The Hypnotized Indian

Nothing feels real anymore, it seems like the young urban middle class has stopped thinking and stopped feeling empathy. I wonder whether they ever did. There is a strong saffron wave in my country, which is predicted to last for a very long time. The wave took away with it fundamental humanity and has left everyone with an empowered feeling of nationalism or nothing. It does not matter anymore whether rights of minorities are being taken away in full public view or the fact that one can’t eat what they want. In fact you might get killed for it! But none of this matters, only the blind faith of nationalism.

There are no conversations anymore, logic has ceased to work. India is seeing a decline of ideas and creativity, there is only one way to fit in, to chant “Modi. Modi, Modi.” I have nothing against the current Prime Minister, but I have an opinion which does not seem to be heard anymore. Yes, you can always blog about it, but does that even dent the narrative.

Recently, one of India’ largest States, UttarPradesh, went into Assembly elections. The saffron party won with a thumping majority, despite criticisms of recently implemented policies like “demonitisation” and the Government’s realization of a centralized surveillance mechanism. Nothing mattered!

Democracy shocked me when the country rejoiced Uttar Pradesh’s new Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath. The Yogi is as bad as it can get, he is known for fueling communal tensions, shutting down meat shops which has knowingly snatched the livelihoods of many groups. I expected to hear criticism from atleast the so called educated, but I was mistaken as all I got was “ Yogi will do something from UP, give him a chance.” I guess any individual having equivalent of Yogi in front of his/her name and wearing orange clothes has an acceptance pass in my country. It does not matter if he/ she has a bloodied knife in their hands.

History seems to be forgotten in my country and the majority of urban middle class have decided that as long as we have a Prime Minister who travels the world selling everything Indian, we will always benefit. Our elitist ways have taught us that as long as you have a bank account, some identification and a mobile number, all your problems can be solved. Even if you are a tribal living off the forest with 5 children and no resources to feed them. Rights and entitlements are not for the poor, if they have technology they can rise out of poverty.

You can’t argue with the argumentative Indian anymore, as we are now the hypnotized Indian. We believe and accept what we are told and refuse to look further. Our awareness rests within the boundaries that have been prescribed for us and we choose not to question. My fear is that it may be too late by the time we snap out of this hypnosis, everything around us would have changed forever.

At the end of my rant, I am left with one question for the Hynotized Indian. Does anything matter?

Neha Saigal

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