JNU, Angry Indians and Tagore

What is happening to you my friend?

You see a day when the upholders of law became a law unto themselves and yet nod with them!

You see a day when the keepers of law stand as silent spectators while the mob manhandles and mocks at the only remaining guardians of our democracy, the fourth estate and the judiciary and yet have no regrets!

You see the very hallowed grounds of our temples of law seeing ugly violence led by people whose main aim seems to be to score political brownies using pseudo-nationalism and yet cannot see through their designs?

I am not even talking to my friend out there who supports a student, or rather a group of students and their teachers, who only wish to continue with their debates and discussions in their knowledge of learning without being made headlines of national media.

I am talking to you, to you my friend who disagrees with me, who feels really bad about what Kanahiya and a bunch of students have done, by supposedly raising anti-India slogans or by supporting a certain section of Kashmiris who want self rule.

I would not even get into a debate with you because I know that I will fail. I know that your blood is boiling and according to you, Mother India is hurt and you as a dutiful son is worked up. I know that you also feel that you have allowed it to go on for long in the name of secularism and appeasing minorities and now that you have your own ‘Swaraj’, self rule, you cannot allow this to continue any more. I know that you consider ‘Hindustan’ and ‘Hindutava’ as synonym and in ‘your’ house, your rule should prevail. ‘Acche din’, the good days, are here to stay.

Fair enough, my friend. I fully understand your feelings and respect them. I know exactly where you are coming from because I was also born in a similar family and off late I have seen that many of my family and friends feel exactly like you. In fact at times I feel that my family may also disown me due to this and yet, I hope that love may be a stronger bond than ideology.

But my friend, please calm down. Please let us talk. Even Gandhi got us independence through discussion and I know that you are matured enough to understand that anger and hate cannot bring results. So let us just relax a bit, take a deep breath and open our minds.

Now, thank you for that! See, we can talk now!

You wish to punish Kanahiya and his likes. Sure. I am all for it. If they have done anything wrong, they should repent. But can we please allow the justice to take its’ course.

Suppose you were driving on the road and erroneously hit a person on the road and the mob present out there started delivering justice? Would you like that?

Suppose you were talking and texting on your telephone and a bunch of goons came from nowhere and started hitting you demanding money or for any other reason and your cry for justice went unheard? Even to the cops standing close by who were disinterested or were too afraid of the goons themselves? Would you accept that?

Suppose you were discussing in a group and the group did not agree with you and the group decided to teach you a lesson, physically as words were not having any effect on you? Would you tolerate that?

My friend, please. In every country, in every civic society, in every generation, there is and should be a way to handle dispute. That is how the world has evolved. There is a framework of law under which we all operate and that should be sacrosanct. We should not think of living in a modern world with medieval justice.

Currently the biggest circus that mankind sees, the American election which is a long drawn event for more than eighteen months, is running. There are jokers aping politicians who have come up with the worst the mankind can offer. An entire country of hard working people, read Mexicans, has been named as comprising of rapists and murderers, it is being proposed to ban all immigrants including people like you and me in the name of making America great again, abortions even planned or in distress are being fought against, well I can go on and on with the stupid views being raised out there. People are angry. Really angry at each other. Some who support these views and others who oppose them. And yet, these issues are being debated and discussed and people are not taking the law into their own hands to settle the scores. Even though the entire nation is exceedingly polarized.

There is a lot wrong with America right now and yet civility rules.

Just today, Apple, the world’s largest phone manufacturer, the most valued company of the world, American icon, challenged its own government and judiciary and refused to decipher the source codes of its I-Phone to protect the privacy of its phone users including a murderer, read terrorist, whose phone records, the American government wanted to check? And yet, the American people have not turned against Apple because it is defending a terrorist and have called Tim Cook anti national? Oh, I know that sly smile on your face imagining what would have happened to Tim Cook in India!

So please my friend, let the law of the land carry out its course and let justice prevail.

As for me, unfortunately I do differ with you. But I am sure by now both of us realize that the same is Ok and that I will respect you for your views and you will also hear me out. And for being kind to me, I would not put forward my arguments and make you angry again but just express my sadness by drawing lines from Tagore’s poetry and changing a few words to express my sorrow-

Where the mind is with fear and the head is held low
Where knowledge is shunned
Where the world has been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depths of hate and anger
Where blinded slaves stretch their arms to slimy masters
Where the clear stream of reason has lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of pseudo-nationalism and religious bigotry
Where the mind is led forward by mob
Into ever-worsening thought and action
In that hell of despair, Oh Mother India, art thou lie low today!

Posted in Times of India, 19th February 2016, link below-




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