Indian Politics and The Common Man – Part I
Why I hate(d) Congress and How did we reach here!
I read many articles – since the day CAB was announced – to understand what is CAB, what are the consequences for the common man, what does it imply for Indian Muslims. I wanted to be sure that I understand it right before I put the word out in support or against CAB. I chose restraint till then. And I request you to put restraint before you form an opinion out of this article and read till the end.
However, what I observed during all these days has been terrifying. I wanted to go a layer deeper into why we chose to behave(react) the way we do. And the narration below is just one but surely major part of the whole story!
There has been unrest, violence and an air of hatred which is the most dangerous sentiment of all. The entire social media has been abuzz with #CAB posts, shares, tweets and retweets! Many of them anti-CAB and many pro-CAB! But most of them half-lies and concocted to suit particular interests.
While these posts have had my attention – I have been more moved and worried by the kind of information that has been circulating; the kind of stuff people are posting and sharing. I have been so scared of sharing any stuff that I have tried to double check the facts presented in any article and to my surprise – not many of them presented a completely unbiased picture or story. Opinions, interpretations and uncalled-for inferences presented everywhere.
In fact none of them (us) has been sharing the rightful and correct information. And what saddens me even more – very well educated folks B.Tech/Masters, etc. from NITs, IITs/IIMs and other prestigious institutes of our country are also a part of the bandwagon sharing false or provoking information. (I have started doubting if degrees and institutes define and imply Education). And if you are on twitter, your heads will be hung in shame seeing the kind of content celebrities share.
What have we made of ourselves? I cannot stop asking this question over and over.
We have been sharing inferences by media houses, versions of gossip mongers, interpretations by groups with vested interest (this side or the other – I actually do not care) and what else we have been sharing is – loads of emotion via these posts. Unfortunately none of us are sharing the right information we are entitled to.
And I wonder, yet again, what have we made of ourselves. Has too much information and easy access to information blinded us to the difference between right and wrong? Or maybe it has given us the liberty to make our choices freely without fearing for the consequences. (maybe because somewhere deep down we love to believe that we are the majority and not at the receiving end or the witch is not going to hunt us down) Sadly so!
What I do not get is – does having the right to share our sentiment and opinion means having the right to share hatred posts? Isn’t that heinous and shouldn’t that be covered under criminal offense in this digital age?
I thought a lot and a lot about these incidents and what makes people react to situations and circumstances in a particular way in one situation and absolutely differently in some other situation. What makes them choose the wrong over the right?
I think, it is what you have faced personally, what have you witnessed first hand – that makes you choose what you choose. Not politics, not inflammatory remarks, not somebody else’s pain or agony and nor anyone’s comfort – it is our own prejudices, fears and insecurities that make us choose what we choose.
All of us just go on to choose the story that suits us and feed the narrative that is already in our heads. And a lot – a lot of information over the internet has just fed these wolves absolutely the kind of information their brain was craving. And that is what has happened to all of us in this era of internet – where we want to enjoy freedom of expression but bear no responsibility of restraint!
While I heard the sentiment/emotion about CAB turning to BJP vs Congress debate to Hindu vs Muslim affair, I kept myself abstained from sharing anything on this topic. For 2 reasons:
1. There has been so much opinion (and violence) regarding this that I have not been able to make out what’s right and what’s wrong in the Amendment Act. And I am still reading to find my way out.
2. Secondly, more so because it paints everything into orange vs green. That is one fight I would not want anyone in this world to cry over. Because Humanity > Religion
But before that, let’s find out how did we reach here! I chose to go back the memory lane. Cut to 2010 – a decade back!
I was in Kashmir on a vacation with family – waiting for my joining letter to my first job – where there were protests and clampdown. The reason was the desire to disturb Annual Amarnath Yatra in the garb of land allocation that goes to Amarnath Shrine Board. (religion yet again though it was new for me then)
The localites had protested citing the change of demographic as the key reason to protest. I was appalled.
Coming from a family which has folks supporting the right, letftist, socialist and liberals over the family whatsapp group – it will be tough for you to believe that we had never debated over religion at our home. And to don a hat to understand a situation absolutely in terms of religion seemed so stupid.
But then as a matter of fact – politics doesn’t see religion – it just sees votes. It uses “religion” as a shield to swing votes. However, in this game – it ends up making the common man enemy of just another common man. It only divides.
On closely following up the issue, this turned out to be exactly the same. While I was in Kashmir, I read more and in detail about Kashmir politics and the preceding decades. And Why was everything so tensed about Kashmir.
That is how I had my first rendezvous with real-picture of Congress and its role in State politics. I do not deny that there have been good Congress leaders at State level, the policy of Congress at Centre about Kashmir has been nothing else but an extension of Appeasement politics that they have been playing across India.
And that is my first challenge with Congress! The “appeasement policy” card that they use everytime they see power running out of their hands. Then be it Muslims, minorities (SC/STs/OBCs) – under the rule of Congress the General Category – which is your typical Middle Class Indian Family is just Mango man in a Banana Republic.
A son/daughter of an IAS father and IAS grand-father (belonging to SC category) – how is he/she entitled to the benefits of a SC category, I will never get to understand. And in a vast nation like India with increasing competition; I can tell you this is a concern many have. From jobs, to education, to the posts of teachers in colleges and universities, sports, etc., “Kuch bhi ho, Bas reservation badha do.” The last trump card Congress deploys to increase(keep) its share of votes.This is a very small instance of the problem I am talking about. Scale it up and you will see more than 50% of India reeking of the consequences of such appeasement policies. Why couldn’t you create a system that makes minorities an inherent part of the nation’s DNA, plainly because it doesn’t suit your vote bank politics. You had damn 60years to do so!
If you have been in place like Jammu, you would know what it is like to face the changing demographics. In the following years from 2010 till 2014, everytime I went back home – I saw prime locations being taken over by Islamic trusts (and not even individuals). More and more IT raids happening in the homes of Hindu businessmen, more and more power vested in State controlled affairs to Muslims alone. More and more real estate at entry and exit points being transferred to people of Islamic faith. (The strategy that was deployed in late 80s before the xodus of Pandits in the valley). A complete township getting established for refugees called Rohingyas with many of them being arrested later (under BJP regime) for fake voter cards and ID cards made in a jiffy. Do you want to believe that all of this happened under the nose of the then governments without having the know-how. I cannot.
It got worse with each trip back home!
Did Congress in their entire span of ruling power of 60 years never felt the need to address any of this? Or was it just oblivion to it. In any which ways – it was a pure failure on the part of Congress.
As things fast forward, the entire india was drenched in number of scams. Only if we could forget 2G/3G, Coalgate, Commonwealth – to name a few. Here comes my second challenge with Congress – the audacity you give your team members (read Cabinet) that they can do any kind of shit and still escape with it! Being ok with the idea of corruption. How on this earth can you allow your cabinet to eat the money that is meant for the welfare of the nation and the common man. Taxpayer’s money is not your jaagir to consume.
And this leads to the 3rd challenge I have with congress – encouragement to sycophancy. What will the common man do if the entire centre runs on the sentiment “tu jaanta hai, main kaun hoon”. Bhai tu jo bhi hai – sabse pehle tu ek citizen hai. Aam nagrik!
Congress never fails to disappoint with its approach of dynast politics. Madam aur Rahul baba (the way they both are addressed in the corridors) should not get angry. Why bhai. They do not own the country. That is the reason, they do not have a legitimate heir to Congress! The party has turned out to be the shield to protect family legacy and less about what nation wants!
Last but not the least, the entire idea of India as one single nation has been missing under the Congress regime. Why so? Particularly because of divisive politics (which they often blame BJP for) but they themselves have fathomed the art like no one else. Be it regional parties, division of the states, causing public to fight amongst each other – Congress stoops to any level to stay in power or come back in power. And all that at the cost of One Great Nation India was, is and will be.
To summarise, when I think of Congress, I think of:
Encouragement to sycophancy
Divide and Rule
When I think of Congress, I do not think of India as a single great nation! I do not envision progress. I continue to see India that is still on bullock carts and shitting on the streets with absolutely 0 or no infrastructure.
When I think of all of this in totality – I can tell you how badly I hate Congress for what they are and what they pretend to be they are!
And that is how much badly (better say desperately) I was looking for a change of power at the centre before 2014 General Elections – just when there was a hue and cry across the nation about how Congress had looted India in preceding 10 years of it being in power!
But does all of this leaves with no option but to trust BJP blindly?
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