Skip to main content

If people had strength then these guys won't be sitting on top of us...

By KP Sasi*
Sometimes, I would prefer to be bitterly frank. These days, I feel that people get what they deserve. You have a Prime Minister whose credentials in Babri Masjid demolition and Gujarat violence and many other issues are well established. You have a Home Minister whose credentials are also well established.
So, why are they there on top of us? There are only two answers for this question. The first one is that those who are aware do not speak out. It could be because of fear or it could be because of their selfish reasons.
We have around a couple of dozen crores of middle class population. They are still waiting to see what is there for them. Among this population, a small minority is also living with pretensions of radical and critical minds. What have they been doing so far?
Therefore, either we will have to come to a conclusion that "people do not have strength" or that "people would get what they deserve". If people had strength then these guys won't be sitting on top of us. And if the critical minds could perform united actions without fear, then also we would not have faced this situation.
I remember a similar situation which affected me deeply three or four decades back. The post-Emergency situation in India saw a large number of youth and students' groups extremely active in criticising Emergency. But during Emergency, most of them did not have the guts to do so.
Lifting of emergency was a liberation for many. For those who kept quiet in fear as well those who fought. So, between 1977 to 1980, I would call it as a period of renaissance in India. People came out with radical literature, paintings, films and many creative and political works. Those who keep mum today are waiting for a period of renaissance, so that they can express themselves without hurting themselves. The post-1980 period was not very healthy for many. The groups started splintering.
The political opposition called Janata Dal comprising of many diverse sections of different ideologies also fell apart. Many youngsters could not take the transformation from liberation to nothingness. Some became mad, some became religious, some committed suicide, some went to make money and some went in search of comfortable jobs where they could keep mum again.
While this process was happening, one of my friends who used to draw political poster with me in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) also was psychologically affected. Some people felt that he became mad. But he did one of the sanest things at that time. He put up poster in front of the JNU library which said: "You Middle Class Buffoons, Come Out Of Your Cocoons!"
It was the sanest thing to say at that time. After four decades, at this point of time, I am eager to meet this friend. I still remember the visual he drew on the poster. These are the situations where I feel that the notions of sanity and insanity should be placed upside down. We may survive as free citizens if we start doing that.
---
* Film director and cartoonist from Bengaluru

Comments

TRENDING

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.