Skip to main content

Total disconnect? It's as if Emperor Nero 'isn't aware' his Rome is burning to ashes

By Prem Verma* 
We are living in very challenging times. There are problems galore and new ones keep mounting. We have experts in creating situations which spawn fresh problems to face and solve. We are sliding down into an abyss from where escape will become increasingly impossible. The value of human life is of no consequence as long as individually the fortunate few at the top of the pyramid can continue to enjoy a lifestyle as if nothing has happened. 
Isolating yourself from what is happening around you makes you blind to the injustice and misery that the unfortunate have to suffer. It is as if God has ordained misery for the majority for the happiness of the minority and that is what it is. All our values of life taught over centuries by sages and benevolent leaders (Gandhi, Tagore, etc.) have been buried under the shroud of self survival no matter what. If people die they need to so that we can survive and enjoy.
Renowned historian Ramchandra Guha has very aptly described today’s situation in India of 2020 to Mussolini’s Italy of 1920. The similarities are astounding and they point to the same direction that Italy took under Mussolini. The future is frightening and stark violence stares us in the face. Is this what we bargained for when we got our independence from the British in 1947? 
The situation is worse under our own present Indian leadership and despair comes easily. There is total disconnect between the reality on the ground and the comfort enjoyed by the top leadership. It is as if Emperor Nero is not aware that his Rome is burning to ashes.
Well-meaning voices across the country are warning us of the disaster ahead. Instead of listening to their sane advice, the top leadership governing the country is bent on silencing them through false charges and arrests under Sedition laws, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and other draconian measures.
There is no appeal, no bail and prisons are filling up. Dissent, constructive criticism is not tolerated and any opposition is crushed through hatred and violence under the false garb of patriotism. Free speech is banned if it is against the Government and truth takes a beating if it hurts those in power.
The future is frightening and stark violence stares us in the face. Is this what we bargained for when we got our independence from the British?
In this dark scenario what shall we do? Our Father of the Nation taught us to speak the truth and this we shall at the cost of our own physical existence. India has too many good souls and physical elimination will not silence the voices of protest. Majority still have a fighting spirit not to condone the evil deeds. There is enough sympathy and empathy in the Indian population that will not allow the dangerous path we are trekking under the present leadership.
We need to speak out, protest, write, organise and oppose the divisive methods of the Government and thus protect our holy Constitution that once promised equality, freedom, equity and brotherhood.
Today we are suffering a pandemic. On the top of this we have gaping unemployment, economic collapse, astounding inequality, rural neglect, etc. Let us shout from our roof tops that enough is enough. An insensitive Government has brought us to this dismal situation and has no clue as to how we can get out of this pit of darkness. When will we awaken and save ourselves from being eliminated?
We need a people sympathetic Government not a Government that sells this nation to the few rich hoping that the rest will disappear. This nation is as much ours as anyone else’s and therefore the majority must take back its rightful place instead of a handful of Hindutva minority speaking on behalf of this great nation.
The light at the end of the tunnel beckons us to proceed full speed ahead in dismantling the ropes that bind us and speak out calling the kettle black. Our nation is far superior to any leader or party and it is incumbent on us to save our country from ruins so soon after independence in 1947.
God helps those who help themselves and we know that our nation deserves better. The vast majority of Indians have waited too long for their cup of gold and we need to take concerted action for our deprived brethren.
To sum up, the Government should:
  • Free all those arrested under draconian laws
  • Listen to voices of dissent and promote democratic spirit 
  • Stop selling country’s treasures and corporations 
  • Create massive opportunities in rural employment through small and medium units in rural areas 
  • Promote communal harmony with strict punishment for those disturbing it 
  • Empathetic of all Indians and not only of their party members 
---
*Convenor, Jharkhand Nagrik Prayas

Comments

TRENDING

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

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.

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

Evolution of Sardar Patel's understanding of those 'involved' in Gandhi's assassination

By Shamsul Islam*  As the world mourns the 73rd anniversary of MK Gandhi's assassination by Hindutva terrorists on January 30, 1948, RSS, the most prominent flag-bearer of Hindutva politics, whose cadres rule India today, is found reacting angrily to the reality – that the criminals who assassinated Gandhiji were not only part of the ideological world-view of Hindu Mahasabha (led by VD Savarkar) and RSS brand of Hindu nationalism but were also connected with these. 

No Election Commission safeguard against electromagnetic hacking of EVM: Study

Counterview Desk  Releasing a new study simultaneously in Chennai and Kolkata in view of the forthcoming elections in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the Citizens’ Commission on Elections (CCE) – a civil society initiative – has regretted “lack of integrity of EVM voting”, pointing out, the Election Commission of India (ECI) does not appear to safeguard against the possibilities of ‘side-channel attacks’, i.e, hacking electronic devices through electromagnetic and other methods.

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

'Viability' of agricultural cooperatives vs govt proposed pro-corporate economic model

Dr Gian Singh* The farmer struggle started from Punjab against the promulgation of three agricultural ordinances by the Union government in June 2020 and the enactment of three bills by Parliament in September 2020 to replace these ordinances is unique in many respects. There is no other example of such a peaceful and democratic farmer struggle.

Whither right to food? Social security scheme allocation for woman, child 'reduced'

Counterview Desk Pointing out that women and children have been ignored in the Union Budget 2021-22, the advocacy group Right to Food Campaign (RtFC) has said that the Government of India should have taken into account the fact that even after the lockdown was lifted, distress among marginalized communities continues, with people having lower incomes and reduced food consumption.