India at Crossroads

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batori.inAs our country reeling under the heat of election mania for 16th general Lok Sabha election apart from the reverberation of Modi-Modi, the common buzzword of every election in our country is ”Muslims’’.

This time the whole debate has got concentrated around Mr Narendra Modi and Muslims. The secular parties presented Mr Modi as a bogeyman to Muslims and RSS in collaboration with large chunk of media as pro development and pro Hindu nationalist purush.

The question is that why a community who is so backward economically, politically and educationally, constituting around 14 %( approx180 million), is focal point only during elections? It is election season, and we have the explosion of caste analysis in the media. Everything is about caste permutation and combination, caste vote banks, etc.

Muslims are affecting around outcomes of 106 seats where they are more than 20%, and surprisingly they are the only communities who don’t have reliable candidates or parties of their own, thus their tilts are deciding factor and those who can’t win over them, devising mechanism to polarise the society along the religious ground. Again question is who has got benefitted from this polarisation, how anyone can equate unequal’s? Hindus are around 82% and Muslims are just 14%   and surprisingly latter are most backward, therefore it is only the invention of politicians and fundamentalists who have chronic Islamphobia and Historical grudge.

In most of the democratic countries of the worlds quintessentially America and the UK ,elections are fought on the basis of development, employment, GDP growth unlike India where even after 64th year of republic and 67th year of independence, candidates are never elected for their development indicators but on the sole basis of his caste and religion. We have not grown as a mature democracy in real sense (by the people, for the people and of the people). Our electorates have failed to put a collective effort to show the exit route to such candidates rather welcomed them because they belonged to their caste, this shows our mind, education and maturity level. How a country does not rises above its parochial and short sightedness when it comes to exercising their largest democratic rights. Ordinarily we associate with democratic process only through ballot otherwise we are neglected from the system and largely at the mercy of our representatives.

As a nation we all are sufferer and fed up with political system equally irrespective of caste and religion but this malaise is nourished by our self. We are collectively responsible for our misery, everyone needs employment, social security, good health, education, peace and inclusive development of society but we have send such incompetent representatives who even don’t have manner to sit and speaks in Apex Panchayat.

According to association for democratic reforms (ADR) 162 MPs have criminal charges out of which 76 have charges like rape, murder, kidnapping, extortion.   How a nation can afford such large number where most of the law passed by present and voting

The new concept of nationalism.

Is idea of nation is different from constitution that we have as a guiding light and even when it has been settled that basic structure of the constitution can’t be amended and secularism is that  very concept.

This fate of the secular script is currently in the limelight. What has complicated the project of secularism in India is that state may be neutral towards religion, but this does not mean that state actors, govt machinery and individuals in society are neutral towards religion. As more and more members of the bureaucracy are tacitly becoming Hindutva supporters and some court judgments over the last two decades have emphasised religious morality or interpreted Hinduism in particular ways. Increasingly, the urban middle class in tier-one and two cities, business class and a growing number of women also supporting Hindutva

Theoretically, there is nothing obviously wrong about supporting any political ideology. If the left can exist and be supported by many people, so can the right. However, Hindutva is not merely the statement of a political ideology. It is also a process wherein there is an attempt to make Hinduism and Indian nationhood almost tantamount. This is something that the Constitution framers were dead against, notwithstanding a massive debate in the Constituent Assembly where elected representatives from the right actively argued in favour of a Hindu nation, but were denied by Nehru and the congress.

The nationalism and patriotism has acquired a different dimension. Giriraj Singh BJP candidate from Nawada, Bihar, said in an election meeting in Jharkhand on 19th April that those opposing Mr. Modi will have to go to Pakistan after elections”.

It seems that nationalism now has become synonymous with a single person as he has become the symbol and epitome of nationalism and rest of the population are lesser nationalist, now we are heading towards a dangerous trends by exhibiting sheepish and dumb driven cattle mentality.

Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar used to say that the biggest threat to Indian democracy will be cult status of a person, where he will not judge by his act but by mass support he garnered.

CONCLUSION

The framers of our Constitution were well aware of the need for politics that could transform a society rooted in caste and religious tradition. The nationalist struggle was not only a struggle to overthrow the British Raj, but was a moment of manoeuvre to rework on Indian society.

The national flag has Ashoka’s Wheel of Law — a symbol taken from a Buddhist era — which was to function as a reminder for every citizen and the state to commit to dharma. Ashoka’s dharma was a secular one, based on a collective morality that hinged on undoing the worst practices of Indian society. Post-1947, the commitment to secularism in India did not only mean a commitment to freedom of religion, but also a commitment to do away with religious practices considered being at odds with liberalism.

“So vote for India and for its syncretic and inclusive development”

-MOHD HANZALLAH

(The writer is a final year law student at Aligarh Muslim University and the views exprsessed are his own. He may be contacted at: mohdhanzallah0777@gmail.com)

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