By Ananya S Guha
It seems the concept of freedom fighters is reshaped and redesigned. Anyone shouting against another is a freedom fighter.Anyone raising the slogan of Bharat Mata is a freedom fighter, pitchforking this idea into a new analogy of love and martyrdom. Anyone dissenting is questioned about his or her loyalties to a mother head or god head. The freedom movement is forgotten, the grand tradition of diversity in a country, the confluence of races and history is forgotten. We are truly amnesic ( sic!). Of course condemn we must the Uri attack. Condemn we must Pakistan abetted terrorism. But we cannot condemn spaces of debate. We cannot condemn feelings of a person, for those dead in Kashmir including children.
Mr Speakers Sirs, all those who speak about culture, please can you define it. All those who confound it with religion, can you say what religion, religiosity and spirituality are? Are not the vast oceans of this Nation fed with innumerable tributaries and repositories of culture and religion? Then where is one Culture? Is it like one pay, one pension? The keys to the conscience of a Nation are now dangled by many from vapid politicians to jingoists and rabid media persons. ” Cry The Beloved Country”. Unfortunately enough are not crying. The dead are not forgotten, nor forgiven. Even today Mother Teresa is indicted for being the worst kind of proselytizer.
Diplomatic prudence in our politicians has gone from bad to worse. The name of Ram is mentioned at the slightest pretext. We don’t think about insecurities of other minorities. History is hoodwinked into my story, my race embedded in a pristine culture of mythology and sullied history. Secularists are sick. The others are robust health trending luminaries. History is distorted, and the past given a new break into a new life of self righteous. In this situation, what students will study, is a complete mystery, how they will be brainwashed is the greatest apprehension. Shouting down people who disagree with you or arrest them is the latest maelstrom taking place. In an ethos of fear, the finest points of culture or intellectual headiness can only take a back seat.
God save the country.
Post Script: It is great that Dylan has won the Nobel. At least the debate goes beyond stereo types and cultural posturing.Questions will continue blowing in the wind.
About the Author: Ananya S Guha lives and writes from Shillong in North East India.