The soulful voices of “Jana Gana Mana” is being heard. The Tricolor is fluttering in the sky. Patriotic songs are being played at various places around the city. A sense of patriotism is in the air. Children with blooming faces are headed toward school getting excited to see cultural activities and the joy of having sweets.
Every time I hear the word ‘REPUBLIC‘, two things cross my mind – ‘Republic Day‘ and ‘The Republic‘ by Plato. The latter one starts with a chapter in which Socrates is conversing with his pupils – Cephalus, Polemarcheus, Thrasymachus, and others and asks them to define Justice. Justice seems to be a foreign word in the current scenario.
Thrasymachus says,” I proclaim that might is right and justice is the interest of the stronger.” He argues that different forms of government make laws intending to serve their respective interest. Whatever serves their interests, is eulogized as ‘Justice‘; anything that hinders is condemned as ‘injustice‘. Socrates does not accept the stand taken by Thrasymachus, neither would anyone else in the modern era. But does it resemble the current scenarios of some nations? I will leave that question to you, reader!
The Farmers protests have been going on for two months without any resolution from the government.
This 26th January marks the 72nd anniversary of our constitution coming into effect. A Constitution is considered to be the core strength of any democracy. On this day, the Republic Day Parade majestically takes place. But this year it will be different as we are going through the global pandemic this time. Reduced spectator size, the size of marching contingents, and tableaux will be there. This will be held under the shadow of massive farmer’s agitations against the three farm laws demanding the center to repeal them.
It has been almost 2 months since the farmers of our agrarian economy are protesting out in the sheer cold. After 12 rounds of conversations between Farmer’s Unions and the Central government, there is no result. Their concerns of agriculture getting privatized that may lead to serious exploitation of farmers ( especially small and marginal farmers) and the danger of upcoming monopoly in the agricultural sector haven’t been answered yet.
Underemployment and lesser commercialization in the agricultural sector are the areas where we need to improve. But Government has been unable to find the golden mean. 100+ farmers have succumbed to suicides and cold weather. Will they get their due justice?
Justice- whenever I hear this word, a spontaneous smile comes on my face. It has been a year since JNU violence and the Delhi riots but the real culprits getting their due punishment is farther than it appears. Protests have become crimes. Social activists, student leaders, poets, artists, and journalists getting charged under UAPA has become the new normal.
83-year-old Varavara Rao, Stan Swamy, Sudha Bhardwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Anand Teltumbde, and Umar Khalid are in jail but what happens to people giving hate speeches instigating people, why does the story of Gopal holding a gun subside?
Constitution’s preamble promises to secure the liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith, and worship. We are in an inexplicable time where that promise and Love Jihad laws co-exist. Since the last few years, apparent societal interaction has increased a lot because of several reasons, one can say social media.
Umar Khalid and other student leaders and intellectuals were arrested simply for dissenting.
Hateful speeches, Divisive propaganda in name of religion and caste, fake news, and rumors spreading through social media have made people instinctive and outrageous. Sold out corporate media is running away from its responsibilities and further selling its propaganda to the audiences. Why does the story of China crossing borders fade? Why do the migrants have to answer instead of govt?
This recalls an incident. Last year on February 20, a young girl from Bangalore, Amulya Leona Noronha shouted “Pakistan Zindabad” on a stage, where a protest was going on against CAA( Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019). All the men on the stage there got alarmed and tried to prevent her speak any other word & her “Hindustan Zindabad” got lost in the chaos out there.
In no time she was arrested and police booked her for sedition. Immediately on TV and social media, she got labeled as “Anti-National“. On 16th February 2020, she had tweeted in Kanadda that translates to “Whatever country you may belong to, may your country live long, Hindustan Zindabad, Pakistan Zindabad, Bangladesh Zindabad, Srilanka Zindabad, Nepal Zindabad, Afghanistan Zindabad, China Zindabad, and Bhutan Zindabad.”
What seems scarier than this instinctive system decision was gathering of a mob outside her house and throwing stones at the house. In the mob’s presence, her father said, “what she said is wrong. She was joined by some Muslims & was not listening to me.”
Mob justice is what we hear regularly and has become a part of our republic. People cheering for encounters show a huge amount of growing disbelief in the justice system. Some stories remain unheard despite being heard. The case of police brutality and custodial deaths of Jayaraj and his son Fenix in Tamil Nadu was such a case. How George Floyd’s became a movement in the U.S, here it just faded away. People shy away from raising voices.
“I understand in this situation how hard it is for a man to win his freedom in India, Later I came to realize, why? the greatest thing to come out of this country in its 10000 years of history is the rooster coop…They can see and smell the blood, they know they are the next yet they don’t rebel. They don’t try and get out of the coop.”
– ‘White Tiger’ By Aravind Adiga.