’s high time that you understand the fact that you can do anything but lead India. It’s high time that your family passes on the Kaman to some other Neta of your party, it has the potential, history is the proof.

Sisodiaji, we all are aware that Delhi has its election coming up in 2020. You need not fear as defending champions as you have done an excellent job for Delhi in the past five years, but let’s not politicise sensitive issues. 

Lekhiji, being a leader of the ruling party you need not pass your extreme ideology down to citizens, that people accused of rape and brutal acts trying to flee need to be shot on the spot. Also my fellow-citizens, I’m sure this is not a Hobbesian state of nature and anarchy doesn’t prevail here. We should have controlled our emotions and been rational enough to let the judiciary do its work and not commend our forces for taking law in its own hands. You could be next.

The CMs of Bengal (you demanded NRC and CAA in the past), Punjab, and Kerala, I feel that you’re not helping, rather aggravating the citizens leading to worsening of the situation by issuing statements such as “we’ll not let this act be imposed in our states.”

The subject falls under the Union list and if not cooperated with could lead to a breakdown of constitutional machinery in these states, which could further lead to President’s rule imposition in your respective states. I’m sure you don’t want that because the party in power surely does.

MP Mahua Moitra.

We can learn from leaders like Mahua Moitra and Jairam Ramesh on this, who have challenged the act in the Supreme Court. But you say that Supreme Court is biased, then what? We can’t and shouldn’t resolve to such anarchical situation. We need to challenge the party in-power constitutionally or wait for another five years. Because if the majority didn’t make them win, our faulty First Past The Post voting system did.

Fellow-citizens, It’s not funny when a particular community start living with increasing fear with each passing day. Do we talk about revenge for the past brutalities? Let’s start with ‘X-O’ game and with each passing match, destroying as a reparation of cruelties and discrimination in the past to reach a point where no exact falter can be defined?

Let’s observe how much damage can we cause by becoming pawns of anti-social elements. The feeling of calling ‘preferential treatment’ a form of reverse-discrimination also erupts within many of us from such feelings only.

Also, the extension of Sheikh Abdullah’s house arrest by three months and the firing of a Sanskrit-teaching-Muslim professor from a nation-wide known university reflects the competency, non-religious attitude and qualifications of the professor.

But, your happiness on these decisions at the same time reflects your Islamophobia which surely has discouraged any other individual belonging to communities other than Hinduism to dare to study these subjects. Yes, the same subjects which are losing their importance due to the jingoists’ lack of interest in them.

Speaking venomously of the leaders in power; wishing that the Prime Minister’s boat sinks while on a political sojourn; making fun of him while he slips on the stare isn’t funny. Criticising the government is a great move to keep a check on it but only until the point where a nation-state’s sovereignty gets threatened.

It further poses a serious question to a country’s position in international relations where some states don’t leave a stone unturned to benefit from such moves. Being mindful will prove to be rationale in worsening political environment. 

Delhi police attack unharmed students in and around Jamia Millia Campus. Image credit: Twitter

Moreover, It’s not humane of us to term the students of JMI as terrorists or blaming them for setting those buses ablaze. Without evidence, it’s not correct of us to target them finding an alibi to your subliminal Islamophobia.

Let’s not any ideology, statements or ulterior motives of political foes lead us to do something that hinders liberty of someone else or puts us in trouble. Everybody has their theories in context with JMI’s protests; in this all-time high right-wing populism.

I firmly believe that crushing JMI’s reputation would increase allegiance of the supporters to the power in the centre. How many Hindus do you think wouldn’t consider this riot while considering taking admission to the University? The harm caused to the University’s reputation is beyond reparations. One more brick has been laid in the wall separating (increasing) religious divide.

Dear anti-social elements and public property damagers while we highly condemn the government spending of our taxes on the construction of things that don’t even matter to most of us doesn’t give you a right to damage public property made for the betterment and convenience of citizens. We do not pay taxes on time and with full honesty to witness all this. 

To the celebrities and influencers who can’t stand for the right, You don’t deserve all that following if you can’t lead the masses in the times when your supporters need you. We didn’t make you what you’re today to attend political events and click selfies with perpetrators of toxicity and see you turning a blind eye towards us when we need you the most.

Assam and its mother’s, we feel sorry for you for the property damage and loss of children. We praise you for your stance on standing for your rights. We, Indians accept that the government now and ones in the past have done nothing substantial for you and your sisters. Still, we praise you for teaching us eye-opening lessons in the wake of the current unrest.

Internet shutdowns, stripping of secular values, mobs and their hooliganism is all that the nation has seen through your eyes. Kashmir, we stand in solidarity with you.

The Law and Order ministry, you came into being for responsibility to protect citizens and maintain order, not to beat up the youth, turning campuses into war zones or assaulting journalists or for that matter any human being. Reading the Constitution to understand your own and your fellow citizens’ fundamental rights will surely help you uphold human rights and give you an opportunity to reflect on your brutal actions towards students. 

Lawyers and opportunistic politicians attempt to recover your lost morals that you appear to have forgotten.

Let’s pause, speculate, discern and begin engaging with each other with more tolerance and prevent deriding the majoritarian faith/culture wholly as ‘wicked’ and dissent respectfully, even if they instigate you to not to.

In these times, we all need to become a reflection of Maulana Azad, Ambedkar and the ones who strongly upheld our constitutional values. Not who you want to overthrow at the right time with the right opportunity.

What we are headed towards is a leaderless movement to overthrow the saffron regime.

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