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Give me hope!

October 01, 2017 10:09 IST

'Indian democracy has become an oxymoron.'

'I am hopeful that more people will boycott this politics of perversion and hatred and realise that this isn’t sustainable for our great nation to prosper,' says Rajendran Narayanan.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier

 

Dear Mr Modi #I am Akhlaq #I am Pehlu #I am Junaid #Not in my name #I am Gauri. Your technology fetish has at least given us a new vocabulary of expressing ourselves using hash tags. My sincere thanks to you.

Would you turn a blind eye if a Hindu seer of a temple were to be killed in broad daylight? Imagine, for a moment, Mr Modi, that some self-styled Baba were to be killed in such a cold-blooded manner. God forbid such things.

Since I uphold non-violence very dearly, I don’t wish such a thing to happen to anybody. But, imagine that one of them had to undergo the trauma of being lynched by an angry mob for whatever reason. Just imagine.

 

Don’t you think it is pitiable that we have to conjure imagined reactions to imagined deaths to appeal to your party’s conscience? One does not have to stretch one’s imagination to think how the Bhakt brigade would respond to such an event. Would you be proud of them?

Do you remember how the ABVP reacted in Ramjas College earlier this year for merely calling a JNU student for a seminar? Do you know how some professors and students at Haryana Central University were harassed because they staged a play written by Mahasweta Devi?

Do you remember how some lawyers had beaten up Kanhaiya Kumar on the premises of the high court? Is it true, Mr Modi, that there was pressure from the PMO on Ashoka University because one of their faculty members, (along with some non-faculty members), had signed a petition on Kashmir?

Is that true, Mr Modi? If that is indeed true, don’t you think it is akin to using a sledgehammer to kill a mosquito? The petition, if you remember, was well within India’s democratic framework, seeking non-violence and people’s voices in Kashmir to be heard through a referendum.

Does it remind you of Milan Kundera’s book The Joke? Are these really the priorities of the government?

Mr Modi, it is a matter of grave concern that so many deaths have happened in the last few years and yet you or your party does not seem to have done anything tangible to even send signals of peace and equity.

Why is it that all those who’ve been silenced have either belonged to minority communities or been critical of the Hindutva forces? Is it difficult to see a pattern here? Pehlu Khan was mercilessly beaten to death in Alwar. The attack, like the one on the young boy Junaid, was a public spectacle.

Does it not strike you as odd that the people whose names were given by the dying man, Pehlu, have been let off by the Rajasthan government for supposed lack of evidence? Would a dying man lie? Is it a mere chance that the six men who were let off were, according to reports, members of the VHP and Bajrang Dal?

Don’t you think it’s poisonous for people to be living with so much hatred in a severely unequal society? New reports seem to suggest that the ‘ballistic signature’ of Gauri’s killers are the same as that of the scholar M M Kalburgi.

Our country seems to have given a free rein to quite a few perverted, trigger-happy people who are so well-trained in using bullets. Could you please tell them that bullet trains mean something else? What constructive peace message has been given to them? What have we been reduced to, Mr Modi, that some people in this country celebrate the death of a free voice and the prime minister ‘follows’ them? What kind of signals does that send?

It is with the deepest sense of grief and anguish that I am appealing to your conscience, Mr Prime Minister. The killers of rationalists and the plunderers of reason and free speech appear to be getting encouragement and tacit sanction from your party members.

Indian democracy has become an oxymoron. Is it too much to ask for a speedy impartial inquiry into all these deaths? Is seeking justice for the bereaved and the languishing not a reasonable request? Is it too much to ask an elected government to respect the Constitution? Don’t you think these are things that the nation really wants to know?

This unabashed violent means to suppress freedom and dissent in a seemingly functional democracy would only increase more voices of dissent. I am optimistic that the truth would prevail, Mr Modi, and that more people would see and act based on reason, peace, non-violence, and compassion.

I am hopeful that more people will boycott this politics of perversion and hatred and realise that this isn’t sustainable for our great nation to prosper.

May I add that the views expressed are personal, secular, and constitutional.

Sincerely,

A concerned citizen in agony.

Rajendran Narayanan
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