Saturday, May 4, 2013

Of Sarabjit, Gudiya, Nirbhaya, Ram Janm Bhoomi and Babri Masjid!

I have tried not to write, after the hopeless events in December 2012, when along with an enraged India, I last reacted to the brutal rape of an innocent girl in New Delhi, in broad urban limelight.
The hopelessness that grips me after the release of angst that pours itself out on this blog is unbearable, because it is in the same time lines where you watch some leaders of the nation promise action and swear punishment to the culprits while their own kin stumble over their schizophrenic stances, that you can see there are tickers moving at the bottom of screens reporting rapes taking place of helpless children and women across the length and breadth of the country in real time.

This is how our nation, which had achieved its independence from the British in 1947 and which has had 65 years thereafter to get its act together, has gone to seed and to places that our forefathers, who fought for our freedom, wouldn't have ever dreamed that their future generations will be made to visit. 
There is a third generation of the young out here now, comprising of more than 60 percent of India's 1.2 billion population, one half struggling to survive and stay above board despite adversity, apathy and systemic failure at every level of governance, and the other half shouting slogans that only bring back memories of barbaric times, from period theater and movies, mythology and primitive texts, when perhaps massive stadium's were rent with thousands of people shouting, 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth', 'hang him, flog him', 'butcher, butcher, butcher', 'kill the bastard', 'get him', 'flog, flog, flog'.
The feeling, the experience today, is almost Shakespearean.

Only less than a decade ago India used to be in shock when stories like these would emerge from a wrecked Afghanistan, from countries like Iran and Iraq where fundamentalists and anarchists lead the state, more recently Pakistan too, where elected governments have no control on policy, because of extremists.
We would feel we were fortunate, that such primitive times did not prevail in our land.
Today, the same happens in our backyards, and we are in a sort of denial to admit that all of us, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, sail in the same boat.
Turn on Television, and you see it in front of your eyes. Shift to any media and the visuals are the same.
Shouting, accusing, fire, people using words and phrases that no Government in any developing or developed part of the world would ever tolerate from its media.
Tune in, and the pictures from within are as disturbing as those which used to terrorize us when they flashed upon our eyes from far away lands.

Today it is Sarabjit, yesterday it was Gudiya and day before yesterday, it was Nirbhaya.
What is going on here?
Rage is spilling out on to the streets with each story picked up and highlighted by media almost every fortnight with regularity.
Life goes on, nothing changes, statistics rise with temperatures.
Every single man and woman above the age of 40 on every media, goes back in time to remind viewers and readers about what happened in the past, and to tell them that, therefore, the present will remain justified until such time that matters of the past are settled.
And everyone under the age of 40 anguishes over the now.
Understandable, because it is their lives we're tampering with today, their futures, we're destroying.
To bring justice to 2002, we have to first settle 1984, and to settle 1984, we have to go back even further.
Where will the buck ever stop?
We've been back to Babar taking over Ram Janam Bhoomi and building the Babri Masjid there at the start of the Mughal era, barely two decades ago.
We can see the cracks in the idiom of 'unity in diversity' of 1991, even today.

My question is, do we have the right to complain, when we are the ones who have been complacent, the very opportunists so driven by greed that we have brought our country to this ourselves?
When have we ever stopped, taken a pause and analyzed, understood, discussed our problems collectively, to find solutions?
Apathy and corruption are understandably the cause of all our problems, but where is the discussion, the debate on how to deal with it, how to end it?
What did we do to raise consciousness and awareness in those times when our politics went dirty and stained the fabric of our societies with divisive vote bank cultures?
What did we do, as media, as conscious citizens, to stop it from going all wrong?
Why do we always speak only after having taken sides?
Why did we not raise our voices when the doors to parliament were thrown open to criminals and the underworld?
Today when the young are revealing their intolerance, we're quietly backing them, but yet again from two sides, pro state, and anti state, in factions, not from the stance of what is right and ethical, and what is wrong and impractical in modern times.

The story unfolding and fueling the angst of the day now, is Sarabjit.
How much did we care about him, while he languished in a Pakistani jail for 22 years?
What did we do to put pressure on the government of India to bring him and all the scores of Indian prisoners there, back?
Prisoners of War from 1971?
Wives, parents, children of our war heroes await closure, even in 2013.

We are not a state which is ruled by our fundamentalists, by the underworld...
We are not a government held to ransom by religious clerics and armed hoodlums...
We are not a country flitting between military rule and democracy...
We are not a nation with a collapsed justice system...
We are not a....
Or are we?

Have the pictures of the Pakistani prisoner in Jammu, battered in retaliation to Sarabjit been released deliberately by the state, or is it because the state is in no control over what gets released to the media?
Whatever may be true, it's frightening.
Were inmates told by the state to hammer the Pakistani prisoner in the Jammu jail, so those crying foul in India are fulfilled with the revenge and can move on to the next big story?
Is this the only way our government can assure its people that it is capable of talking tough?
All possibilities are scary and every practice, archaic!

I think India needs to look far and deep within itself to realize how much in trouble we are. We may portray ourselves to be ahead of our neighbors and also democratic, but when we turn to see the uprising over Sarabjit's death, and the politics surrounding it, it seems like we are way behind.

We cannot afford to become a people who watch blood, gore, murder and bashing as a substitute for justice. We cannot afford to let our children grow up believing that it is the only way of life.
We are already almost that and we had better watch out.

People want to see criminals hanged, beaten, battered and killed only in such places where there is complete anarchy, lawlessness, zero policing and where there are failed judicial systems.
Today that is how India is seeming to be.
The complete failure of our justice system is turning us into barbarians, and then, what is the difference between us and those failed states like Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the rule of law cannot prevail because elections are only but a symbolic gesture for democracy?
Kashmir....?...

Below is the update I put up on my Facebook page today, and one of the most fierce comments from a guy called Gaurrav Kummar, which is so telling of our reality, of where we are headed if we don't do something about the general sentiments of the people of India, immediately:

The Post:
Pakistani prisoner in Jammu battered by inmates, is being applauded by some of our fellow Indians. If that be the case, then why are the same Indians applauding, crying foul about Sarabjit being battered in a Pakistani Jail? Don't they realize that the very mindset that they belong to prevails in certain elements all over the world, also to some in Pakistan, and that is the very mindset which is contaminating systems and eroding humanitarian cultures? Its the people like them everywhere, that the world is up against. When will they learn? The uneducated can be forgiven, but the educated? The leaders? The so called intellectuals? What is the cure for them?

The Comment:
Shame shame shame on u vinita nanda, go live in Pakistan , u seem to be a true Pakistani at heart, shame on you !!!!!!!! My blood is boiling, our soldiers being mutilated, killed, our people being brutally murdered ! I think u are quite okay with all this, you are no less than a fucking terrorist !! I pledge all true Indians with balls to come forward and take strong action, its time to kill each and every motherfucking Pakistanis in India, kill them brutally torture them, chop of their fucking heads and feed it to the dogs, they should be tortured humiliated killed slowly so that they could feel the fucking pain, every Pakistani motherfucker in India or in Indian jails should be fucking humiliated and killed brutally, smash their fucking skulls n chop the body parts n feed them the fucking pigs !! I am volunteering to become a suicide bomber , if needed iam ready to die for my country which is full of hijraas and chakkas, no guts no balls ! Our government has been acting like a fucking pussy over the years, so now we need people to take action, Send me to Pakistan with a bomb n i will make sure at least 100000 Paki motherfucking heads will be found scattered over the drains n streets, we should bomb the entire motherfucking nation as a whole, we don't need motherfucking Pakistani as our friend, we need to kill each n every motherfucking Pakistanis staying here in India, India should repeat what US did in japan, the Hiroshima Nagasaki massacre should be done to motherfucking Pakistan, demolish the whole motherfucking country, nobody needs them, i volunteer strongly to do so and welcome any true Indian with some balls to join me, all i need is a thread a link and a group of patriotic people who love India, as much as I do !!

Where do we go from here?



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