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When I was in school we used to say a pledge in the morning assembly. It began this way, “India is my country. All Indians are my brothers and sisters….”. This was the India we dreamed of when we were children. But, is this the India we are living now?

Distressing news are coming from all around India. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari we hear the wails of our brothers and sisters.  I hear the cries of Farooq Ahmad Dar who was tied in front of an army jeep as a human shield. I hear the cries from Mandasur where farmers were shot down like mad dogs.  Farmers from Tamil Nadu went so far as to Delhi to have an audience with the Prime Minister. They ate rats, drank their own urine, still our Prime Minister didn’t have time to hear their woes.

The blood of Akhlaq in Dadri is crying for justice and so are the dozens of victims who were killed by the ‘Gau Rakshaks’ (Cow Vigilante) around the country. Who will protect the dignity of of our brothers in Una? Who will protect the dignity of our sisters in Bastar? Where is Najeeb?

While we cry for justice and dignity, Gau Rakshaks are roaming the streets with Trishuls and lathis ready to lynch anyone on mere suspicion. Yes, an air of suspicion has entered the body politics of our country. We have lost mutual trust.

To make things worse, 150 right wing Hindu outfits met in Goa with an aim to convert India into a Hindu Rashtra by 2023. One Sadhvi Saraswati went so far as to state that she will “request” the Central government to hang people who eat beef. She also urged Hindus to stock arms at home to “save our women from love jihad”.

Is this the country we pledged to stand up for? Have we forgotten what we learnt as children that ‘’all Indians are our brothers and sisters”? What has happened to our country to make a Sadhvi to state from the pulpit to stock up arms? Why is the country full of Gau Rakshaks searching for potential cattle traders or beef eaters to lynch them, instead of asking them if they had anything to eat today? Where is our country headed?

The de facto ‘beef ban’ has given these Gau Rakshaks the license to lynch anyone. Is Cow the most important priority in India? The 2016 Global Hunger Index states that 38.7 per cent of Indian children under five years are stunted due to lack of food. That means that the 1 in 3 of our children have stunted growth. Dear Gau Rakshaks before you lynch their parents, try to give them a day’s nutritious food.

Cow has become  a political animal. Cow is the central plank of Hindutva politics. It unleashes the lynch mobs who create an atmosphere of fear across the nation. Cow divides communities. If the manoeuvres of those who divide India succeed, we are heading for  a ‘Cowistan’. In my mother tongue, Malayalam, Cowistan can be translated as ‘Kalistan’. ‘Kali’ means cow. The Gau Rakshaks can be called ‘Kaliban’.  We are heading into a ‘Cowistan’ where ‘Kaliban’ rule.

No, this is not the India we dreamed of as children. This is not the India we want to pass on to our children.  As adults let’s take another pledge today, “India is my country. All Indians are my brothers and sisters.”  With our beloved tricolour in one hand and the Constitution of India in the other, we will fight with all our might any effort to make India into a Cowistan, ruled by ‘Kalibans’.

Binu Mathew is the editor of www.countercurrents.org. He can be reached at editor@countercurrents.org

5 Comments

  1. Naveej Ahamed says:

    Thanks Binu for reminding about the pledge and urging all adults to stand up to protect our constitution.

  2. richseeto says:

    Richard Seeto

    Yea, it is easy to make little children at school mouth patriotic aspirations; just as I was when I first attended grade school and was taught to sing the then Australian song: “Australian sons, let us all rejoice….” Which is now adopted as the national anthem. When I started growing up and face the reality of racism and realised that the lyrics of the song really only apply to white skinned folks, then I began to know what racism and bullshit rhetoric means just as your Indian children are made to recite loving all Indians as brothers and sisters.

    So the reality of government practice is contrary to its aspirations or rather the government chose to favour the rich and powerful over all others.

    The question must be asked by all Indians and I mean ALL INDIANS. Is the current incumbent government being fair to all citizens and govern even handedly or does it only care about the rich and powerful ones?

    If it treats the poor and dispossessed so dismally and some of whom were shot and killed worse that the mangy dogs in the streets of India; what does the government intend to do with the rest of them?

    If the government is so inimical to the country’s poor and dispossessed, should they accept their wretched lot or should they stand and rise up against the government like other countries which rid their insufferable dictators?

    The people may not realise it, but they do have power in their hands but only if they unite.

    Remember as taught by our Great Teacher: “A house divided against itself will not stand”

    THE SOLUTION IS IN THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLE.

  3. K SHESHU BABU says:

    If the rulers are intentionally tearing the first part of the pledge, what about the later part? They are even devouring it …’ …I am proud of it’s rich and varied heritage…’ . Here, the ‘ varied ‘ is being replaced by the narrow ‘ hindu’ ! “…in their prosperity alone lies my happiness ‘ where is the happiness? Chaos everywhere …!!

  4. K SHESHU BABU says:

    Yeomen services of P. Subba Rao have been almost forgotten! School prayers of true national spirit have been replaced by commercialism and greed of the management

  5. Mohammad Ashraf says:

    If the Great Indian Republic of Tagore and Nehru is to be saved, people need to stand up. Merely watching and commenting will not do!