02 June, 2007

What Abouts India?

Have a look at what is happening in Pakistan today -
- Strong influence of religious inspired forces in political and social issues
- Targetting of womens rights, eradication of womens education
Pakistan politics and underlying social factors have been slowly but surely heading towards this abyss of social mayhem for quite some time now. The slow deterioration of law and order is a testament to the tendency of the politics of religion.
India, sadly, is not far behind, although the flavour here is different. The minority feels threatened. Godhra did not help. The riots after that and the continued apathy of the government, the resounding victory of Narendra Modi in the next election - every thing went like one reinforcing nail after another that the majority has grown teeth. To assert our weight is fine - but denying access to livelihood and justice is not. Driving 12% of our population to desperation is not. It is just plain foolish.
I do not think that this amounts to, or has to amount to appeasement. What it does amount to is re-estabilishing the rule of law - people like this (The Gujarat ATS cop) should be made an example of. There should be tighter laws passed for mixing religion and politics - segregation, inciting people, rioting et al. Again, not appeasement, but simple Math. (Earlier, the minorities had this going, now about 84% of 1.1bn people are a target market, so tougher regulation is the need of the hour).
Hinduism and India are both essentially plural in nature. This is what has made both exist despite all odds. Hinduism is a bunch of different things to different people. For my mother, it is the bedrock of her existence and is part of her daily routine. For many of my generation, it is a way of understanding our culture and our parents without being overtly religious. What I believe to be true and ironical is this - India would not exist very well as a Hindu state, because it would end up like Yugoslavia or dozens of other such example. India exists and confounds critics no one asserts his identity as anyone - a hindu, a muslim - sometimes not even as an Indian. When that starts to be replaced by millions of people clamouring to stand apart, India as a whole falters and falls.
The outlook of a generation is shaped by the prior generation. Most of what I know and think to be right or wrong is a sum total of all that I read and talked about while growing up. If we all worked very hard on our children, they would each turn out to be like Mr. Modi or blind Anti-Modis. My point here - we could quite easily lose this good thing which have going here - democracy, rule of law, separation of state and religion, army under civil rule and so on... (the ITES miracle comes further down the list)
How bad can it get? From a few thousand terrorists/freedom flighters in Kashmir, to about 10000 Taliban causing mayhem in Afghanistan (at its peak, when they won the country), imagine a vast land with about 100 million angry and wronged citizens.
How to get to such a place from here and now - 20 years under systematic appeasement of the majority and dismantling the fabric of this country.

Scary eh?