When India was awakened at the stroke of the midnight hour, a majority of her population was lost in dreams. They were transported to a so-called paradise where people—Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians—were supposed to shift their individual identity into factions: left, right, liberal, socialist, etc. During the evolution of a free Indian society, a few found themselves in the state of homelessness as more divisions were created on the basis of caste.
And the irony is politicians of fledgeling democracy that gave the right to the public to choose between them to govern this country were busy distributing masks of different ideologies, which was glorified to such an extent that the real face of humanity—one that was born naked—was quietly crucified. The brutal murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh is a clear example of a sick society where individual identity has either been lost or slaughtered by masked men.
While the cold-blooded murder of Lankesh is a matter of investigation and justice, what followed on social media shows that the ideological difference in society has poisoned hearts and minds. Some social media users posted the data of journalists killed in India since 1992 when Ram Singh, a reporter with a Jalandhar-based newspaper, was murdered. Lankesh and others have been silenced because of exercising their freedom of expression.
This only shows we have been sick for a very long time. The vitriolic debate next day took another ugly turn. Different masks came out with diverse voices blaming each other’s regime and issued customised condemnation and condolence. Statements and commentaries from left, right, liberal, secular and other political shades appeared as beautiful fiction. And the followers, always blinded because of the mask, roared again because profound truths and real intent of electoral harvesting remains a secret. People don’t know because of political crops they are being crushed between the ideologies, which have the potential to turn this already ill society into a war field.
A dream is very feeble, but the political class over time watered ideological reverie to grow it into a reality. People have become so possessed that they are ready to sacrifice anything. A cursory glance at social media platforms in the last one week shows we are perhaps sitting on a volcano, which can erupt any moment. Mahavir Tyagi, a freedom fighter and parliamentarian, had told the Constitution makers that professional politicians would kill democracy.
He had warned on November 25, 1949, “All democracies are run by professional politicians and I am afraid that is the main cause of their failures, because such people begin to live on democracies. It becomes with them a profession, the statecraft, and it becomes their only source of living.
That is the bane of democracy and I want to make the future generations aware of this. If this democracy is also to be run by such persons who will have nothing else to fall back upon, and who live on ministries or on the memberships of the Parliament, then this democracy is doomed, I am sure.” Sixty-eight years have passed since Tyagi’s comment, but the greed to attain power for living by dividing the society remains a reality. It has to be understood that politicians have created the ideological veil that clouds our hearts and minds. Besides, they have only created the divisions.
It doesn’t matter whether you are right, left or liberal; whether you are a BJP follower, a Congress supporter, or a Leftist. What matters is that are you able to acknowledge that the mask given to you by politicians is a complete lie. If you can, then sow the seeds of compassion, not ideology, to cure this society for the new generation and a vibrant democracy.