The likes of Dabolkar, Pansare, Kalburgi & now Gauri are the few lonely voices in our societal landscape, who had sounded different from the popular narrative, they all had sternly & firmly stood for the causes of very people, who have been pushed to the margins in the name of caste, religion and superstitious beliefs.
It is widely known, observed that mainstream media in the country is least bothered to take up the issues of these marginalised, ostracised people living in an atmosphere of fear and hopelessness. The motive to crush those lonely voices is nothing but an act of fascism to define an archaic idea of India which never falls into the premise of our constitutional principles of pluralism, freedom of expression, equal treatment for all.
Ever since Modi government came to the power with a strong majority, right wing forces have gathered the confidence to silence every voices those they believe has never fit into their idea of India. The dangerous trend of selective targeting of people who challenge & raise opposing views is being brought down by bullets.
The liberal space for such intellectual to discuss, to bring the valid issues to the limelight are being treated with disdain. But the real fact is that these attacks on such people are nothing but an effort to contain them with brutal force. The role of our mainstream media in today’s environment is limited to browbeating what has been propagated by the govt, instead of questioning the govt tendencies media amounts to create a climate of an unnecessary frenzy on issues like nationalism & patriotism. In the hindsight, underlying larger societal issues which are at play have been sidelined.
The intellectuals like Gauri spoke sense and fought for those class of people who have been living under constant fear and insecurity, it is the responsibility of journalist-cum activist like Gauri to bring such issues to the forefront for the Govt of the day to address it sensibly. I think most the issues raised by these liberal intellectuals are getting brushed aside with a scant regard of not getting heard. As an agenda to oppose anyone with such liberal voices are not through serious discussions, but finds an easy route of resorting to violence, vandalism and murder.
The idea of India has been inclusive in nature not exclusive. If we continue the way we are doing right now would turn our country into a theocratic state, which is against the principles enshrined in our Constitution. The fundamental existence of India as a nationhood doesn’t lie on the idea of majoritarianism, but an idea which takes everyone in the society together with an objective of empowering all to build a strong nation which celebrates its vibrancy in unity in diversity.
It is very sad to see how insensitive we have become as a society, the ideas and values these espoused by liberal intellectuals ought to be right normal which we as a nation need to imbibe. The idea of divisiveness, communal politics, the illogical embarrassment of past culture is not going to take us anywhere if we really aspire to become a powerful nation in the coming decade.
The culture we have inherited as a society thrives on accepting every faith & beliefs inclusively. In contrast to that what we witness today is nothing but the blatant violation of silencing them with out constructive engagement. The systematic destruction of institutions of excellence in the last three years clearly point towards a singular idea of a new normal, with limited possibilities of voices of dissent, Our strands of defining nationalism today is very skewed & myopic. The intolerance towards opposing views, alternate ideas needs to be promoted more than getting wrapped as anti-nationalist.
The one-dimensional view through a particular prism would turn our country into a bunch of aberrations. The ideas or voices should be three dimensional and should be allowed to be discussed and deliberated in a central space, because you cannot view or govern a nation with narrow-minded ideas, silencing those with opposing views, who tries to bring issues plaguing us into the forefront for a very long time. If we really want to take the nation forward to greater heights, the need for accommodating the sensibilities of each and every one in the society is a must. As a society needs the patience to hear their concerns with empathy, not as an enemy of the state.
In the contemporary society, or as a nation with a multitude of practices, belief systems and food habits, the responsibility of the govt ought to be the role of a facilitator in providing the space for them to debate, survive and sustain. The role of such individuals who raises their voices, concerns needs to be welcomed with an open mind. I believe in today’s India extreme leftist ideologies or extreme right-wing ideologies are dangerous to our nation’s existence, the relevance of strong personalities like Gouri need to be heard, welcomed, but the recent series of actions against them proves that as a society we have been becoming increasingly intolerant towards individuals who take up issues of wider importance, which I believe is a very dangerous trend.