I have watched the JNU drama play out for days. I have heard the students being called anti-national, seditious traitors and terrorists. I have seen idiotic BJP politicians parade their ignorance and arrogance on television channels.
I was shocked to read the eyewitness accounts by the journalists who were attacked. I was disappointed by the lack of response of the police when the journalists and students were attacked, ironically in a courthouse.
I noticed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is increasingly turning into a hologram, is mute as usual.
I am appeased by the fact that the intelligent, liberal and independent journalists have quickly condemned the developing incidents which they recognise are pushing India into a new, dark and dangerous territory.
But here’s my question: Where are the voices of the people of India? Are you complicit with the actions of the authorities? You don’t have any issue with young, intelligent, smart students who study at a reputable institution being beaten and abused by authorities and the government? And what was their crime? Questioning their country is not even a criminal offence let alone sedition.
Didn’t you feel sick to your stomach when you saw the photographs of those who were kicked, hit and had their hair pulled? How about the journalist who went on television to state that they threatened to break her bones and her phone?
Are you grateful and thankful that you have representatives of a government like OP Sharma? Did you give him a standing ovation when he puffed out his chest with pride and proclaimed loudly and clearly, “Goli bhi maar det agar banduk hoti”?
How about that defining moment in your country’s history when those lawyers, those officers of the court who swore to uphold and protect the Constitution of India, were punching and attacking journalists and students, who were clearly outnumbered and cowering in fright?
Did you have a special pride in seeing those men in black coats engage in the dirtiest power play possible?
Do you want to send laddoos to the Delhi police commissioner BS Bassi for underplaying the many laws broken as a “minor incident”? (I personally want to send him hundreds of glass bangles and some dupattas to distribute to his force so they can add that to their uniforms. It would be appropriate and I am not insulting the women who wear the dupattas and the bangles. I am just pointing out that it hard to kick ass in with the additional baggage but since they just stand around and do nothing, they might as well.)
Do you want to sit back and see the country slowly being ruined before you timidly whisper that something is "not quite right?"
You can take your time. India has wasted many years in picking the wrong leaders, what’s a few more really? Globally, the talking pundits are already calling it as they see it “a more intolerant India under an increasing Hindutva government.”
As a mother, as a woman, as a journalist and an Indian, living abroad I can share this much with you: Our kids are not waiting around for “Acche din,” they are demanding it from their leaders now. What you have settled for is mostly “Mamuli din” mixed in with many “Burrey din.”
The world elects leaders who give them law and order, rights and dignity. People in their professions are loyal to their duties and their responsibilities. They do not demean themselves and they do not make disgraceful spectacles of themselves publicly.
Indians who conquer and own industries and professions in every country are, ironically, backward and regressive in the nation of their birth.
Why is this? I have a very simple explanation that may sound basic but I think you should give it a shot.
You need to speak out. You need to stand up. You need to demand better. You deserve much more than you are given.
But I will be honest in saying in pointing this out: You need to have self-respect, self-esteem and pride and ask for what you are worth.
I am no fan of Modi, RSS or BJP. But I will admit that the government can only do so much damage and the rest is up to the people.
If you had police who were committed to their uniforms and their duties, they wouldn’t have been blatantly disrespected by the lawyers and government officials and they would have our respect.
But today the government, the lawyers and the police have stood together and proved that they have no pride and no respect for their positions they have given. They have proved to you that they can disrespect and dishonour everyone. They can flaunt the law, they can bring in anarchy and they can get away with it.
Only you, the people, can ask for change. You can shame them. You can ask them to resign. You can take away the arrogance they are displaying. You can send them a message that they behaviour is unacceptable.
And ask yourself just one more question. Who is really damaging the integrity, the sovereignty and the respect of the nation? Who is shaming India?
The students who want to convey their feelings in a protest? The journalists who are doing their job in covering the news?
Or the protectors of the people? The keepers of truth? The guardians of the law?