26 Nov 2015

Its been a long time since i posted anything online. Have not been very active on the internet lately, for various personal reasons, but am now gradually getting back, one day at a time. I think its better than coming back with a bang, because then one fizzles out just as easily, so better slow and steady than fast and furious.

Today is quite an emotional day, as 7 yrs ago today, my home city of Mumbai, a city i love very much, was brutally ravaged by terrorists. And even 7 yrs hence, little has changed. Today Paris & Mali are Mumbai, revisited;  ISIS has reared its ugly head on the global scene and the world is getting more and more paranoid and insecure by the day.

While I am proud and indeed happy at the amazing resilience shown by the people of  Mumbai, Mali and Paris to bounce back and return hate with love and anger with compassion in the face of terrorism, i still fear for the growing intolerance and acute divisiveness over issues of religion and communalism, within my own country.

It is ironic that while we stand united in the face of terror, and even make grand pronouncements of denouncing terrorism on international fora; within our own country, we, even educated “elite” are growing more and more partisan and intolerant in our dealings with people around us. Religion seems to have taken centre-stage and democracy seems to have become the first and worst casualty.

We go around making proclamations about being the world’s largest democracy and equate ourselves with the US, France, Germany etc in terms of tolerance, equality, liberty and fraternity but one look at the day’s newspapers and the very founding principles of our democracy seem to have been turned over their head. Its really scary living in a “democracy” like that, because incidents taking place each day, simply reverse the definition of democracy. Even sharing a view like this, could get me into trouble (if i were a celebrity-which thankfully, i’m not) then where is the freedom and my right to express what i want to say and feel.

Am i truly living in a democracy, if i fear for my life or fear being lynched, ‘black ink-faced’ or even worse, arrested, for simply speaking my mind?

Should I celebrate the idea of India if i have to be worried about my political, religious and social affiliations being questioned and critically perused under a nationalistic scanner every time i spoke my mind, opened my mouth to eat, went to a pub to drink or wore something that affected someone else’s sensibilities?

I really, truly, deeply love my country, but it is also true that i can’t stand the idea of what its turning into!!!!!!!!

RIP M K Gandhi, fortunately you don’t live to see the day!

 

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