The Way Out
We can see the anger of the
caged wild animal in its agitated, mad movements. We know the bull before
the bull fight returning from the doors closing before it one by one.
But it doesn't know, before it reaches there, that the last and only
door that will open for it will lead into the arena. I myself have encountered
a character restlessly climbing up and down a spiral stair, unable to
do anything against the horrible atrocities committed in front of her.
Sometimes the opening at the end of the passage may be invisible. Particularly,
when the stage is a whole land itself, when the passages are those that
lead to its future. But we know that the doors are there. We hear them
closing. We are the citizens of a land stuck on the way. We are beings,
who realize that our own country is a prison, and fear that the only
door that opens out of it might lead into the arena. There are presonances
of a catastrophe in this statement. But if as a last thing, it is left
unheeded, if the madness of the bull before the fight does not possess
us now, tomorrow we may become criminals before history.
Sometime back I was asked
about my views on Kashmir. I told that the issue before us is not whether
Kashmir or any other territory should be part of this or that country
or should remain independent. That a region is given an identity on
the basis of religion, or rather, such an identity is imposed upon it,
is what disturbs us. That is what should disturb us. That living human
beings are portioned out as majority and minority. "Minority community"
is the most humiliating qualification that can be given to any people
in a democracy. The people, in a democracy cannot be classed on the
basis of belief or any other feature into big and small parts. There
is only one status for all - that of equality.
The people of the Indian
subcontinent have a history of its own and an identity formed from that.
It is not the monopoly of Hindutva or anything else. A propaganda contrary
to this segregated some people half a century back and made them only
Muslims. The remaining part of India decided to retain its primal character.
For the last fifty years, people who have their discretion and their
heart are fighting to stand by that decision. It is our desire and need
that this identity should be retained. For this, it would help if this
land stands united. On the other hand, this identity is necessary for
the unity of the land too.
It is in this context that
the issue of our roads to future confronts us with utmost gravity. That
is why every individual who thinks, become like a bull in the bull fight.
That is why we have to state firmly that our future will not be death
in the arena.
The programme initiated by
some wretched men a decade and a half ago to destroy this identity and
to make its future a scene of battle, has brought our land to a decisive
stage. Let us realise this: their agenda, is to re-establish the primitive
customs and knowledge systems which were rejected as obsolete by the
Hindu community a long while back. Politcally, to make India a Hindu
empire; that means, make the non-Hindus hindu, and if they are not willing,
in the language of their guru, make them the serving class. They enacted
a prologue in Ayodhya in 1992 and later in Bombay. After ten years,
their campaign chariots have closed in to establish an overriding regime.
At the time of writing this,
the news media say that the army is bringing the situation down to normal.
Curfews are being withdrawn. Offices have started to function. People
are buying milk and vegetables. Gradually everyone will return to their
routines. Politicians of all kind too will return to their usual activities.
This too will be written off as yet another communal riot.
Communal riots are not new
to the Indian soil. They used to be staged, sometimes in a natural way
on trivial issues, sometimes artificially for somebody's vested interests
sometimes to protect ministries or to make them step down or for other
such reasons. But what happened in recent days was not similar. It was
not an expression of anger of the local people over the Godhra train
tragedy. It is part of a wider agenda, like what happened in Mumbai
ten years ago. It was a phased testing in cities and in villages, of
the genocide that the advocates of Hindu nation formulated and planned
in their laboratories. Now they must have returned to their laboratories
to analyse the favourable and unfavourable results of their experiment.
We can surely expect more well designed models in the future.This has
to be understood exactly. That is why there is no space for elegies
invoking the name of Gujarat as Gandhi' s birthplace. Elegies and prayers
will only help to distract our attention from seeing reality as reality.
For Indians, this is the time to see reality as reality and confront
it. If we do not understand the significance of 2002 as an aftermath
of 1992, we will not be able to see what 2012 has in store for us. That
should not happen.
The criterion of terrorism
of an organisation is not whether it uses RDX or not. The criterion
is the amount of venom that it generates and disseminates. This venom
can have any form, or we can say that RDX can have different forms.
Anyway we have seen that there is not much difference in the number
of corpses lying lined up. Then how does the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and
its allied organisations become different from Lashkar e Toiba and Jaish
Lashkar e Toiba and Jaish
e Muhammad grew in the same decade in which Vishwa Hindu Parishad and
its allied organisations grew. The truth of what they did in Pakistan
and Afghanistan is clear for everyone now. The Taliban is gone. Whatever
be the circumstances and the pressures, the ruler of Pakistan decided
to crackdown on the evil spectres of that country. The people of Pakistan
welcomed the general whole-heartedly, contrary to people's expectations.
But, at the time of writing
this, our Prime Minister is holding discussions with the leaders of
the terrorist organisations of this country. In this night of horror
he found only criminals to get advice from and not the people with intelligence
and discretion. He knows for sure that these people who have come from
the darkness of the past does not represent the Hindu community, and
that their claims are not those of the Hindus. But they are his advisors.
He does not need to be told that the question before the country today
is not whether to build a temple somewhere or not. Still he is behaving
as if that is the issue.
The need of the hour is to
counter the Hindu terrorist organisations in the same way as Pakistan
and the world countered the Islamic terrorist organisations. These forces
of darkness should not be given the right to haunt our present and our
future. The government that has taken its oath in the name of the democratic
and secular constitution should not indulge in any action that legitimises
these forces directly or indirectly. But everything is happening the
other way. So it is time to say that we have lost our faith in that
Lastly, the agenda that this
government is carrying out is not that of the people of India. BJP has
come into power on the basis of a tiny percentage of votes. Even the
majority of people who voted for them do not believe in their ideology.
This government has no mandate to execute the programmes of Vishwa Hindu
Parishad or Rashtreeya Swayamsevak Sangh. The lesson of history is that
the Fascists have made their power all-embracing, by coming to power
as a minority and carrying out mandates that they don't have. That is
their method. The solution that Brecht speaks of in Stalinalee:
distributed in theStalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts, would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?
It must be this solution
that Mussolini, Hitler, Franco and Stalin found, that of electing their
own people, which our ruling party which has failed in three more states
and has been reduced to two states out of twenty seven, is trying out
now through Gujarat.
This is written by one who
belongs to a receding generation, the old generation which carries the
responsibility of so many mistakes. Let the young generation decide
that they will resolve for themselves this strategy of solution.
(Anand is a writer and thinker)