I came face to face with this question a few days back. I have many reasons to not like the BJP, reasons which are big enough for me to hate it with every ounce of blood that I have.
But what I did not realise was how it had started affecting our daily lives and routines. How our daily routines had helped this group of thugs torture us for so long.
Was it really our fault? How it started affecting the way we live. Are we somehow responsible for making this possible? I intended to find out.
I’m at home during this Covid-19 lockdown and had nothing to do. So, I decided to apply for internships.
A senior of mine guided me and told me to apply for internships at the famous internship portal, Internshala.
Not having enough confidence in myself, but just to tell her that I did search, I scrolled on the site. A majority of the internships required me to write on lifestyle, cars, relationships, etc., nothing that made my heart beat faster.
I always wanted to write on things that brought a revolution, be the voice for the oppressed, but nothing of that sort was there.
Still I went on and at the end of the page I found one organisation that claimed to be an organisation that holds the government accountable for health, education, poverty, etc.
It further stated that “it asked questions to the government and became the public voice in elections”.
Finally, I took a sigh of relief as I applied. A few hours later I got a reply. And after a few days of writing samples for them, I was selected for the interview.
I was happy. I always wanted to do something that helped the oppressed in any way, even if that was by telling the world their story.
But here I was, asking questions to the people who were actually responsible for it. The interview started and I came to know that they campaigned in elections for political parties. My heart took a slight drop.
The next question crushed my heart to dust. The question which I knew would affect all my future endeavours, “Will you write pro-BJP if we ask you to?”
The offer was lucrative, enough pay for doing nothing.
This was something that my heart wanted. But I didn’t need the time to think. I couldn’t think as I let my voice say a firm, “No.”
I was probably the best candidate that applied and the person tried to make me understand that how he voted for the AAP but campaigned for the BJP, it was his work. He kept his personal and professional life separate.
When I stood firm and told him “no”, he was disheartened and before ending the call he told me to keep my political opinions and my work separate from each other.
My father returned home in the evening, all tired from the house search. He sat as I gave him a glass of water. After drinking he told my mom that the house was nice, but he didn’t want us to live alone in a Hindu populated area.
I wanted to correct him, tell him no, it’s not about Hindu or Muslim, but then my mother agreed.
Irritated, I told my father what I thought. He held my hand as he told me that things weren’t the same anymore.
He told me that riots could happen anytime. I couldn’t have agreed more.
Let’s get to the question now. What he was saying might be right to you. But to me, it wasn’t. To me, when any of my actions have larger consequences, that affect not only the present, it ceases to be just one thing.
And here it ceased to be just a political opinion. I knew that if I wrote one pro-BJP article, and even if one person voted for that group of thugs because of the article, then it would be on me.
It’s on me, the cries, the riots, the hunger, the death, it’s all on me and that was something I refused to take.
I wouldn’t want others to do something which I wouldn’t do. I wouldn’t want others to vote for the BJP when I am not voting for it, for the basic reason that it is not right.
That’s more dangerous because I know they’re wrong. But I am sending hundreds of people to vote for them just because it’s my work?
I am pushing people to do something which I know is wrong and will affect my country?
When I explained my views to him he said that he campaigned for people that could win.
Now, ideally, the company should be campaigning for the person who is right. That’s where their responsibilities lie.
When any of our actions have larger consequences and that too, consequences which are serious, we shouldn’t give in to the offer. It shouldn’t matter how lucrative it sounds. We should never cross the boundary of our values.
Doing anything through which the BJP wins, supporting it is not just a political opinion for me.
If you’re doing any of this you have blood on your hands for every murder that the BJP enabled. That every morsel you take is a burden on you because of every stomach that sleeps hungry, and every laugh that you have is a curse on you for every cry of a girl who was raped by the people you support.
It is “not” just a political opinion. You’re supporting rape, murder, riots, illiteracy and everything bad happening in this country. You’re supporting a group of thugs.
That is my opinion.
The BJP has won, countless people have died, people are in jail, Kashmir is a prison, crimes against women have risen and everything bad that is happening in India is because we have separated our work and political opinions.
Our political opinions need to shape our work. We shouldn’t do anything that is against our belief, morals and ethics. We shouldn’t ask others to do something that we wouldn’t do.
It shouldn’t matter to us how high the pay is, be firm and stand by your values. You can have your own answer to this, you might agree with him, you might not. But find your answer.
It’s not like by refusing the offer I changed society. It’s not that my heart doesn’t race when I see an orange-clad party worker with a large tika giving a hate speech. But what I do know is that I’m one of those who are trying to stop it, standing up to hate and not the one who enabled this.
Which side are you on?