Skip to main content

India-wide protests: People reject rulers' 'Brahmanical' divide and rule policy

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
Nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens (#CAA and #NRC) have reflected the mood of the nation. They categorically rejected the attempts to divide the country and create a Brahmanical theocratic state. Even when the rulers seek to pretend by bowing to the Constitution, we know what they have in mind: To polarise the nation and enjoy the fruits of 'division'.
If you listen to the tone of all the statements being made by Union home minister Amit Shah from the last general elections, it was an unambiguous message to his 'clients' that, 'rest assured', we will throw away the 'termites' from India. When NRC failed in Assam, he promised that to India.
Rather than speaking to people, he continued with his rant on anti-national, tukde tukde gang, urban Naxals, Maoists, and so on. Unfortunately, BJP's top leadership too follows the same line and does everything to declare as if the protests are the handiwork of those who are their opponents, and that a majority of Indians are happy with what has been proposed.
What started from the Jamia Millia Islamia has sparked the flame of hope all over the country. Attempts were made to 'teach' Jamia student a 'lesson'. The same predicament fell upon the Aligarh Muslim University (#AMU) students, who protested in support of their Jamia counterparts.
AMU and Jamia are two great institutions, but Hindutva forces always remain upset with them. Reasons are quite clear. Both these institutions have been built dynamic and secular leaders. These are the institutions of which Muslims are proud of. In fact, as secular Indians, we all should feel proud of their contribution to our public life.
To counter AMU, Madan Mohan Malaviya started the Banaras Hindu University (BHU). Look at the kind of 'environment' it has created: Absolutely Brahmanical, one that suits the interests of the current leadership. BHU is its role model.
It is therefore heartwarming that people from all walks of life, including university students, artists, lawyers and academics, have joined hands and stood up for the cause to protect and save our Constitution. The government has been caught by surprise as this has become a mass sataygraha all over the country. Protests took place, in some form or other, across India: Delhi, Lucknow, Patna, Chennai, Thiruvananthpuram, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mangalore, Ahmedabad.
The situation in Delhi was quite tough for obedient officials, as they not only imposed section 144 in many parts, but also shut down internet and SMS services till afternoon, an unprecedented step in recent years.
There have been reports of violence from Mangalore, Ahmedabad and Lucknow, which must be avoided at all costs. The democratic movement must condemn any attack on public property, as these are our resources, our properties, and ultimately hurt us.
Spontaneous movements without any high command sometimes provide spaces to all kinds of elements, who feel that hitting the public property is the 'success' story. Reports also came in from Sambhal district, where rioters burned down two buses of Uttar Pradesh Roadways, which is condemnable.
People and participants must keep a watch on such elements, and anyone trying to damage public property must be handed over to the police, as they defame the movement and provide an opportunity of high handedness to the police.
The activists at the Jantar Mantar gave roses to the police, and that was the spirit. Delhi police also offered snacks to many, and perhaps realised that this is India's moment of reckoning.
Most of the protests remained peaceful in all parts of the country, but the photograph of Bangaluru police physically removing historian Ramchandra Guha, while he was giving interview to NDTV, would become 'iconic' in a sense, as it is a reminder of how the powerful people of the world are afraid of ideas.
There are indications of government toning down and explaining things about CAA and NRC, but what the government must speak up categorically is, it has no plan for NRC. As for CAA, it will be challenged in the Supreme Court.

Ramchandra Guha
Nobody would be unhappy if the government, giving citizenship to the persecuted people in our neighbourhood, isn't divisive on that count. We must ensure that, legally, our commitment remains to the secular Constitution, which our forefathers wrote so laboriously. The biggest strength of the Indian Constitution is that it united the country and made us what we are today, a proud nation of rich multicultural heritage.
The protests have given a clarion message to political parties that India's youth is not ready to face any discriminatory law, and any attempt to create divisions among us will be protested. This is very heartwarming. Indeed, all is not lost.
Political parties must take the message and listen to the youth, provide them space and work towards building a progressive, modern India on secular socialist principles in accordance with our Constitution.
The new youth has spoken out, finally: That Indian leaders can't divide us on the basis of our religious identities. The message is clear: Respect the Constitution and work comprehensively with a clear focus on economy, employment and education, and throw the divisive agenda in the greater interests of the nation.
---
*Human rights defender. Source: Author's Facebook timeline 

Comments

TRENDING

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

'Dargah site was a temple': Claim in Gujarat following post-Babri verdict demands in UP

By Rajiv Shah  Will Gujarat also see demands to replace mosques and dargahs with Hindu temples? It would seem so, if a new fact-finding team conclusion is any indication. Apprehending the “danger” of communal conflagration, it has cited the claim on a 15th century dargah was originally a Hindu temple – allegedly quite on line with what has been happening in UP following the Supreme Court verdict on Babri Mosque.

Anti-poor? 'Cumbersome' to link aadhaar, voter ID for people sans internet access

By Prashant Kumar Chaudhary, Ajit Kumar Jaiswal*  At present, technology plays an increasingly crucial part in modelling human existence by offering a variety of solutions to many of the challenges individuals confront in the real world. As a result, every branch of research works to provides means to solve these difficulties precisely and efficiently. The Central government works along the same lines as well.

Sweden-backed study: India won't achieve 2030 UN goals, officials can't recognise SDG

By Rajiv Shah  A Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC)-sponsored study, carried out by the advocacy group Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) India, seeking to analyse the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No 12, Responsible Consumption and Production (RCP), has regretted, it is "very unlikely" India will achieve any of the targets of SDG 12 by 2030 "unless some serious measures are taken by the government to reverse the present trend."

India reaches 8th of 10 stage genocide: US Muslim advocacy group raises 'alert'

By Hena Zuberi* India has reached the 8th stage of genocide with the persecution of the Muslim community. Stating this, Professor Greg Stanton, who heads Genocide Watch, declared a Genocide Emergency Alert for India today at Justice For All online briefing.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Why Church in India today needs a Rutilio Grande, martyred for stance on social justice

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  For the people of El Salvador, January 22, 2022 will be more than just a red-letter day. Three of their sons, Jesuit Fr Rutilio Grande and his two lay associates 72-year-old Manuel Solorzano and 15-year-old Nelson Rutilio Lemus (and Italian Franciscan missionary Fr Cosme Spessotto who was also martyred) will be beatified in San Salvador.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Gender insensitive? Model Gujarat's cyclone relief package ignores 40,000 fisherwomen

CSJ volunteers talking to fisherwomen By Rajiv Shah  A Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) note on the Gujarat government’s compensation package to the victims of the devastating Tauktae cyclone, which hit the coastal belt of Saurashtra's Amerli, Rajula, Una, and Gir-Somnath districts in May 2021, has said, the relief offered was so terribly inadequate that many of the fisherfolk were not able to fish for the rest of the year.

Stop harassment, release Kashmir rights defender Khurram Parvez: Global NGO

By Our Representative  Ahead of his hearing on January 21, 2022, CIVICUS , a global civil society alliance with more than 10,000 members worldwide, has called upon the Government of India to “immediately and unconditionally” release human rights defender Khurram Parvez. “The judicial harassment he is facing highlights the repressive environment for activists and critics in Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir”, it said in a statement.