Mr Modi Is Not My Hero. Here’s Why

In 1984, I was just 40-days-old when my name was finalised in a Gurudwara, and my family of five had just walked out and crossed the road when the whole Gurudwara was burned behind us. The Indira Gandhi assassination had created havoc and had it been five minutes late, I wouldn’t have been alive to write this post.

So, it is very obvious that Congress was never a party I looked up to, and the whole thing scandalized me even more when I read that the then-leaders of the Congress had apparently not even tried to stop the riots, but had rather said that political murders can not be neglected, and someone has to pay the cost. However, I had respect for Mr Manmohan Singh not because of his political party but his contribution to the Indian economy. However he failed miserably as a prime minister more because he wasn’t allowed – probably- to pull off decisions without the consent of the masters.

PM Modi.

Then blew the Modi wind. His credibility wasn’t much assured, but the whole country saw him as a relief from the thought-to-be anti-Indian ways of governance by the Congress. The emotional fools that we, the people of India are, Mr Modi, swept everyone off with his commitments and impressive speeches.

The whole country started looking up to him as the son of the soil. Then, came the time when he finally took over as the PM. And, the country started seeing divisions based on religion. His and his party’s extreme views about their own religion and attachment to the damage done to the country by others started showing up in their decisions and policies. He earned a lot of praise, for the Abrogation of Article 370, and supposedly resolving the Kashmir issue, including mine, and also earned ovations for supposedly finally putting a full stop to Babri Masjid case which had been floating in the political space ever since the BJP emerged as a ‘superpower’ alongside the Congress. They both needed each other’s weak nerves and kept the issues alive. Then came the CAA, and the rest is history.

Mr Modi, who had always shown himself to be the son of the soil, failed to understand that any form of religious extremism can never make a country or develop it. He forgot that he was chosen to be the Prime Minister, not by votes of Hindus, but by the population of the country on a whole.

He could never be my hero, and would never be, because, since the beginning, his speeches had fuel which I always sensed would burn this country one day. He still might be the appropriate option for Prime Minister’s position and I would not be surprised if he is chosen again. But, I would always look up to him as a man who divided my country, approved the issuing of hate slogans and above all made Education sit on a back seat instead of making it a priority. His policies reflect the hatred brewed in him and many like him for several years by RSS.

The amount of money spent under his leadership on the making of statues could have been used for education, so much so that every child in this country could have availed free education, and everybody could get health facilities at minimum prices.

India is already in 2020, and the youth wants jobs. The youth is impatient and is not interested in listening to speeches in rallies. They want jobs money education and travel and none of them are priorities in the policies put forward by Mr Modi and his government. The environment has suffered, the greenery has been destroyed, and the plight of the poor and farmers has been buried behind concrete walls, so that they are not visible.

I do not support Congress because if they come back we would be doomed like before but then, Mr Modi is also not my hero and would never be because his governance is ego-biased and just like the opposition that he condemned so much. His focus is not on the country but the fulfilment of hate and pride-driven agendas.

His name can not be taken without mentioning Mr Amit Shah who, instead of focussing on maintaining peace, law, and order in the country, which happens to be his key responsibility area and his job, is busy dealing with petty hatred and ego-driven inhumanity≤ which ultimately has broken, and will, break the country, and above all will not help him and his party in the long run. There is a saying that talk doesn’t cook rice.

In the past 5 years, I have seen so many people who were Modi Bhakts in my circle turn anti-Modi for their hopes of seeing this country become like other foreign countries(as boasted in speeches) shattered when they saw 2020 looking like 1947.

I was abused online by Bhakts when I said that living in history will only increase the distance between the future but I still stand firm on my opinion that history is bygone, and the brightness of the future will be dependent on how shrewdly we avail the present.

Mr Modi could be anyone’s hero but not mine because for me he is an old man who misused the faith people had put in him and has abused the powers vested in him to fulfil his aspirations of a Hindu Rashtra which would mean creating another Germany. And if this happens, it would be marked as the darkest hour of Indian politics.

I would always respect him as the honourable Prime Minister, because that is my duty and civic sense, but he would not be my hero.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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