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Oh! India!
by Ananya S Guha Bookmark and Share
It seems that in India, we cannot write anything that is professedly or un -professedly secular, having moorings of a liberal outlook. Such people are sometimes maligned as false ideologues, or having a mis- placed secularism. If you write something on Gujarat, let alone question the credentials of its Chief Minister it arouses the ire of people who respond immediately, making frontal and personal attacks against the writer. It is not for nothing that the columnist S.N.M. Abdi recently wrote in The Outlook Magazine, that the years 1992, 2002, and 2012 are recorded in Indian history as attacks against minority communities. The same Abdi also stated that the majority of Indians are against such vitriol and animosity.

But you cannot type cast Indians as secular, or democratic. How can you? You must quarrel with the past, forget historical dimensions and say India stands for only one religion. What about the communities, the myriad communities in India speaking different languages? Is Hindi the only representative language in the country? India has grown out of a sense of historicity, diverse pluralism, linguistic and cultural mosaic, and we the people of India are the proud stakeholders of this wonder that is India, we are inheritors of history, which went through torturous processes of accomodating various cultures under the rubric of the concept of India. Amartya Sen's book ''Argumentative Indian'' is a brilliant commentary of such a repository of diversity, and inheritance of the seamless India - be it Asoka, Akbar or Tagore.

But if you write anything pitchforked against anything that belies religious conflict you are dubbed as a false secularist.Writing in these columns, I have experienced that anything that  sees things differently, from a different point of view then this is anathema. All that I want to do is not to generalize, and we have our own sense of duty towards communities religious or otherwise which feel marginalized. I say ''feel marginalized'' because that is seeing the other point of view. What is wrong with that? I do not deny Islamic vitriolism or for that matter the heady feeling of international militancy, but we cannot generalize. Godhra was as bad as post Godhra, but post Godhra also, like Godhra was a shame, and a slur on the nation, captivating it to fanatic war mongers. So was Babri Masjid in 1992. However if you make a prognosis of Gujarat, as I attempted to do in a recent article here then you are assailed of raking up divisiveness. Or, you are branded as a false secularist, whose notoreity is established beyond doubt. Why do people make personal attacks, simply because you are trying to look at the 'other '?

This is sad and painful. India has marginalized people: Hindu, Muslim, Tribal but we have to look at history, and why India is a conglomerate as it is now. This conglomeration builds rapport and edifices in our country. But hapless victims have to be viewed compassionately. Why should a child suffer in Iraq, only because of American intervention? What fault is it of a child, who doesn't understand warring groups, but knows only friends and parents? Similarly this is the case in India.

The majority like the minority has a conscience. But the majority should also protect the minority, holistically speaking in the concept of the grand design, that is INDIA.
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Comment Often, the self-proclaimed-secularists dont utter a word on the biased governance towards cheap and dangerous appeasment of minority.

Those who are ALSO concious of this, bound to feel attacking... (along with hardcore hating minority among majority group)

For example, as stated in this article, the outlook magazine mentioned year 1992, 2002, 2012, but why not 1989-1991 thrust in J&K to drive out Hindus (ah, that does not find place in press even occasionally) and why not year 1984 riots in Delhi against Sikhs ?

Obviously picture is shown from one angle almost always and those who are concious of this feel agitated. Such feeling are purposely aroused again and again and then it burst out some time.

When it bursts, it catches eyes of every writer and analyst but when it gets continued 'peaceful' provocation - no one even bothers to recognize it!

Any writer is free to ignore the politics behind it - after all we have a free press and everyone is free to air any views, brilliant or idiotic, right or wrong, benefecial or disastrous.

12/08/2012 03:56 AM

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