three very different stories
The first, from the Times of India, is about a couple of cattle traders lynched by “suspected cattle-protection vigilantes“
The deceased, Muhammad Majloom, 35, and Azad Khan alias Ibrahim, 15, were cattle traders and related to each other. Their bodies were strung up with their hands tried behind their backs and their mouths stuffed with cloth.
“The manner of their hanging showed that the assailants were led by extreme hatred,” said Latehar SP Anoop Birthary.
and the second is from the Indian Express – about the Ministry of HRD’s directive
The National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL), which operates under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, has introduced a form which requires authors of books NCPUL acquires annually to declare that the content will not be against the government or the country.
And, just as a bonus, if these two stories don’t depress the hell out of you, read the interview of Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya in the Scroll
Bhattacharya: They asked me, “It’s understandable if Khalid is doing this, but what were you doing there?” Somehow it seemed that an unadulterated Khalid would have suited them better. My presence irked them. They couldn’t build up the story they wanted.
Khalid: I was targeted with a special hatred because of being a “Khalid”. But there was hatred for Anirban too. For simply being there and ruining a ready-made story. Now this didn’t fit their narrative, the narrative of terror they began in the media. If I was a traitor to the nation because of my Muslim identity, Anirban was a traitor to his nation, religion and caste.
A narrative is being built. And, that narrative is that of ‘who is a good indian’. That ‘good’ Indian lives by certain principles that are dear to a small, but vocal minority. And, that narrative is wrong. Because there are more than a billion ways of being a ‘good’ indian. The version put out of this non meat/beef eating, non urdu writing, non Muslim is not one of them. And even if the billion plus Indians, had the same view of what makes a ‘good’ indian, and one person does not abide by that view, it is still fine. that is the point of individual liberty.
We keep talking about majority rights and minority rights. Most of us will have a better life if the government was committed to protect individual rights. citizenship rights. And the right to be ourselves.
There is a rather ugly genie out of the bottle, a genie built on exclusion, and suspicion. That genie either needs to be banished or put back in the bottle. Look at Pakistan, and see what we should not become. ever. People kept quiet trying to buy peace, there too. But, that does not work. You cannot buy peace from fundamentalists. They want it all, they are not going to let you your little space, where you can run your life without any interference from them.
India is built on diversity, and mutual tolerance. Each strand as vital as the other. I never thought i would quote Narendra Modi as defence for an argument, but he has said it well here
As a nation, we stood against colonialism and in our struggle for freedom At the dawn of independence some chose to go away; and, I believe, that it also had to do with the colonial politics of that time…. Now, India is moving forward on the strength of the struggles, the sacrifices, the bravery, the knowledge, the skill, the art and the pride of every member of every faith in our diverse and yet united nation.
Like the strings of sitar that each produces a note, but come together to create a beautiful melody.
This is the spirit of India. This is the strength of our nation.
All our people, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Buddhists, the micro-minority of Parsis, believers, non-believers, are an integral part of India.
(image courtesy : here)