Friday, 16 May 2014

Telling It Like It Is

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Bharat Mata by Abanindranath Tagore

Some things are easier to write. What I am feeling today for my country is however not easy to describe. So while I thought this would be an easy post to write, it turns out it isn't.

I am happy that the vast majority of Indians have chosen for a stable government; a mish-mash of too many sideline players forging a coalition government might have been a disaster at this point in India's journey. We need a strong, firm, stable government that can deliver good governance and a strong sense of hope for the future. We need a leader who could stand up against the harshest tests of time. And nobody can deny that if there has been one person in India who has withstood the harshest and severest and sleaziest of scrutiny and investigations it is the person who will be India's next Prime Minister. The sheer strength of character it takes to rise against all that calumny and hate-attack speaks something about the person.

What he is able to deliver, only time will tell. But I want to fervently hope that a new future is now shining upon the country. And I, for one, would hope that Indian polity is ready to give this person and what he believes he can accomplish, a fair chance. He has said in many interviews that it is not a time for divisiveness and fragmentation but for unity and healing, not a time for revenge but for sincere work. I hope and pray that he lives up to his words. For my Mother India I hope that he does.

I am not the kind of person to get easily impressed by anyone, and certainly not by a politician of all the people. I had my own biases and doubts about him, my own prejudices maybe. But in the last several years I have also read and understood much about how the so-called intelligentsia-media nexus works in our country, how the agendas of some intellectuals and media houses are controlled by forces outside India. I have read diversity of views and made my own conclusions.

I have come to an understanding of how words like secularism, communalism, liberalism, fascism, anti-this, pro-that, etc have become useless and empty rhetoric and nothing more than that, at least in the context of Indian democratic process. I have learned that so much of rot and filth stays nicely concealed under these high-sounding jargon. I have learned how people in professions like journalism and academia can be easily bought and sold. I have learned that the same people begin to sing different tunes in public when the power shifts.

I have learned that as long as the media and media-walas are driven by money and ratings they will never give the complete and objective picture. I have learned that money talks loudly in Indian intellectual circles too. I have learned how universities' agendas are determined by politics and money power, not by a true quest for knowledge and truth.

I have learned that unless I learn deeply about the Indian spirit, what makes India unique and different, I will never be able to understand Indian politics or anything else Indian for that matter. I have learned that only a person who truly loves this country can effectively lead this country. This person can belong to any party, doesn't matter. As long as the person is in touch with the spirit of this country, he or she will be able to give hope to the billions of Indians. But if this person is driven by a narrow agenda, a selfish motive, a desire for absolute power, a chauvinistic attitude toward one community and a disregard for the great diversity that makes India India, there is no hope.

I have learned that unless we Indians – no matter which religion we belong to – learn about what is true secularism, and how is it deeply embedded in the Indian spirit itself, we may have no hope to permanently rise above the narrow, fear-based, vote-bank politics that has been going on in this country since Independence. I have learned that unless we learn that what India needs is not an imported understanding of the term secularism but one that is rooted in the Indian spirit of sarva dharma sambhava or sarva pantha sambhava, we will be stuck in the totally irrelevant secularism vs communalism debate going on for decades, something that has only created more divisions than ever before. Same goes for concepts like feminism, liberalism, socialism, etc. But for now I am not going into all that.

For now I am hoping and praying that the new change that has been ushered into the country, driven by the hopes of a billion plus people, almost one fifth of humanity, does turn out to be a positive change for India’s future march. For now I am hoping and praying that my fellow Indians continue to un-burden themselves of the several false notions that have been thrust upon them since independence – either through mass media or carefully orchestrated propaganda.

Some of these false notions to be abandoned are: a) ruler giveth and the ruled taketh; b) government is the mai-baap and the governed are helpless poor living on the doles thrown by the mai-baap; c) pro-this automatically means anti-that; d) pro-development automatically means anti-environment; e) pro-industry automatically means anti-agriculture; f) only a certain type of ‘educated elite’ can lead this country; g) an exception to f) would be those who have mastered the art of vote-bank politics in the name of religion or caste, because they don’t need to be English-medium elite types, given their mastery in other kind of politics their vernacular origin is an advantage; h) if you are not part of the chosen 'educated elite' as described in f) or if you don't belong in the exception as described in g) then you must be fanatic, communal, divisive, polarizing or something like that; i) only the 'elite' or so-called 'liberal' media knows what is right for the masses and vast masses of this diverse country are all hypnotized fanatics not knowing what is right for them; j) there are many more such false notions, but for now I have said enough.

For now I keep hearing in my mind the words I posted as Facebook status earlier in the day -
"...the future is mightier than the past and evolution proceeds relentlessly in its course trampling to pieces all that it no longer needs." (Sri Aurobindo)  

Vande Mataram!


This post is linked to Write Tribe Wednesday Prompt - Freewrite. The post does not use 10 filler words as per the given prompt. A freewrite is essentially a process of free-flow writing, that comes without much interference of external or consciously formulated thought.

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