Amid the Gloom, Fear And Darkness Across India, A Ray of Light Emerges



Indian demonstrators hold placards as they take part in a rally in New Delhi on July 18, 2017, in protest over a spate of assaults against Muslims and low-caste Dalits by Hindu vigilantes in India. © 2017 Sajjad Hussain/Getty Images

Why is there so much hostility towards the Muslims? Which jobs have the Muslims stolen from Hindus? Which college seats have been occupied by them? Where are the Muslim billionaires? Where are the Muslim doctors and scientists and engineers? You can count them on your fingertips, and wonder how, and to whom, they could possibly pose a threat.

Archana Dalmia

Job creation is at an eight-year low. Instead of focusing on the removal of poverty, creation of jobs and world-class education system, we see instead a rise in the forces of hate and division. Rahul Gandhi

The BJP was quick to retaliate and deny and denigrate this hard-hitting statement by Congress president Rahul Gandhi as he addressed the Indian diaspora in Bahrain.

And he was absolutely right in saying so. The atmosphere in the country is interesting, to say the least.

People, especially the informed folk, are afraid to speak their minds. They may do so in closed circles, where they know they can trust the company they are speaking with. Else, everyone is afraid.

The backlash unleashed by the bhakt brigade, the followers of the current government and ruling party, is frightening; making sure that many sane voices stay under wraps.

Can you imagine how bad it is when people are arrested for wearing a certain kind of T-shirt, with the question: “Who killed Judge Loya?”

Journalists are arrested for exposing reality and for doing their jobs, for example showing chinks in the humongous and possibly dangerous databank of the Aadhaar authority.

Facebook pages lampooning the Hindutva wave are shut down because the creator is worried sick — they have threatened his family with death and more. And then we hear Union minister Piyush Goyal announce how Facebook was made after divine and spiritual intervention, by none other than the famed Neem Karoli Baba!

Not just this, in classrooms, young lads shoulder their way to the centre of the class asking why they should compromise and why they can’t say all boys names Abdul, or Ahmad or suchlike are terrorists? Thankfully, in this instance, the teacher set them right and gave them a few hard facts about the so-called “compromises” the majority of the population has had to make because of Muslims.

The teacher told me that in a class of 50, only one student was a Muslim lad. A boy who stood up and stated earnestly that he was glad to be born in a democracy and one with a Constitution like ours. He also stood with the rest of the class and folded his hands to the Gayatri Mantra as it blared into the class after each break. I had a lump in my throat as I listened to this story. The teacher sent the entitled lot of Hindu protesters back to their seats and gave them an essay to write. A thousand-word piece on why the fathers of our Constitution made sure that one of the country’s mainstays is its irrevocably secular nature.

But teachers like this one I mentioned are only a few. The harsh truth is that a sense of resentment has grown in households across the land. If it pre-existed, it has found voice under the tutelage of the people who now run the country. If you say a thing long enough, and loud enough, it almost becomes the truth.

They have been telling the general populace that the Hindus have been wronged by Muslims, and that this has been going on for centuries. And now, they have to set things right!

The point of interest is this. Which jobs have the Muslims stolen from Hindus? Which college seats have been occupied by them? Where are the Muslim billionaires? Where are the Muslim doctors and scientists and engineers?

You can count them on your fingertips, and wonder how, and to whom, they could possibly pose a threat.

I marvelled at a very fine primary school teacher, who complained about a Muslim lady complaining that no school board had been decorated for Id. “Our Hindus never do such a thing. I had to lead the woman to the corner where the board was hung. It had the crescent moon and the other symbols of Id on it. Why are they so rabid?”

“Hindus never have to complain about their religions not being celebrated. I bet your school was fully decorated on Diwali and also Holi and Gurupurab. She nodded her head, light dawning in her eyes. I think she understood.

“Muslims are far more united than the Hindus are. Have you seen how all live together and stick together?” Of course, they do! Has anyone noticed the overwhelming majority of the Hindus in the country? Has everyone forgotten how they are being lynched and burnt and bludgeoned to death simply because they ferried cows or because a mob imagined them eating beef.”

Hatred is not only on the rise, it’s flames are being fanned by the stunning, stony silence from the top echelons of power.

They won’t speak. It suits them to have the entire youth of the nation turn into brown shirts, railing against an imagined enemy. They are nurturing the animal in them, turning them away from all sense of civility and humaneness.

Naturally. Otherwise, this very sea of Indians will rail against the government, asking about the non-existent Rs15 lakhs in everyone’s bank accounts, about jobs which never happened, about black money which disappeared, about expensive jaunts abroad, about the teatime visits to Pakistan.

This won’t stop unless a quiet, compassionate and truly well-meaning voice cuts across this darkness like a single ray of light. I think the time has come to welcome a new day. I believe that Parliament in 2019 will be a rearranged one. And Congress president Rahul Gandhi is leading from the front.

c. The Asian Age


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here