From Democracy to Mobocracy and Secularism to Hindutva
India’s democracy, social setup and secularism is in grave danger. And this danger has become more visible now. The pace with which Indian society is indoctrinated with the hatred of muslims, dalits and other marginal communities is increasing with each passing day. Killing of dalits and muslims on smaller pretexts is going on with no stop to these heinous crimes. Crimes are being committed in broad day light. With the “controversy” of bollywood movie “Padmavat”, which earlier was named “Padmavati”, but thanks the Karni Sena’s threats, name was changed. But after the name-change of the movie and too many cuts, the socalled “Karni Sena” held to its threat that no public screening of movie takes place and this after Supreme Court lifting the ban on movie’s screening.
Democracy in India has turned into mobocracy. This started from the trial of a Kashmiri prisoner parliament convict Afzal Guru, eventually hanged to death to “satisfy the collective conscience” of the nation (read masses/mobs). The Indian justice system has continuously budged before the masses or some fringe organizations in various matters and this has posed a grave threat to the Indian judicial system. Recent revelations of the Supreme Court judges has also exposed the murky affairs of the Indian justice system.
Earlier the target were only the muslims and dalits but now the fire of hatred and bigotry has engulfed everything. With the attack on School Bus in Gurugram, Haryana and frightening scenes of children inside the bus, caught on the camera, India’s soft approach towards the fringe groups like Karni Sena, Shiv Sena, RSS etc. has got exposed on world stage and this has caused much embarrassment to Indian establishment. Karni Sena set the buses, cinema halls and other government buildings on fire and this arson and plundering has spread to most of the North and West India. Police has been deployed everywhere but to no avail. Karni Sena, with the patronage of ruling regime has set the entire North and West India on fire.
For this whole episode, a fictitious piece of poetry, a poem written by the poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi, is the sole reason, where history has taken the back seat much like the case of Babri Masjid/Ayodhya Issue, in which some fictitious tale was believed to be true rather than a well documented history. Infact in Babri Masjid case, leading historians’ assertions were ignored thus paving the way for masses and mobs to dictate terms to the judiciary and to the state. These incidents have put a question mark on Indian polity, judiciary and exposed the Indian society at the international stage.
India which recently was claiming to be the “largest democracy” (with so much human rights violations to its credit in Kashmir and North Eastern States) of the world has been held hostage by the fringe groups. These groups are dictating terms to political class, judiciary and to other state missionary and this is the alarming sign for the India on social and political level.
Indian social system is in total crisis. On every minor issue, mobs are dictating terms to the state and now least caring for judiciary as well. State is looking helpless or playing to the vote-bank lobby and surrendering before the mob. These are alarming signs for India as a secular nation. It is undeclared emergency like situation in India.
The problem with the present regime is that it has added fuel to the already fragile society of India, infact used this fuel and communal card in elections too. With fighting corruption and developmental and employment promises taking a back seat and government totally failing on these fronts, it is spreading venom and hatred in society and now it has become uncontrollable. It also seems the present regime is also giving a soft hand to fringe groups and using it as an election card by giving the “Padmavat Controversy” Hindu Vs Muslim colour and showing a muslim king as brute and barbarian, prying upon the hindu women, and deliberately ignoring his bright side. Muslims also have every reason to protest against this distortion of history, but as always muslims of India have never chosen the violent path, inspite of the fact that right from 1947, on various instances, their religious and other sentiments have been hurt by Indian state and judiciary.
The rising interference of army in civil and other administrative affairs is also worrying sign for Indian polity. Army is calling shots on some important civilian administration issues, particularly related with Jammu and Kashmir. From Syllabus to Two Maps statements, this has exposed the rising role of army in Indian polity. And it also shows how Indian civil administration system has weakened over the years.
But there is also a section of people in Hindu majority India, who do not subscribe to this ideology of hate and bigotry. It is this class of Hindus, who have to rise to the occasion and protest openly against this hatred fomented by the political classes of India for their vote banks. The fire of hatred and bigotry has reached the doors of this moderate section also. Their time to act against this hatred and bigotry has come, otherwise this fire will engulf this section also and that will be the last nail in the coffin of the already weakened democratic and social setup of India.
Author is alumni of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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