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SIGNS OF THE TIMES
BJP in jittery mode with challenge posed by youth leaders
By Humra Quraishi
Fascist forces are worried and apprehensive : What if Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashvi Yadav, Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakore, Jignesh Mevani, Chandrashekar Azad and several other leaders from the various regional parties of the country come together on a dais!Strangely or not really, barricades are put if you and I want to protest. Yes, even non -violent protestors are threatened with the aftermath! Tell me, why is the sarkar of the day so very wary of you and I, so very rattled by our queries at what's going on …at the horrifying situation wrecking havoc! As I have been writing, an un-declared emergency is on, where prominent student -leaders and even elected representatives are finding it tough to address a public meet.

Why were barricades - political and police - thrust before Jignesh Mevani's rally in New Delhi? In the normal course, an MLA or for that matter any citizen of this country has every right to ask the sarkar any possible query or to raise his or her voice against the murky mahaul, but today all's going haywire…Today student leaders like Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid are getting labelled anti -nationals by the very sarkar which seems to know little about nation building, and which is using every single ploy to silence the Dalits, Musalmans, Christians, and anyone who dares to stand up and raise his or her voice at the fascist forces.

The fact is that fascist forces are worried and apprehensive : What if Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashvi Yadav, Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakore, Jignesh Mevani, Chandrashekar Azad and several other leaders from the various regional parties of the country come together on a dais! What if they begin to ask and repeatedly ask some very basic questions regarding the dying structures, human and otherwise! What if they point out facts and figures to show that the masses are dying a slow death! What if they pinpoint the actual murderers! What if they unmask the rulers of the day! What if they show the realities to jails and prisons! What if they ask relevant backgrounders to the 'missing' men and women and children- have the missing been murdered, kidnapped or lynched by the Right -Wing political goons on the prowl!

Last autumn there'd been some semblance of hope spreading out only and only because the young leaders have begun to assert their views. Their passionate appeals to end the prevailing atmosphere of lynching and injustices and demarcations held out, but seeing the way governmental hurdles are getting thrust in their efforts to reach out to the masses, has dragged along not just anger but also a bunch of 'whys'- why is the establishment wary of these un - armed young leaders who are armed only with words and with that passion to let truth prevail? Why is the establishment thrusting divisions and distractions, by unleashing sheer poison, that scare of the 'other'?

Fascist forces are seeing to it that hate prevails here and there, all over the subcontinent. Sad and unfortunate, we are killing each other in the most brutal of ways. This, when sense could have prevailed …I'm reminded of Ahmad Faraz's verse titled - 'To Indian Friends' ( translated by Ikram Azam) which he had read aloud several summers back when he was visiting New Delhi …read and re-read his words and grasp those emotions tucked in each line of his.

"Many seasons have passed, many climes changed/

You too are sad, friends, as we also are/

You, alone, are not saddened by your rags/

The truth is that we are in tatters, too!/

Your house lights are not quite radiant/

The stars of my skies are also palsied pale/

Your glass bars are rusty/

While my goblets are dusty!/

Neither you can view your own contours/

Nor can I see what is in my glass/

Our minds are so clogged with cobwebs/

That we just don't understand what's gone wrong!/

You are stubbornly persistent in violence/

We pride in our habitual endurance of repression/

You are proud of fighting the Mahabharta/

We take pride in being used to Karbala!/

The cypress has no pride of stately height/

Nor the thorn-bird's lament has lessened a bit/

The gardens of love could blossom nowhere/

No olive branch of peace could any dove fly!/

The tragedy is that the breeze of bitterness/

And stink of conflict/

Comes from the gardens of either side/

The irony is that both sides suspect/

Spring has come only after bathing in the enemy's blood!/

Such is the situation of such brutality that now/

Neither your feet are intact, nor my hands/

Victory is not yours/

Nor defeat is mine/

No one stands by you/

Nor have I anyone with me!/

The helpless, voiceless people of our towns/

Are buried in thousands of mounds of sorrow/

Nor their bleak -fatedness seeks the glow of lamps /

People who for half a century /

Have lived in dense darkness!/

Such lamps as spread the light of love/

Lamps which enlighten the hearts' sanctuaries/

Lamps that grant the glow of peace/

Lamps which in turn light countless more lamps! /

Friends! I have come to your country this time/

Neither for musical company or poetry/

If it is a question of your ego/

I extend my hand in friendship, first!"

*(Humra Quraishi is a freelance columnist based in Delhi and is currently a visiting Professor in the Academy of Third World Studies in Jamia Milia University).


News Updated at : Friday, January 12, 2018
 
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