SIGNS OF THE TIMES
I HAVE been focusing on the fact that coronavirus is just one aspect to our dismal existence. Today many more unsettling realities are intruding into our lives, making our everyday survival extremely, extremely difficult. Now comes up another hitting reality. We are under watch. We are no longer azaad. Nah, we are not. As there exist intrusions by the various sarkari characters and the machinery under their direct control. Everything, big and small, in our lives could be no longer private or personal, as spies and spying gadgets are making way into our very basic privacy.
Can one survive in this suffocating atmosphere when treacherous characters are spreading out their fangs, making the citizens of this country into slaves! Yes, we are no longer free citizens! Spying gadgets and false charges and well-crafted allegations are enough to silence any rebellious cry. Unsettling and choking and suffocating.
What one is witnessing today is a series of murders taking place right in front of our eyes. Mass murders, with the soul and the spirit crushed so very systematically. And in this throttling- suffocating-depressing atmosphere the dark realities are getting covered and camouflaged by the typical sarkari propaganda along the strain that all’s going okay! Really! No, not really!
ONE OF THE UNFORTUNATE ASPECTS…
Perhaps, one of the saddest aspects is that though a large number of our fellow citizens do realize that political treachery is on and ongoing, to ruin the very basic structures, yet they are too petrified and apprehensive to speak out. They or their children could be picked up and thrown into those hell-holes, framed along the set pattern prevailing in today’s setup.
Another connected aspect is that though many are well aware of the right-wing brigades’ intrusions into our daily existence, the scare holds out to veto their dictates. I was surprised to know that many young students have read books on the RSS ideology and with that realize what lies ahead, yet they are too petrified to question or query.
They even quoted from several books on the RSS ideology — Shamsul Islam’s ‘Know The RSS: Based on Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Documents’ (Pharos Media ), Khushwant Singh’s ‘The End of India’ (Penguin ), Jyortimaya Sharma’s ‘Terrifying Vision – M.S. Golwalkar, The RSS and India ‘(Penguin), AG Noorani’s ‘The RSS – A Menace To India’ (Left Word), series of books on the RSS and the right-wing, by Professor Ram Puniyani. Not to overlook the well-researched books authored by the former I.G. Police, Maharashtra, S.M. Mushrif.
These books are significant as they relay much. To quote from academic Jyotirmaya Sharma’s ‘Terrifying Vision – M.S. Golwalkar, The RSS and India’ (Penguin) — “The Ram Janambhoomi movement, the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the Gujarat riots of 2002 are just a few examples of the impact Golwalkar’s legacy has had on the move towards a certain brand of radical Hindu nationalism …In Golwalkar’s mental universe, there are two permanent enemies, the Muslims and politics. These two are the greatest impediments in the way of the Hindu Rashtra regaining its power and glory.”
Also, these particular lines of Golwalkar tucked in this book — “Within the country there are so many Muslim pockets, i.e., so many ‘miniature Pakistanis’ …such ‘pockets’ have verily become centres of a widespread network of pro-Pakistani elements in this land …The conclusion is that, in practically every place there are Muslims who are in constant touch with Pakistan over the transmitter …Right from Delhi to Rampur to Lucknow, the Muslims are busy hatching a dangerous plot, piling up arms and mobilizing their men and probably biding their time to strike from within when Pakistan decides upon an armed conflict with our country.”
And to quote from A.G. Noorani’s book, ‘The RSS – A Menace To India’ (Left Word), “India is battling for its very soul …The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is the most powerful organization in India today; complete with a private army of its own, unquestionably obeying its leader who functions on fascist lines on the Fuehrer principle…The RSS is at war with India’s past. It belittles three of the greatest builders of the Indian State — Ashoka, the Buddhist; Akbar, the Muslim; and Nehru, a civilized Enlightened Hindu. It would wipe out centuries of achievement for which the world has acclaimed India and replace that with its own narrow, divisive ideology.”
Noorani details in his book, “The intensification of Hindutva has acted, as intended by its followers, to divert attention from the fact that almost half the population of India is at or below poverty line and is denied even the most basic rights and amenities. Instead of working towards providing these rights and amenities to the Tribal and the Dalits, the focus has been shifted to the irrelevant question of the right to convert. The hype surrounding the issue of which Indians are indigenous and which are foreign, basing this identity on the false premise of whether they follow a religion which indigenous to the subcontinent or is West Asian in origin, has led to the most inhuman and unethical behaviour on the part of groups claiming to defend Hinduism and is directed towards those labelled as Muslims and Christians.”
LEAVING YOU TO PONDER, ON THESE LINES OF SAHIR LUDHIANVI
These lines of Sahir Ludhianvi from his poem ‘Khoon phir khoon hai’ (Blood, however, is blood):
Tyranny is but tyranny; when it grows it is vanquished
Blood however is blood; if it spills it will congeal
It will congeal on the desert sands, on the murderer’s hand
On the brow of justice and on chained feet
On the unjust sword, on the sacrificial body
Blood is blood; if it spills it will take root
Let them hide all they want, skulk in their lairs
The track of spilled blood will point out the executioners’ abode
Let conspiracies shroud the truth with darkness
Each drop of blood will march out, holding aloft a lamp
Say this to tyranny’s worthless and dishonoured Destiny
Say this to Coercion’s manipulative intent
Say this to Laila, the darling of the assembly
Blood is wild, it will splatter and stain your garment
It is a rapid flame that will scorch your harvests
That blood which you wished to bury in the killing fields
has risen today in the streets and courts
Somewhere as a flame, somewhere as a slogan. Somewhere else as a flung stone
When blood flows bayonets cannot contain it
When it raises its defiant head, laws will not restrain it
Tyranny has no caste, no community, no status or dignity
Tyranny is simply tyranny, from its beginning to its end
Blood is however blood; it becomes a hundred things:
Shapes that cannot be obliterated
Flames that can never be extinguished
Chants that will not be suppressed.
Humra Quraishi is a Delhi-based writer-columnist-journalist. She is also the author of several books including Kashmir: The Untold Story. The views expressed here are personal.