23 Dec 2019 | 05:36am IST
Scheming fascists, clueless democrats
The 70 years of progress and prosperity of independent India seems to be fast vanishing amidst the rise in hate culture and a communally hostile governance. India appears to be walking backwards to the pre-partition period of 1947. Old wounds which were healing over time have suddenly festered again, and new wounds have also been inflicted on this country in the last five years. A fascist mindset is violently being shoved into the minds and hearts of citizens. Every social problem in this country is given a fanatical and polarised twist. Any response from the ruling benches in parliamentary debates have nothing more than an offensive tenor of arrogance and disdain; almost street like flavour. It’s almost like embarrassing the opponents at any cost is about good governance. The morality and ethics in the ‘means towards the end’ no longer matters. Such a climate of primitive thinking and behaviour of a so-claimed democratic polity makes it hard to believe that we are living in the twenty-first century.
But, the current political crisis is not just the result of dirty and corrupt politics. It is a direct and logical consequence of a reckless and compromised civil society over the last few decades. Any deviancy or delinquency needs a conducive and enabling environment to progress, and this is what civil society has provided through either its political apathy or, its recklessness. Rationality, humanity and civility seem to be fast disappearing in new India. Was it not the university students across the nation, the so claimed 50% voters, who played a major role in installing this fascist regime under the pretext of bringing change? Are the minority communities, which now play discriminated and persecuted, not guilty of having supported the ‘Congress Mukth Bharat’ campaign of the Hindutva fundamentalist forces? The fanatic public responses, from fundamentalists and liberals alike, whether it be the Hyderabad rape incident or the celebrations over the alleged staged encounter or custodial killing of suspected rapists by the Hyderabad cops, are definitely not signs of a civilised society. And like the shameless politicians, now the civil society too is hypocritically feigning innocence over its complicity. This current political curse was invited, and is no accident, when the thumb rule of ‘prevention is better than cure’ got ignored after 2012 by an egoistic and rash ‘Young India’.
It may be trendy to swear at the religious fundamentalists, but we need to be shameful enough to realise how these divisive forces have succeeded in ‘running with the hare and hunting with the hound’. These forces continue to infiltrate even in the anti-CAA protests. How the Hindutva conspiracy got disguised a fight against ‘corruption’ and ultimately capture power to promote the ‘Hindutva’ agenda is a classic example. The travesty is that the ‘aam admi’ who was blind from an obsession with chasing black money parked in foreign countries is now defending himself against being black listed and declared a foreigner in his own land. The people have willfully welcomed a monster in their living room and it is not going to be an easy fight in driving it out. There is no Mahatma Gandhi or Jayprakash Narayan to lead the people. The people need to realise that they are no more dealing with a dictator like Indira Gandhi as in the emergency, but are pitted against a fascist organisation, which since 1925 has been eating into the secular fabric of Indian society like termites.
Let us have the courage as responsible citizens to recognise and own responsibility for the political omissions and commissions, rather than behave like cowards and look for scapegoats to dump the blame and punish for our sins. The problem is not Rahul Gandhi or the Congress. The social and political crisis into which this nation has been plunged is nothing short of the collective and creative idiocy of a liberal ego and consumer mindset, which gets exploited to their advantage by the crafty religious fundamentalist forces. Repeating the historical political blunders of the past and believing them to be creative innovative risks to the present problems is by no means any road to ‘Change’. Similarly, conservatism can by no means be an alternative to liberalism or socialism in a capitalist driven economy.
With the weird Ayodhya dispute settlement, the BJP getting the required numbers in Rajya Sabha, and the ease with which the controversial CAA got passed in Parliament, it almost seemed that the judiciary and the political opposition to BJP has collapsed in this country. But on seeing thousands of students leading the on-going movement to save democracy, there is now a spark of renewed hope. It is heartening to see the students across the country rising to defend the secular fabric of this nation. Unfortunately, it is only in Goa that we hardly see any youth uprising, but the same old and compromised forces milking this issue for their selfish agendas. Even the Assam Society of Goa, though few in numbers, have managed to stage a far superior and vibrant protest in the city. Whether the uprising by young people across the nation will continue or peter out in the days to come is to be seen. It is clear that even Hindus are fed up with this communal sport and diversionary tactics from price rise and unemployment being employed by this government. But it should be expected that the religious fundamentalist mindset in government will not easily surrender to public protests, and will continue to be stubborn and avoid a democratic approach towards resolving conflict. This political winter may see a lot of loss and pain arising from a determined and brave attempt by young people to restore democracy in India, a tragedy which could have been averted in 2014 itself by frustrating the designs of the divisive forces.