It’s the summer of 2014 and the world’s largest democracy is about to see a dramatic shift of power on a central level.
A highly awaited moment that everyone was eagerly waiting for, some negatively and some positively. The prime minister of India was now declared to be the man who was famous for his competence in addressing the public and being a flag bearer of India’s politically right-wing, Narendra Modi.
A man that swore to reverse India’s history with politics, which “oh boy, I’m sure he has”, is now to be in place of the highest central and political power. The joyous screams of the elite Hindus, as if the saviour himself had come to them, filled the streets whilst some were scared about the divide this is going to create within the diversity of India. Some were scared as if this was the repetition of the 2002 riots in Gujarat with a masquerade of ending corruption.
I would go on and on about critiquing the government if I had to, in fact, I have tried to find sense in the people who still have faith in Modi but I would rather not say anything that will land me in jail and threaten my journalistic freedom. In my opinion, it’s up to a person’s own conscience that they choose to support a person or vice versa, and I choose not to, when it comes to BJP, its allies and its cabinet.
In fact, India has never seen a larger share of political prisoners speaking against the government before the Modi-Shah duo took over the spaces of media. Sad to say the least, poets, activists, journalists, political leaders and visionaries are seen as a threat to the whole nation if they dare talk back to the government, further on, jailed.
Kafeel Khan, a doctor from Uttar Pradesh, was jailed when he dared to speak against the questionable Citizenship Amendment Act. His crime? Merely exercising his duty as a citizen and a contributor to his economy by using his democratic right of free speech and to protest. Reminds you of the 1977 elections, doesn’t it? With the rise of Sanjay Gandhi’s inhumane ways to torture young men by forceful sterilisation and the aftermath of the Emergency.
The saddest part however is that India is once again in an undeclared state of emergency.
Where governments have tried to address, even if they failed in the implementation to actually listen to minorities, or even taken the initiative to, Modi’s IT cell says that it doesn’t work for “minority appeasement”. If the reverse of minority appeasement is the violation of human rights against the oppressed, then I’d any day choose a rather corrupt government than that. It’s highly utopian for both to be simultaneously eradicated but when your government takes lives instead of money, you’re destroying the lives of those who make up this “democracy”.
With cases that will send chills to your spine like Hathras, I insist that you do not turn a blind eye to the visible casteism in cases like these. The ones that became prominent with the rise of the saviour of Hindus, upper-caste men who want to dominate over the country’s population, making India a Hindu alternative to countries that are religiously affiliated.
Coming back to what I feel changed the whole narrative of critiquing the government to hating the country is the sudden decrease in tolerance among communities and the inversely proportional rise of ‘so-called nationalism’, a feeling that is as Indian as, let’s say, Lord Mountbatten.
Stepping aside from the obvious sarcasm, the feeling of nationalism has driven people in Europe’s contemporary history to unite against the imposition of foreign authoritarianism but in India, all it has led to, is lynching in the name of religious gate-keeping, communal violence and the obligation to love the government, irrespective of what it does, because the footlickers of the foot that steps on the burning corpses across the nation, with no dignity whatsoever, insist that being anti-government is equal to being anti-’national’.
Now excuse me, a forthcoming voter of this country, before I get slapped with a UAPA while the capitalism-driven ‘saviour of our country’ approves the central vista project and international media calls him a ‘narcissist leader’. Rest as John Maynard Keynes said, “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the wickedest of men will do the wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.”