India is about ‘Tiranga’ not ‘Lal Salaam’
It was with great intrigue that I watched Kanhaiya Kumar’s speech at JNU after his release on bail. To me the dramatics of Indian politics always held a fascination. And this young newly propped up leader is the new star in the drama of Indian politics.
Like all actors of the Great India Game, he too is playing his part extremely well and is getting able support from those who support his beliefs and those who consider him to be a threat; because of their foolishness in handling the crisis due to their lack of understanding about the game being played out.
‘We do not want Freedom from India, but Freedom in India’, Kanhaiya’s words ringing across mainstream media and social media. Unfortunately, ‘freedom’ like ‘love’ is the most prostituted word in world. Everyone talks about freedom – freedom of speech, freedom to love, freedom to dress, freedom from aristocracy and the list goes on.
Freedom as defined in the Constitution of India makes it possible for every Indian to have the freedom it desires within the limitations attached to that freedom in the interest of the greater good of the country.
Our freedom came at a price. Some of our leaders shed their blood for it. To me that sacrifice is the real ‘Lal Salaam’. Their sacrifice was for the ‘Tiranga’ our tri-colour flag that we look up to in remembrance of what our nation has endured, endeavored and what it needs to evolve into.
Afzal Guru a key moot point to the shenanigans that erupted at JNU was arrested because of a terror activity, faced trial in court and paid the price with his life for what people like me see as betrayal of that very freedom this nation has offered. On similar lines, Yakub Memon’s death penalty too was a price paid for assisting those miscreants who were waging a war against this nation. Both these terrorist did not want change in India. If they wanted that, then their targets would not be the innocent citizens of India but the actual criminals, rapists and corrupt politicians of this country.
The intent of every terror act is to spread fear in the hearts of the people. To get them to doubt the unity they share and most all, to ignite a religious divide based on racial profiling. So when JNU students in its ‘freedom’ start praising and supporting the acts of such terrorists who have undergone the judicial process of the country and were found guilty of the crimes committed; you wonder whether these students are actually acting in the interest of the unity of our nation or working towards stirring up a discord.
Let me say this in as simple words as possible, “anyone that supports a terrorist is an enemy of this nation” and they has lost their right to take shelter under the freedom our country offers to its citizens.
So often we hear the word ‘secularism’ being spoken about. Kanhaiya too in speech raised the issue of ‘secularism’. Often when I here this word, I am normally rolling on the floor laughing, because the word ‘secular’ is the most wrongly defined word in India.
To be ‘secular’ does not in any manner mean to accept all religions as equal. In fact it literally means that a nation in its governance accepts no religion to be its guiding light. A secular nation is a country where religion and governance are not bedfellows. In India, because of the alarming prostitution of misunderstood words, it has become strange bedfellows.
The problem with India and it is a weakness that is so often exploited by enemies of the nation within and those countries waiting in the wings to watch our people burn themselves, is that we are a divided nation on the basis of our religion, our caste, our states, our reservations and our social status.
We do not ‘Think India’ and we do not ‘Be India’. That is our cross to carry. Even terror today has taken a communal color, ‘saffron terror’ or ‘green terror’. I am often stumped on this definition of terror because when a terrorist releases a bomb, he does not ask whether person dying is a Muslim, Christian or Hindu before the detonation and saves those from his creed or caste. An Indian dies in those bomb blasts and terror attacks.
The Great India Game is not a conspiracy theory. It is real and in our face. The players of this game lie inside our nation and outside. It involves the politicians, corporates, bureaucrats and religious leaders, whose intent is to keep this nation on a boil and divided. The reason is simple if Indians ‘Think India, Be India – the nation with its wealth of talent, resources and most of all religious harmony will be a unified country with its strength being its people and that is not good for business. Some of the genuine politicians, social workers and citizens become mere pawns in this game.
The youth of India lacks a leader, who thinks beyond political parties, religious compulsions and socio-caste demographics. One projected youth leader of the nation by a political party is a 40-plus man, whose brains and related action is more like a bubbling child than a sensible youth. The other leader of a national party who also happens to be the leader of our country, has decided that it’s time to ‘Make in India’ by traveling abroad but has forgotten that before we ‘Make in India’ we need to ‘Make India’. The other political leader that has suddenly garnered eye-balls in the national political scene is someone who prefers intelligent drama to real attempt to unite India and solve it issues. The leaders of the ‘Leftist’ parties, which are we talking about, there is no leader that inspires a nation to unite. If at all the ‘Leftist’ do anything, it borders on dividing the nation.
This lack of leadership will be the bane of our country and it is up to the youth to take charge and build on the mantra of ‘Think India, Be India’.
Your speech had all the right ingredients to inspire some in the country that have been fed-up with the political class and many who are fed-up with the arrogance of the ruling-government. The previous government got relegated to nothing on an anti-corruption drive. The current government will lose its foothold on an anti-secular drive. Sometimes one needs to work at disruption and equilibrium, towards a state of relative calm. This follows from the premise that in order to express a condition of calm, one needs to contrast it with one of disruption. The tension India is facing is good because out of this chaos, something good will be in store.
Like a Chinese proverb states, “It is only when a mosquito lands on your testicles that you realize that violence is not a way to solve a problem”.
I agree we need ‘Freedom in India’.
Freedom from the rape of our women and children.
Freedom from the religious and racial profiling.
Freedom to love, even it is same sex.
Freedom for a woman or a man to walk out of an unhappy marriage without being seen a stigma on society.
Freedom for a child to come out in the open and speak about the paedophiles who have sexually abused them, even if they belong to religious orders or in families.
Freedom for a child of poor man to get a good education, food security and healthcare.
Freedom for a Hindu, Muslim, Christian and those of other religious beliefs to practice their faith, without the shackles of governance or religious fundamentalism.
Freedom from those that destroy our environment under the garb of development.
Freedom to not pay tax until our government gives us the roads, healthcare, education and basic civil amenities that we as citizens need.
The ‘freedom’ we received as a gift has got lost in the din of corruption, communalism and religious fundamentalism. Until we rid ourselves of the real evil that threatens our freedom, we are not truly free as a nation; it is mere words in our Constitution. It has not penetrated into the hearts of every single Indian in this free country of ours.
I dream of a ‘Free India’. An India where ‘We the People – Think India, Be India!’