rarefied air


Friday, February 13, 2009

Indian Democracy

Why should we strive towards democracy.

Democracy might have been the umbilical cord for the people of multiple diversities in the newly freed Indian nation of the 1950s and thereafter, which the Congress party capitalized on successfully, but in the recent past, it has somewhat been diluted. A., because we realize that the country is not as democratic as we would have liked it to be. And B, more importantly, because we know that there is still rampant discrimination and vulgar in-fighting in the name of caste, creed, class, gender, geography, etcetera in our cities, villages, hills and rivers. But this is what you all know. And many of you like me, would condemn democracy and embrace anarchy at the drop of a hat. Perhaps it is the age, perhaps the nature of beings that anarchy seems so appealing to one and all. But today, while reading
I blinked, and when I opened my eyes, I felt that for the sake of the nation, we should embrace democracy and strive to keep it going. Why? Solely for the reason, that I am afraid unless we do that, the country might end up being the mirror image of Pakistan, which has become an Islamist nation, so easily, so quickly. Some of you might say it has not become, it always was, but that is not the question. The question is, to ask of ourselves, whether in criticizing democracy, we are allowing the non-democratic forces to do their bidding. It is very important to be a watch dog of society and bring it back onto the right track from time to time, when it goes astray. But to say that because democracy is not what was promised to us, lets embrace anarchy? Or something else? That, in my opinion, would be a mistake. And you do not have to be a patriot to do that you know, is what I have gladly realized. You liking this post now?
When I say India could become the diametric opposite of Pakistan, obviously, I mean, it might become a Hindu nation. And we all know that Hindu the religion and Hindutva the force are two different things, right? The thought itself is so scary. The thought of India as a country whose people worship only the ramas and krishnas is very scary. The thought of India as a country where everybody is religious, is even more scary to the likes of me. Anyways, lets not digress. The country has been, time and again, thrashed with a stick by the hindutva forces to take up their cause, which, for people who can see, is political majority in the name of religion. Every few years, the hindutva forces surface in the open and break masjids, kill innocents, burn houses and shout slogans to establish their supremacy. Somehow, till now, thanks to the other opposing forces, of the minorities, and not just the muslims, but the sikhs, parsis, Christians, dalits, kashmiris, adivasis etcetera the force has not been able to succeed. The forces this time around, did not spare even the women of their own religion, accusing them of blaspheming the culture by adopting a western culture. Now what is culture? What is your culture? What is my culture? Surely it is not the same, it cannot be the same. It should not be the same. Then how can these forces tell us what our culture should be? Here, more important than the question of moral policing or gender subjugation, for me, has arisen the question of the force gaining power. The other questions are equally, if not more important, especially the question of treatment of women, upper class notwithstanding. But let us once, focus on the question of the idea behind this force, that is so arrogant to think it can get away with anything, that it confidently roughs up the women of this society. I liken this force with the Taliban in Pakistan that sent 16 suicide bombers into Kabul to shoot and kill. As simple as that. Shoot and kill. In Bombay, shoot and kill. Throw a few bombs around. In Gujarat, slit open pregnant bellies. In Khairlanji, push sticks up their private parts. Let me stop, or else it won’t take long for this text to become another Lajja. If we do not take steps to reign in this force running amok, the day isn’t far, when this will attain the arrogance and gargantuan proportions of the extremist forces of Pakistan. If this sounds like a dooms day bugle, so be it. We need it. We need to curb this force, in order to retain our freedom. In order to give us the dignity of thinking and doing what we want to, in order to live. Now what can be done? How can this force be controlled? First and foremost, control it in your heads. I am not speaking to those of you who ‘know’ and ‘choose’ what you do but to those, who would rather walk through life blindly, remaining ‘a-political’. And then tell others. One awakened soul according to me, is equal to one million, because that is the number of souls it can touch. And for heavens’ sake, don’t say that you are apolitical. Because it doesn’t mean anything. The English dictionary has been found to be insufficient on many occasions, but the worst folly it has committed is in the creation of the word, apolitical. Because nothing, not even a stone can be apolitical. It is not necessary that ‘every force should have an equal and opposite reaction,’ yes, I know a famous man once said what has been accepted as the universal truth. But trust me, unless you begin from there, you will not be able to move forward. Because that’s the only way you should be going.