While I am writing this article about Freedom and the Idea of freedom, i am going back to the memory lane and recall all the names who are behind the bars because they questioned the fascist hindu government and they raised their voice against oppression. From Dr. Kafeel to Sharjeel Imam, Sharjeel Usmani to Professor Hany babu. India as a country failed its people, and government has failed us miserably.
Its been one long year and our beloved J&K has been locked down. Its terrible how the oppression in the valley is not curbed but the lives of the people in the valley has been curbed. Whenever we raise the ‘AZADI’ slogan, we are not asking independence from our country, we ask for the independence IN our country, from the communalism, their idea of Nationalism (which is all wrapped up in the Hindutva), their patriarchal practices and their Caste system.
1947 riots, Delhi, 1967, Ranchi, 1979, Jamshedpur, 1980, Moradabad, 1984, Delhi, 1987, Merrut, 1992-93, Mumbai, 2002, Gujrat, 2009, Muzaffarnagar, 2020, Delhi this is a rough data of communal violence in India since Independence. The promises Nehru made in his Tryst & Destiny were not these. Or they were? In a democratic country like India, Where is the democracy? It has been sold to a Fascist ruler, who calls himself a servent of the nation but leaves no stone unturned in imposing emergency in the country. This is an unannounced emergency this country is living in-with. Even in 1947, Both Nehru and Jinna has romanticised the idea of freedom so much that people were actually dreaming that the liberation was around the corner, but its been 74 years since then, we are going backwards over the years.
The idea of Nationalism and patriotism has been penetrated in the people of the country nationwide and this leads people on a path which they do not really know where leads to. Nania palkhivala says, “We Indians are individually intelligent, but collectively foolish.” I have seen this line coming alive in recent years. The people of this country has turned into a Mob. A mob, which can take someone’s life because they have meat in their refrigerator, the mob which has burnt buses and houses because they had muslim nameplates. The recent incident which took place in Jamia milia islamia, here the mob was in the Police uniform.
An organisation which is famous for its nationalist ‘ideology’ connects with the audience with that adjective itself. This word, which could have build a nation, an entire force of amazing students and learners, ended up in creating mobs. Mobs in police uniforms, to torture students, teachers, scholars and activists. Mobs in armed forces, to hostile a whole state.
Unnao is a district in Uttar Pradesh, where a then BJP MLA Kuldeep sengar raped a minor and killed his whole family. The member of parliaments have ongoing unending numbers of cases, but the court and police is busy in arresting scholars and feminist activists like Natasha narwal and Devangana Kalita.
This country couldn’t accept women leading spaces, the country which calls itself a progressive, developed state has seen only one women primeminister and one women president in 74 years.
And this pandemic, this has shown us the worst, we failed our labourers, we saw thousands of migrant labourers on roads, barefoot, dying unknown, unnoticed without basic nessesities like food and transportation.
We have been introduced to a policy, NEP, National Education Policy, where in this pandemic 30% kids are not in a situation to get enrolled in schools back and 45% kids still cant be traced by their teachers, this policy proposes or say claims that blended learning would be the new normal. We have already been ‘told’ or ‘declared’ as ‘digital india’ but kids do not have a smartphone in their hands or do not have internet access to that, here i see NEP as a fraud, this is how we are failing its students and their future.
As Fehmeeda Riyaz wites,
“Qaayam hindu raaj karoge
Saare ulte kaaj karoge
Apna chaman taaraj karoge,
Tum bhi baithe karoge socha,
Poori hai waisi taiyaari,
kaun hai hindu kaun nahi hai,
Tum bhi karoge Fatwa jaari.”
This can be a message from our dearest neighbour Pakistan and its Student community to us, in these hard times.
“World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor–it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement. And history teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbors.”
“A strategy of peace” John F Kennedy, 1963