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Secularism Freedom

Let Us Strengthen the Idea of India and Defend Our Secular Constitution

Vidya Bhushan Rawat 03 Jan 2020

Secular


I wish you all purposeful days ahead. 2020 is here and we hope forces of social justice, secularism, pluralism, democracy, socialism, with deep respect to individual autonomy, will join hands, without attempting to become 'great leaders' but in a collective spirit. The past one decade has seen how over-ambitious, crooked forces joined hand in the name of corruption and ended up actually handing over the country on a platter to the Hindutva forces. The anti-corruption plank is the easiest and the best way for the religious right to get legitimacy.

While we must protest against all the draconian laws, and in particularly the attempt to filter out Muslims in the NRC or NPR processes, these protests that we are witnessing today, all over the country, also give us hope that India's young want to do away with the divisive forces and work for an India which is as per the ideals of our constitutional forefathers, as defined in our Constitution. Baba Saheb Ambedkar has emerged as a mass hero of the youth of India It is not as if he was not a mass hero already. More than 20 crore Indians already considered him as their icon but it is heartening to see now that he has been embraced by the 'others' too. It is great as embracing Dr Ambedkar's revolutionary ideals will give us freedom from the age-old chains of the varnashram dharma. It may also be possible that all those who hold Dr Ambedkar's poster do not know much about him except as the Father of India's Constitution. I would advise friends to read him and you will find, refreshingly, a freedom waiting for you. You will get liberated. You will be able to understand what ails India.

The fact is that whenever movements emerge, most of them address the immediate needs of the people and avoid ‘controversial’ issues. We need to be careful because if we continue like this, we will not be able to fight against the powerful.

During Anna's period, we saw a huge number of 'civil society activists', who were visible on TV as well as elsewhere, attempted to create an 'alternative' and ended up in strengthening the Sangh Parivar immensely. At the moment, the country is really in a crisis and we need to democratise and secularise the political parties. Respect the diversity of these political parties and focus on alliance building. The civil society leaders must compel the political parties to democratise themselves. Movements, discourse, opinions, all of these will help us to build the environment for that.

The last decade saw the growth of fundamentalists and hate-mongers. How can we defeat them in this decade? With short term goals, where people fight each other for 'position' and entry on the stage? Can we really put the fight against caste discrimination and untouchability at the center of our 'revolution'? Baba Saheb is my hero not because there is a Constitution but because he identified and remedied the alternative to brahmanism. Will we rise up and speak the truth?

Fact of the matter is that growth of the religious right the world over is due to the fear of the success of the marginalised, immigrants and minorities. In India, the brahmanical forces are really afraid of the growth and success of the Ambedkarites and other shudra communities. They want to put a full stop to it, not allow children from the marginalised communities into schools and institutions of higher education. Destroy public institutions and universities so that education remains in the hands of the brahman-bania elite. And for this, they want to keep the poor continuously on their toes so that they do not have time to stand up and concentrate on other things. From what we have already seen, the manner in which the state is 'asserting' its power in our private domain and individual things, it is clear that in the name of 'digitalisation', an attempt is being made to control our lives and make us totally depended on state. But, more than that, it will be an easier tool to harass and humiliate the dissenters and the religious minorities.

Everyone says we must fight against hatred, but how? First, the reason behind this hatred in India has to be diagnosed. Any serious reader of India's social system can tell us that as the number of Dalit-OBC-Adivasi students were growing in the higher education, it became a threat. And that needed to be curtailed and controlled, because these segments were most assertive and proud on the legacies of Ambedkar, Phule, Birsa, Periyar. Hence, they became a 'threat'. Muslims, too, understood well, that their future lay with this segment and not with India's brahmanical elite, which come to them as 'patron' and gave themselves the 'satisfaction' of promoting their great faith of 'Vasudhaiv kutumbkam', but did not have the largeness of heart to give space to the 80% of the population, which they claim is Hindus but whom we call Bahujans. Political battles will be, and should be, fought by political parties and it is our duty to ensure they have a fair representation of India's diverse sections. It is our duty to ask for fair representation in all sectors of power, including India's police, paramilitary and armed forces. Our diversity must be reflected at all levels. Social movements must continue to focus on anti-caste agenda at the top, respecting the autonomy of the Adivasi life and livelihood, providing access to natural resources to Dalits and other marginalised communities. These resources, these days, are being handed over to a few cronies and social movements must oppose privatisation of public resources and call for a complete land and agrarian reform in India. You cannot democratise India unless you democratise our villages, and it is not possible if social conditions do not change there or power equations remain the same. Let political parties promise to do fair distribution of village land, implement the land laws honestly, get the Forest Rights Act implemented fairly and do not sell our water to profit making companies. The issues are bigger but let us not allow our natural resources to be grabbed by a few corporate cronies. Let us not allow our beautiful environment and life style to be damaged by cronies in the name of 'development'.

In the end, I would advise friends to protect themselves from the temptation of ‘being in the news'. Those who are not in print or air work, too, and it does not mean all those who are giving their 'expert advice’ on air are the best and only ones.

The best thing of the decade was the complete expose of the electronic media. Promoted by Babas and real estate agent, and now the party in power, most of these channels became a threat to the very idea of India. While I am happy that most of the people understand this, they still have the power to destroy, so it is still important to fight against this propaganda unleashed by such crooked corporate slaves, who are enjoying their 'slavery' by abusing others who disagree with the powers that be.

Let us connect, share and continue our struggle to democratise our society and fight to protect the rights of all the citizens of the country, irrespective of their identities. Let us hope that this new decade will bring all the people together, to strengthen our Constitution and build a strong, united, secular, republic of India.

 

RELATED ARTICLES :

 

  1. NAPM releases report on state repression of protestors in UP

  2. Up in Arms: A look at protests that rocked India in 2019

  3. Police Force sans Diversity: Poor rep of SCs, STs, Women, OBCs, Muslims Invisibilized

  4. 'An Act of Mass Surveillance': India Use of Facial Recognition Tech Against Protesters Angers Privacy Advocates

  5. Bloody Sunday 2019’- PUDR releases report on Jamia police brutalities

Let Us Strengthen the Idea of India and Defend Our Secular Constitution

Secular


I wish you all purposeful days ahead. 2020 is here and we hope forces of social justice, secularism, pluralism, democracy, socialism, with deep respect to individual autonomy, will join hands, without attempting to become 'great leaders' but in a collective spirit. The past one decade has seen how over-ambitious, crooked forces joined hand in the name of corruption and ended up actually handing over the country on a platter to the Hindutva forces. The anti-corruption plank is the easiest and the best way for the religious right to get legitimacy.

While we must protest against all the draconian laws, and in particularly the attempt to filter out Muslims in the NRC or NPR processes, these protests that we are witnessing today, all over the country, also give us hope that India's young want to do away with the divisive forces and work for an India which is as per the ideals of our constitutional forefathers, as defined in our Constitution. Baba Saheb Ambedkar has emerged as a mass hero of the youth of India It is not as if he was not a mass hero already. More than 20 crore Indians already considered him as their icon but it is heartening to see now that he has been embraced by the 'others' too. It is great as embracing Dr Ambedkar's revolutionary ideals will give us freedom from the age-old chains of the varnashram dharma. It may also be possible that all those who hold Dr Ambedkar's poster do not know much about him except as the Father of India's Constitution. I would advise friends to read him and you will find, refreshingly, a freedom waiting for you. You will get liberated. You will be able to understand what ails India.

The fact is that whenever movements emerge, most of them address the immediate needs of the people and avoid ‘controversial’ issues. We need to be careful because if we continue like this, we will not be able to fight against the powerful.

During Anna's period, we saw a huge number of 'civil society activists', who were visible on TV as well as elsewhere, attempted to create an 'alternative' and ended up in strengthening the Sangh Parivar immensely. At the moment, the country is really in a crisis and we need to democratise and secularise the political parties. Respect the diversity of these political parties and focus on alliance building. The civil society leaders must compel the political parties to democratise themselves. Movements, discourse, opinions, all of these will help us to build the environment for that.

The last decade saw the growth of fundamentalists and hate-mongers. How can we defeat them in this decade? With short term goals, where people fight each other for 'position' and entry on the stage? Can we really put the fight against caste discrimination and untouchability at the center of our 'revolution'? Baba Saheb is my hero not because there is a Constitution but because he identified and remedied the alternative to brahmanism. Will we rise up and speak the truth?

Fact of the matter is that growth of the religious right the world over is due to the fear of the success of the marginalised, immigrants and minorities. In India, the brahmanical forces are really afraid of the growth and success of the Ambedkarites and other shudra communities. They want to put a full stop to it, not allow children from the marginalised communities into schools and institutions of higher education. Destroy public institutions and universities so that education remains in the hands of the brahman-bania elite. And for this, they want to keep the poor continuously on their toes so that they do not have time to stand up and concentrate on other things. From what we have already seen, the manner in which the state is 'asserting' its power in our private domain and individual things, it is clear that in the name of 'digitalisation', an attempt is being made to control our lives and make us totally depended on state. But, more than that, it will be an easier tool to harass and humiliate the dissenters and the religious minorities.

Everyone says we must fight against hatred, but how? First, the reason behind this hatred in India has to be diagnosed. Any serious reader of India's social system can tell us that as the number of Dalit-OBC-Adivasi students were growing in the higher education, it became a threat. And that needed to be curtailed and controlled, because these segments were most assertive and proud on the legacies of Ambedkar, Phule, Birsa, Periyar. Hence, they became a 'threat'. Muslims, too, understood well, that their future lay with this segment and not with India's brahmanical elite, which come to them as 'patron' and gave themselves the 'satisfaction' of promoting their great faith of 'Vasudhaiv kutumbkam', but did not have the largeness of heart to give space to the 80% of the population, which they claim is Hindus but whom we call Bahujans. Political battles will be, and should be, fought by political parties and it is our duty to ensure they have a fair representation of India's diverse sections. It is our duty to ask for fair representation in all sectors of power, including India's police, paramilitary and armed forces. Our diversity must be reflected at all levels. Social movements must continue to focus on anti-caste agenda at the top, respecting the autonomy of the Adivasi life and livelihood, providing access to natural resources to Dalits and other marginalised communities. These resources, these days, are being handed over to a few cronies and social movements must oppose privatisation of public resources and call for a complete land and agrarian reform in India. You cannot democratise India unless you democratise our villages, and it is not possible if social conditions do not change there or power equations remain the same. Let political parties promise to do fair distribution of village land, implement the land laws honestly, get the Forest Rights Act implemented fairly and do not sell our water to profit making companies. The issues are bigger but let us not allow our natural resources to be grabbed by a few corporate cronies. Let us not allow our beautiful environment and life style to be damaged by cronies in the name of 'development'.

In the end, I would advise friends to protect themselves from the temptation of ‘being in the news'. Those who are not in print or air work, too, and it does not mean all those who are giving their 'expert advice’ on air are the best and only ones.

The best thing of the decade was the complete expose of the electronic media. Promoted by Babas and real estate agent, and now the party in power, most of these channels became a threat to the very idea of India. While I am happy that most of the people understand this, they still have the power to destroy, so it is still important to fight against this propaganda unleashed by such crooked corporate slaves, who are enjoying their 'slavery' by abusing others who disagree with the powers that be.

Let us connect, share and continue our struggle to democratise our society and fight to protect the rights of all the citizens of the country, irrespective of their identities. Let us hope that this new decade will bring all the people together, to strengthen our Constitution and build a strong, united, secular, republic of India.

 

RELATED ARTICLES :

 

  1. NAPM releases report on state repression of protestors in UP

  2. Up in Arms: A look at protests that rocked India in 2019

  3. Police Force sans Diversity: Poor rep of SCs, STs, Women, OBCs, Muslims Invisibilized

  4. 'An Act of Mass Surveillance': India Use of Facial Recognition Tech Against Protesters Angers Privacy Advocates

  5. Bloody Sunday 2019’- PUDR releases report on Jamia police brutalities

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