I was in class eleventh when I first had to defend my reason for not liking the Bharatiya Janata Party. Somehow the fact that BJP stands against an entire minority community, the Muslim community, was not enough of a justification. I was attacked with words that stated how BJP was going to turn the country around with its “economic and international policies”. The MUN crowd sneered at me for choosing to side with my own community rather than the “growth and development or vikas” of the nation. However, for me, development and growth had to go hand in hand with communal harmony, which has been missing in India since quite some time now.
It has been six years since then. The MUN crowd is actively distancing itself from its past selves and is apologetic of the faith they held in the party. And my anger does not simply stem from the fact that they, and the rest of the country evidently, supported this BJP government (twice) but that they chose to ignore my voice and my opinion. They ignored my equally important but oppressed voice because belonging to a marginalised community discredits me. Whatever is happening today was the fear that was voiced out before the 2014 general elections, but it was conveniently ignored. And here we are today, submitting to the state’s insidious ways of injecting communal tension through their anti Muslim propaganda.
There were adults who had access to what happened in Gujarat but still voted for this party. There were adults who were present when Babri Masjid was demolished but still voted for this party. There were these same adults who ignored those headlines found at the corner of big newspapers, back when they still had the freedom to talk about national interest, statements made by BJP leaders that attacked Muslims, that attacked women, that attacked Trans people and other marginalised communities. And worse were those who read, who refused to engage and who refused to vote. Apolitical. Apathetic. Indifferent to any plight.
here is a war at our doorstep. Houses are being marked by a fascist regime. Heads are being split open, nine-month-old babies are being burned alive, students are being shot, homes and localities are destructed, wombs are being torn. An entire city, the capital of this country, is suddenly unsafe for lakhs of Muslims.
These are the adults that sit inside their houses today, warning their children to not join in the protest, who share posts and stories in support of the right-wing and then go back to not engaging, not caring.
There is a war at our doorstep. Houses are being marked by a fascist regime. Heads are being split open, nine-month-old babies are being burned alive, students are being shot, homes and localities are destructed, wombs are being torn. An entire city, the capital of this country, is suddenly unsafe for lakhs of Muslims. Identity proofs are being asked for people to enter their own homes, families are being ripped apart from each other. Our homes are not safe anymore. Our families are not safe anymore. Our friends, if they even have networks, are not safe either. But these deaths and these damages are still being discredited. Why? Because it is happening to a minority, a marginalised community.
Our homes are not safe anymore. Our families are not safe anymore. Our friends, if they even have networks, are not safe either. The war is our doorstep. But these deaths and these damages are still being discredited. Why? Because it is happening to a minority, a marginalised community.
Leaders are inciting violence and they carry certainty that killing people will come at no consequence. Meanwhile, citizens of this country carry uncertainty if they’ll live, or be legal citizens, till the next general election. Students, allies and especially the current targets of the BJP government, Muslims, hesitate before they share something on WhatsApp, Facebook or Instagram but they do it anyway because there is a huge number of people before us who still refuse to engage. Their middle-class, upper-middle-class, lower-middle-class or whatever other class values they assign to themselves have been so ingrained that it fails to protect the diverse fabric of this nation.
And if you were one of those people who were responsible for getting BJP to run my country, refrain from complaining about traffic jams and buses and public property, when the overwhelming agenda is to eradicate an entire religious community. The first of many.
You bought this war on our doorsteps because you refused to listen to those voices who knew more than you did about what was happening in this country. Your sheer arrogance and ignorance has led us to the brink of a civil war. And if you have any humanity left, engage, agitate, organise. Do it before people you consider your ‘own’ are begging for a job at best and their lives, at worst.
Featured Image Source: Scroll