"Get out of our country you sick anti-national", read a message on my inbox. Of course the language was much more colorful, and obviously included some salutations towards my parents and ancestors, but you get the gist, right?
If you haven’t been living under a rock, you would have probably heard about what’s been happening at JNU, Delhi. Well, even if you were living under a rock, I’m sure someone would have lifted it up just to call you an anti-national and then run away. A group of students protested against the practice of judicial killing and how it can be abused by the government to suit its needs. Parallel to that, some others raised slogans praising Afzal Guru. Now, I’m not going to comment on it, mostly because I have no first-hand knowledge about it, but also because I don’t share the same opinion as those who did so. But I do believe the protest against judicial killing is sound and something to be looked into. But hey, what do I know? I’m a naïve 23 year old who believes in the possibility of a healthy debate between public and government.
Now here’s where things get majorly fucked up. You see, my opinion isn’t the one that is popular. It isn’t the one that is sugar coated. It isn’t the one that can be easily digested by the sheeps of the society and it certainly isn’t the one that sits well with the capitalists pulling the strings in what has become a pseudo-democracy. So I’m branded a traitor. An anti-national, and even a terrorist by association. And I’m just one among the many.
Now, I don’t really pay heed to the abuses of the lesser evolved, but when I turn on the news and see journalists do the same thing on national TV, I find myself asking if our country has somehow reached a stage where an opinion which may differ from yours is automatically deemed sacrilegious and the one who voiced it loud, a heretic. Have we reached a point where we brand someone guilty until proven innocent? Where we fabricate evidence because it’s the easy way out? Where we play the ‘patriotism’ card to pull in the masses and do our dirty work?
It is a sad sight when I turn on the news, only to see the lot taking jabs at each other. When sensationalism trumps sensibility. When the whole concept of a healthy debate was chucked right out the window to give way for scripted rants and crocodile tears which could put a soap opera actress to shame. A time when one’s patriotism is measured by whether he implicitly believes the government or questions it. No prizes for the guessing what they call the one who questions.
What the hell happened to Freedom of Speech? There is a distinction between dissent and sedition, and a fine one at that. When people fail to see that, and take up arms without any credible evidence, we get something along the lines of JNU; the condemnation of an entire group of people because someone said something and like a game of Chinese whisper, the last one to hear it heard something else entirely. Here, the last one being a loudmouth bully who calls himself a journalist.
I will refrain from pointing fingers at any political party, because honestly I think every one of them is equally evil. It is more than likely that my point here will be twisted into something along the lines of "You called XYZ party evil!!! You must now pay for it", but IDGAF. To be honest, I don’t entirely know why I’m even bothering to write this out, and sharing it here when I KNOW that the only thing I’ll be attracting is a lot of "fan mail" from the readers (if they even bother to read past the headline). Maybe it’s the same naivety I mentioned earlier.
So yeah, I’m Dev Jayakrishnan. 23, and anti-national, as per you.