“The peace and tranquility that existed in India prior to 2014 can never come back”. When I read these words, my blood boiled but I sat down to think about this statement. Whether we like it, or not,from the outside it did look like that was true! After all, communal discord did exist but people, to use Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s words, “shook hands and made up”. Did that really take the mutual animosity away? Let’s examine this before we come to any decision, shall we?
First things first, let’s admit that this tryst with secularism has failed miserably! To be a truly secular state, there needs to be a separation between state and religion! That has never been the case with communities being termed minorities and their appeasement being done, by ALL governments, using OUR money. If one talked to any two people from the majority and minority communities, one could see the discontentment existing between the two. Yes, to a large extent, they didn’t voice it openly but one could sense the feeling. When some person, from the majority community, actually voiced this publicly, he/she was termed anti-national, or a rabble rouser or other choice words. The truth was, Hindus felt like they were walking on eggshells when talking about their plight. This changed after 2014, when people had enough of appeasement and wanted to be truly equal in all aspects. To those that were opposed to this equality, this did look like disturbing the nation’s peace and tranquility! Some even called it as disturbing the harmony within society! These people didn’t sense the discontentment that was there simmering underneath the surface of minority appeasement. When one got 85-90% in her/his education and was systematically overlooked for a candidate from a minority community with less grades, that was reason enough to be discontented. Those discontented people turned into malcontents, or so it seemed to those, now out of power.
Corruption existed since before any of us was born. But, Bharat took corruption to levels that were lower than the lowest, one could imagine. Ordinary clerks to the big babus to the ministers were all party to this festive feasting on hapless people. Since 2014, that has gone down. It would be foolish to think this malaise has been eradicated but to a large extent, it has been controlled, at least at the central level. Some wise guy pontificated, on social media, that “corruption is a clear indicator of the distance between the poor and the rich. The rich are getting richer while the poor look on”. Really? Total socialism junk! This thought process was what sparked the revolution and formation of the now non-existent USSR. We all know what happened there and the aftermath! Russia is still recovering, 30 years later!
When politics became unethical, is a question that haunts many! After all, we are from the same land where ethical politicians like Vidur stood tall in a Kaurava assembly! Closer to our times, we did have politicians like Patel and Shastri who were seemingly beyond corruption! And yet, many of today’s politicians seem to be in the arena to make a quick buck. This trend of corrupt politicians seems to be very prevalent in the opposition and, to some extent, in the ruling parties, at least at state levels. Expecting Narendra Modi to correct this state level corruption is asking for too much. Even there, the center has taken several steps to rid the people off this disease. We will have to wait and watch.
Ideological differences will always exist between communities. The ideology of Hindus will not match that of other communities. The beauty of coexistence is to find a happy middle ground where none is discriminated against. Unfortunately, that middle ground will never be found with people like the MP from Hyderabad, and his brother, instigating violence towards the majority. Statements, by this MP’s brother, to the effect, if the law and order enforcement agencies were to keep quiet for 15 minutes, his community would teach the majority a lesson, have only added fuel to a fire that has been stoked by the fears of the ideological differences.
So, to address the initial hypothesis, I can only hope that we don’t ever go back to “the times before 2014”. People have realized the muscle they flex and that realization has brought nightmares to people that were used to something completely different. People are now in control of their own lives. One shudders to think what their lives would be, “ if things were back to what they were before 2014”.
उत्तिष्ठ भारत। जय माँ भारती