Sanjiv Bhatt’s Sisters Letter to the Nation on the Eve of Independence Day.
Place: The heart of darkness
Date: Independence Day 2019
Dear Fellow Indians,
As we join the chorus of celebrations on our 73rd Independence Day, let us pause for a moment and reflect on our journey so far; as well as the direction of our current trajectory Have we reached anywhere near where we set out for on 15th August 1947? Are we even headed in the right direction? Was Aazadi about the freedom to question, to challenge, to express, to ament…. Without fear of state reprisal?
Thanks to our apathy and indifference over the last few decades, we allowed politics to become the resort of choice for thugs. And now, thanks to our ignorance and gullibility, we are allowing nationalism to become the resort of choice for the political thug. Angry vociferous and muscular nationalism as the sole fiefdom of a political party automatically implies that anyone or any other political party that questions their narrative is antinational. Unfortunately, the idea of nationalism that has gained currency today, is promised on the exclusion of minorities the smallest minority being the thinking, rational Indian.
Needless to elaborate, people with low self esteem and high ignorance are the first to mindlessly scramble towards the construct of a muscular Hindu identity that feeds on aggressive and vociferous nationalism. Today the muscular nationalism and mobocracy that is thriving under the aegis of the state silences and snuffs out all voices of social, cultural and political dissent.
When everything else fails, the thugs in power fetishize the flag to whip up the gullible middle class into a frenzy of belligerent Jingoism. The bulk of the self-proclaimed nationalist and patriots invariably comprises of people with very strong opinions, but very little knowledge of history and an almost non existence capacity for reason as the bravado of nationalistic fervor blocks out everything else, especially the capacity for reason.
If India has to survive as a functional democracy every sensible Indian will have to rise above the crowd try to make his voice heard above the din, and deconstructs the seduction of muscular nationalism that is conveniently used as an opiate to numb and block out reason. We the people of India, will have to realize once and for all, that the government is not nation, and being anti government is not same as being antinational.
It is obvious that the current political narrative and rhetoric have not only clouded our capacity for reason but have also deprived us of our ability to differentiate between good and evil. Today we are on the threshold of unprecedented darkness. Those of us who will not see this are bigots, those who cannot are fools, and those who dark not are craven slaves.
When the state throttles the voices of its own citizens while the judiciary and legislature watch in impotent smiles, who do you approach for redressal? Who do you indict, try and sentence? Nothing short of condemning such a vide state to death is Justice.
Aazadi in its true sense, is still a far cry. As jean Par Sartre once wrote: “Freedom is what we do with what is done to us.” Think about it.
Today, we have progressed from the phase of banality of evil, to the phase of audacity of evil. We have miles to go before dawn breaks and the darkness dissolves.
Yeh Daagh iYaala, Yeh Shab Gazida Seher
Who Intezar tha Jiska, yeh who seher to nahin
Yeh wo seher to nahin, jiski aarzoo lekar
Chale they yaar ke mil jaayegi kahin na kahin
Falak ke Dasth mein taaron ki aakhri manzil
Kahin to hoga shab-e-sust maiy ka saahil
Kahin to Jaa ke rukega sefine-e-gham-e-dil
Chaley chalo ke who manzil abhi nahin aayee…
-Faiz Ahmed Faiza (15th Aug 1947)
Lets us continue our march from the darkness to light… undaunted, undeterred, undefeated. Happy Independence Day!
With lots of love and Hope…