India’s Guinea Pig Syndrome
Are we Indians ever guilty of anything?
Yeaaah...They say that we are guilty of mixing politics and religion, of marginalising Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Dalits, Tribals, Women, Children, Poor, Dark Skinned, South Indians, North Indians, Marwaris, those 'Chinis' from North East and so many more. 'They' are India’s self-annointed voice of reason, India’s true conscious voice who speak on behalf of all, the rationalists who think and reason for us the non-rationalists. 'They' are the secularists, the left leaning news anchors of India’s English media, the journalists and authors, fighting capitalism with a badge of honour and courage pinned to their heart. And 'they' say that everything is the fault of the dominant identity in India and their leader, the chosen leader of our democratic nation, PM Narendra Modi.
Within the 'Hindu' tag are the RSS, BJP, VHP and other fringe elements. Well my dear rationalists, there elements you name as reasons for our country’s destruction have been around for a long time. But they were not the only reason for BJP coming to power. They are not responsible for the divides in our nation’s structure. They are not the villains in India’s story. They are a part of society, a mix of good, bad and ugly, just like you. A majority, a pluralist majority voted for Mr. Modi. The RSS did not have a knife to my throat when I voted. I wasn’t paid to vote for the BJP, not was I brainwashed into thinking that me and my folks have been victims for 1200 years. I voted by using my right to the fullest, to make the best practical as well as an emotional decision using MY reason to vote for them. While some Hindu fundamentalists make Muslims their Guinea Pigs, the secularists make the Hindus their pets.
So I have a really silly question hanging in front of me like crud in my eye that I just can’t shake. Why do we blame Mr.Modi, his party and their ideological institution for all that is wrong? Is the BJP so intolerant that their hatred against the hated is timeless? Yeah we are an intolerant nation. But before the BJP, were we a tolerant nation? Was India Shangri La-ic in nature? I am not saying that less violence is good progress, nor am I insinuating that Mr. Modi is a good and just leader. But it is a tough pill to swallow and I admit this without reservations. A majority voted in the BJP. Since, the BJP has had fewer corruption charges than pimples on Rahul Gandhi’s face. Blaming the BJP and making the PM a Guinea Pig will not solve anything. Nor will ignoring or censoring religious hatred in our past and present. If we want a change, we have the right to vote for anyone contesting. At the same time we should allow for all voices, dissenting or otherwise to be said. If we want their voices to be culled, maybe we should start by culling other 'legitimate' voices like the Owaisis. Maybe the brothers they are communal (I think they are) but they have been voted in by some and thus have the right to express.
Its not that religious people are not rational and ideological people are not rational, its just that voices of dissent are as important as voices of consent. I for one am bored sick of this blame game. I don’t care who or what is in power and what they look like (suit-boot or khadi or even nanga), as long as there is conscious study of available options and holistic decision making. We should allow for 'all' opinions to be opined, fringe as well as dominant, so that we can reason and recognise options to choose from. Tying a few to the centre post and throwing rotten tomatoes at them will not bring any kind of positive change for all. And if we don’t try and detoxify ourselves from this Guinea Pig Syndrome, we will never be in positions to recognise all options.