Do you remember those slogans of India Shining and India becoming a superpower in 2020? Here is one of the articles that talks about BJP’s ad campaign wherein they spent 150 crores in a span of 4 months in 2004. One hundred twenty crores is a lot of money even now, imagine it was the ad budget that BJP had in 2004. Even Coke spent less than 100 crores then. The article goes on illustrates the reasons why BJP failed despite the campaign being a massive hit. Come 2020, and I wonder if we are Shining or Rising or Flourishing. Sadly none of that is happening.
In reality, it is the stark opposite of that — the economy is floundering, unemployment is increasing, all macro indicators are showing a steep decline. And the worst thing that any Government can do is to deflect from these issues and focus on non-issues such as the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens.
Over 25 days since 11 Dec’19 when the bill was passed in both houses that there have been several hundred protests across all parts of the nation. Enough frustration and anger have been displayed in all forms. Right from IITs, IIMs, other local schools and colleges, students and citizens have come out in large numbers. These numbers are big enough to be ignored. And BJP knows this, so they are using all of their muscle power to shun these protests. Students have been at the forefront of these protests, and they are at the forefront of bearing the brunt of the violence.
First, it was Jamia Milia Islamia then AMU and now JNU.
‘Aap ab Bhi Chronology Samjhe ke Nahi? Chalo Mein Samjahu’
(Translating from Hindi, Do you understand the chronology or shall I explain it further?)
First, it was Article 370, then Ayodhya Judgement, and now CAA and NRC
First demonetisation, then GST implementation, then corporate tax cuts and now the economy is in shambles
First, it was executive, then Media, judiciary and now the Constitution
First, it was Kashmir, then Assam and now UP.
First, it was against Congress & Nehru, then Leftist ideologies and now everyone who is remotely dissenting authoritarianism
First, it was electoral bonds, then massive donations from crony capitalists, then a legalised scam of unprecedented size
First, Modi-Shah duo, then Yogi Adityanath and now Pragya Thakur
Is this the rock bottom of Indian politics?
Every time you think this is rock bottom, be ready to uncover what lies beneath that rock bottom, you’ll be thoroughly surprised.
And the recent attack on students at JNU campus by masked goons escorted by Police is that place beneath the rock bottom that we have reached. These goons were none other than state actors who instigated violence at the direction of the high command.
Needless to say who the high command is. Seeing those numerous videos of violence, a mob of around 70–80 rushing inside the campus with iron rods in their hand, the bloodied face of the JNU president and the professor is all too gut-wrenching.
Where is the Opposition? What role has it played?
There are multiple stories making rounds about Left vs Right-wing politics, fake news being peddled at every turn possible, using Congress as a scapegoat (as always) in instigating violence and the story of it being a revenge attack. Tired. Tired of hearing the same old narrative being spun each time violence occurs on any university campus. To everyone from people in Media to Right-wing friends blaming Congress for this attack — sorry the opposition has been dead since 23rd May 2019 — the day when they were massively defeated and Rahul Gandhi had resigned from his post as party president.
When I first saw the news, I was fuming with rage, then I was filled with sadness, and eventually, I was hopeless and in despair.
The more I know of politics, the less it is I want to know.
There are a million questions we all have
Why the police were escorting the goons, Why the street lights went off just at the same time, Why are there no arrests being made when there is clear evidence on the perpetrators, Why is an FIR filed against the victim instead, and the list just goes on. But what we need aren’t answers to these questions — the answers are apparent and clear to anyone who wants to see it. Thankfully young India can see this and the kind of politics they play and they have spoken up. They have spoken in every possible manner.
However, now the bigger question is how do we make this voice even stronger, more prominent and less bloody?
Yes, there are already more than 45 martyrs in this fight against the tyrants and we don’t want another drop of blood. And it’s not just the BJP, RSS and ABVP alone, they have millions of Bhakts who idolise them no matter what, how do we influence them? When we fought against the British we were divided then as well but we kept at it from the 1857 Revolution till we got independence in 1947 — a long and tiring freedom struggle but also the most satisfying in our recent history.
And about the BJP supporters what I have come to realise is that they aren’t a group of misled and misinformed people, they have made their choice. They understood the chronology much before you did and they support this kind of politics. Don’t be buffooned in explaining them the ABC of politics — they know it all too well and have made it clear which side they are on. You can awaken someone who is asleep but how do you awaken someone who is only pretending to sleep and all of these followers are right now in that pretence sleep. They can justify their hideous communal agenda, celebrate their hatred for Muslims, glorify their fake nationalism but they don’t have one thing that we do — HOPE.
Aieshe (JNUSU President) the girl who got 15–16 stitches on her head, was talking to media the next day after the attack, just salute her courage. They are fearless. Most students in other universities came out in support of JNU, as someone rightly put it on Twitter shows immensely about ‘their characteristic unwillingness to bow to authoritarianism’. Hundreds of Mumbaikars came out on the streets of Mumbai in solidarity with the JNU students — all this only tells us that we shall fight for democracy and fight for our rights. They have everything by their side — the media, the celebrities(thankfully not all), the business tycoons, the power of money, the police, the army, a mass followership who believe every lie they are told, but we have one thing (except of course Hope) the FORCE — force of millions that the Government cannot ignore
So I am putting my sadness and despair on hold for now and turn that rage into activism. We need that currently. We need every little help we can get.
I am sharing with you all the ways in which we can stand united in this fight.
- Participate in the protests directly if you can attend one, just like every vote counts, every person matters. If you can’t physically attend a protest, voice your opinion on Twitter or Facebook or Whatsapp— yes, use social media wisely to defeat them at their own game.
- If you have long been apolitical by choice or by chance, now is the time you cannot afford to. Ignorance isn’t bliss. Ignorance will lead to the death of democracy.
- Donate to all those who are right now making a difference in India politics and have almost created strong digital journalism in the absence of TV & print media. They either have their Patreon account or their own payment links. Donate to at least one paid media outlet.
- Follow them on all your social media platforms, comment, like, share subscribe to make your voice count.
- Start with one person in your family. I started with my apolitical Mummy and I was happy to convince her a little
- Start your own Change petition — it’s very simple. If you don’t believe you ll get enough signatories, participate in others change petitions
Listing the names for your reference
YouTubers — Dhruv Rathee, OfficialPeeinghuman, TheDeshbhakt, Soch, Newslaundry
Comedians — Akash Banerjee, Kunal Kamra, Varun Grover, Sanjay Rajoura, Vir Das
Digital media — The Wire, The Quint, AltNews, The Print
Social activists — Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav, Saket Gokhale
Disclaimer — I am not paid by any of them to quote their names. I have followed them long enough to trust their content. And this is just a suggestion, you can either use it or trash it, entirely up to you.