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A Culture of Hatred Thriving

Julian S Das Julian S Das
10 Jan 2022

No sane person on earth can justify what is happening in India these days; there is violence, hate speeches, bloodshed and insinuations galore, and there is very little noise of condemnation, or even consternation, from those who have the sacred duty and responsibility of safeguarding the secular traits of the biggest democracy in the world. The leaders who would shout through their throats during election campaigns, disregarding the Covid protocol and the safety-security of the citizens, are found mum and speechless when it comes to pulling up those who are threatening to tear the nation into pieces with their bold insinuations.

Neither Prime Minister Narendra Modi nor his lieutenant-Home Minister Amit Shah would dare to bring an end to the culture of violence and hatred that had been unleashed by the rightwing fanatics, who take shelter in the sacred traditions of the country, claiming to be the custodians of a religion which had thrived through centuries without anyone patronizing it.

Religion of Hatred

It would be impossible to think that a religion could support, leave alone promote, taking swords to safeguard its faith. If the ‘sant’ community of Uttarakhand believe that taking swords in hand is the only way they can safeguard their faith, then either of the two options stares at us: one, the so-called sants are fake and they are just fanatics in the garb of sacred persons; two, they are not convinced of the sanctity of their faith by which they publicly swear.

Religion of hatred is an oxymoron because the very word religion implies an organizational structure which promotes an atmosphere of peace and concord among all those who come under its fold. In fact, every religion has emerged out of a situation, when the founders felt the need to come out of violence, bloodshed, narrow-mindedness and protect the supremacy of humanity, which is what they called a spirituality of life.

History has shown that whenever a religious person takes sword, either in the name of the religion he or she professes or in the name of the founders who had established the religious foundation, then the religion ceases to become a pathway to God, and becomes just a human organization, left to the vicissitudes of the primordial modes of self-preservation at the expense of murdering others.

Those who think that they are the sole custodians of a religion which had coexisted with other religions and had still retained its purity are living in fools’ paradise, imagining that if they fail to protect their faith, even taking recourse to violent, unethical and unholy means, they might cease to be the faithful followers of this religion. This is what we could call the ostrich syndrome, taking cue from the popular English expression, the ostrich buries its head under the soil and imagine the whole world to be dark. But who could help these morons to know that it is their idiosyncrasy and narrow-mindedness which are responsible for unrest and turbulence in the country?

From Sulli Deals to Bulli Bai

The reign of the present Central Government has unleashed a series of events and incidents which point to the fact that the leaders are not concerned about what is happening to the nation. The leaders are concerned with only vote bank, and capture it by hook or by crook. Therefore, the Prime Minister has fixed his eyes on Uttar Pradesh in view of the forthcoming elections, very much the way he had pitched his tent in West Bengal last year, before being swept by the overwhelming tide of Mamata.

That the leaders do not have time to handle some of the most important happenings which are leaving an indelible mark in the annals of the Indian history and psyche is evident from the fact that people feel they can do anything they want and feel absolutely sure that they would not be brought to books. The freedom of individuals seems to be absolute to the extent that they would not bother to check if that freedom is infringing into that of others.

The story of shaming a section of women by posting their profiles on online platform shows that there is a way to get away with whatever one wants, even indulging in what has been socially and morally forbidden. The way Sulli Deals, which had hit the online platform some six months ago, had been dealt with is not so obvious, but when Bulli Bai ventured into the same path, it has shocked the collective consciousness of the nation, except those who are immune to any feeling of pain or sympathy.

It has taken some days for our intelligence agencies to nab the duo, who are accused of masterminding this shameful episode in modern times, even as we entered into another year of hope and prosperity. The women who have been victims of such vicious acts by a teenager from Bangalore and a 21-year-old engineering student may not even be aware that they have been “auctioned” by the online platform; but the fact that people have confidence they can do anything they want and can get away from the law-enforcing agencies is truly disturbing.

The Home Minister, Amit Shah, whose ministry had been too prompt in shutting down the operations of the Missionaries of Charity, would not have much time to spend on more urgent issues which are rocking the nation. 

It appears that the nation is governed by those who have mortgaged their conscience in order to get what they want by taking the side of those who alone can deliver. These are the leaders whose value system is disoriented, lopsided, and their moral credibility is a big question mark, and yet the public is forced to salute them, and there would be public servants who would go to any extent to take their sides, and shamelessly speak in support of them.

But there would be hardly anyone to take the side of the Missionaries of Charity because there is nothing the leaders can gain out of the group of women who would not even dare demand their due rights and privileges, as the citizens of the nation, from the government that is blind to their plight and is after their blood; in fact, the government is utterly incapable of doing what these nuns do despite the hurdles and obstacles placed by the powers-that-be.

The Home Ministry might hide itself under the blanket of confidentiality and continue to harass their work of charity to the most neglected of our society. It would have been better if the Missionaries of Charity sisters and brothers were to take the patients, dying, sick and abandoned citizens of this great nation, and leave them at the entrance of Governors’ palaces or collectorates for the government to take care of them. That would have been the best rebuttal to the Home Ministry’s finding fault with the nuns whose foundress had changed the image of not only Kolkata, but of the nation.

Nation entering into anarchy

Whether we like it or not, India is slowly entering into a non-reversible state of anarchy, and the recent events of unbridled violence and hatred, expressed by those who call themselves ‘spiritual persons’ show that we are in for trouble. But this time, we cannot blame the Covid, or even Omicron, for the debacle that we have made of our nation; nor can we blame the heritage of the Gandhi family for the mire that we are reeling under. If we have to call a spade a spade, then it is the leadership at the Centre, which should take responsibility for all the good and bad happening in our country.

Did we see too many good things happening around us in the recent days, even as another calendar year unfolded? Let us now blame China for the political and social instability that we are facing; any number of China cannot really uproot the spirit of the Indian citizens and allow the mighty power of China take the subcontinent for granted. The soldiers who had shed their blood to safeguard their homeland will continue to do their duty unhindered, come what may, even if our leaders fail to acknowledge their blood and sweat.

It is time we acknowledge that we cannot rely on our government or its leaders to protect us and safeguard our interests, because it has become evident that the government is partisan and its treatment is selective. If you join the party of hardcore fanatics, forcing their religious beliefs through the throat of other religious believers, then all your interests would be taken care of; and there is an added bonus, you would be rewarded for throwing mud on other religious groups, demolishing their churches and mosques, creating chaos during their worship, and bringing law to denigrate what Article 25 of the Constitution of India has promised us.

The danger we witness today is that anarchy is slowly becoming not only a reality, but a glorified way of life; all anti-social activities carried out in the name of the major religious group can be brushed under a carpet, and there would be no one to question them. But woe to you, if you happen to stand on the other side of the court; even your innocence would be doubted, questioned and your kith and kin subjected to humiliation and shame; all in the name of national interest, and security.

It is time that we muster courage and strength in order to stand against the forces which are spewing venom and promoting a culture of hatred; but the forces which are there to thwart whatever is truly holy and sane will continue to make life hell for those who do not concede to their hegemony.

Is it possible for us to keep our heads high, as we see the mighty waters of violence, hatred and bloodshed become the order of the day and smother the fire that we have been safeguarding for the past 70-odd years? Every tomorrow will tell us, or at least our next generation, that as conscientious citizens of the country we did our best to protect the nation being sold out to the highest bidder! 

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