The Story of a Yogi?

As I present to you this article, it would be safe to provide a disclaimer before I end up being a controversy’s child analogous to the very subject of my discussion today. I, through this article of mine, do not intend to hurt any one person, group or religion’s sentiments.

As the timeworn saying goes, and I quote Sherlock Holmes,

“Sentiment is a chemical defect found on the losing side.”

However, it is quite ironic how sentiments are stirred within the gullible population of the nation by our ingenious polity. With respect to this statement, which many might consider to be superfluous, clarity of thoughts and expression (which is clearly absent in our political system today) is required. But my writing shall not disappoint you.  I cannot possibly pen down my intellect without being politically incorrect, because that would be HYPOCRISY, which is something I am yet to major at. So, I hope you shall pardon my callous use of language and a naïve approach towards the harsh realities we are bordering towards in the literary format that I present to you.

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Once upon a time, INDIA- my BHARATA MATA, your HINDUSTAN, and our BHARATA DESH was a golden bird whose wings were clasped to the ground by the British Raj. They robbed us of our glory, they plundered us of our wealth and treasury, and they ransacked us of our faith from fraternity. It is easy to shrug off a matter by saying “let bygones be bygones”, but it is these past horrors that come to haunt us. Here, I mention the ‘Divide and Rule’ policy as formulated by the British which has blemished the very sense of solidarity among us. The ending of British rule in India was to be the advent of a new era, but who knew that old grievances would tailgate further coherence of independent India.

We are no longer bound by a foreign force, but are fettered by the distinct ideologies of ‘dharma’ and ‘jaati’, the seeds of which are deep rooted and watered in the many political parties  that have varied political prejudices which further determine the fate of our polity. BJP adheres to the very ideology of Hindutva and Hindu Nationalism. Thus, the very façade of loathing the CM of Uttar Pradesh should be ruled out if at all we have voted for Bhartiya Janata Party in the first place, and thus, I skip right to the man of the hour- Yogi Adityanath. However stern and focused a politician he may be, there is a huge miss in this influential CM.

A YOGI or A DHONGI

This saffron-clad sadhu turned politician appears and claims to be the flag bearer of Hindutva. With his razor sharp tongue, Yogi Adityanath has a strong foothold over Uttar Pradesh, which has already led to a hue and cry among the Muslims with the bizarre comments that have been made by him attacking the Muslims.  A strong mascot of the Ram Mandir issue, his influential and robust leadership will lead to a deepening of the crack between the Hindus and the Muslims into an abyss, after which, there will be no turning back. His vigorous speeches are fanning the fire of communalism, keeping it alive among the myriad of other problems our country is facing. We call ourselves a SECULAR state, however, the government, or to be precise, this particular leader is swaying the whole crux of his substance on a theocratic basis, instinctively libeling Islam or Pakistan.

In one of his recent speeches in Lucknow, he made a hostile remark which raises a very prominent question on how such a type of leader will lead India’s most populous state with such venomous intolerance and biased prejudices that the state of Uttar Pradesh has ever seen-

“Akbar, Aurangzeb and Babar were invaders. The sooner we accept the truth; all the problems of our country will vanish.”

Such judgements have been passed by this man who is entrusted with the precarious future of the many citizens the state contains. To further analyse his statement, it ridiculously means that by demeaning one caste, we all can fight poverty, violence against women, religious conflicts, and the varied troubles our country is foisted with.

Having mentioned ‘violence against women’, this saint of a person once commented –

“If they take one Hindu girl, we will take 100 Muslim girls”,

Justifying even further how violence against women is inevitable where the leaders harbour such opinions.

Another arguable sin which a high priest like him committed was to incapacitate our belief in the phrase – ‘sab moh maya hai’, because when he went to give his condolences to the family of the Border Security Force soldier who was mutilated by the Pakistan army, he brought with himself an air-conditioner, a sofa and carpet which were conveniently and immediately removed from the house after his departure. This shows a sheer lack of humanity, but a serious penchant for materialism which takes precedence over the jawan’s precious life. Here, on one hand, where yogis are supposed to shun power and worldly pleasures for a life of meditation and spiritual quest, this man has preached and invoked violence.

Thus, to dream of a utopian country where our leaders avoid the power politics and begin to sincerely preach Hindu-Muslim harmony is to live in a bubble, but I guess, it is in this bubble where we are safe, where we have the sensible notion of Right and Wrong, where we are united towards our outlook for a peaceful nation.

For the dearth of words, I would like to add to my article a minute variation of the classic combination of words that has, of late, caused a phenomenon on social media (Thanks to Dr. Shashi Tharoor).

Exasperating farrago of distortions, misrepresentations and outright lies being broadcast by a votary priest masquerading as an abhorrent meteoric hypnotic.

There cannot possibly be a happy ending to this, because the situation is only to worsen. The irrational need to indoctrinate their particular ideologies among others does not stand a strong ground and is not acceptable in a country where we are promised the freedom of thought and the freedom to practice, preach and perform different religions.

“A dhoti clad priest
In the garb of an inexorable beast;
The vast shaved head
Many evils which it’d embed;
Wisdom which the saffron tilak exudes
Crimson which his brainchild may produce;
Enthralling mantras his tongue rolled
Caste-based differences which he evoked;
‘Dharma’ and ‘Jaat’ as we all smear,
The inevitable end is near.”

 

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The author, Mahima Maniar, is a student of Political Science at Loreto College, Kolkata.

From Independence to Indifference

Two hundred years of British dominion in Bharatavarsha was a chapter of maturation of the country. The test of  forbearance from the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre to the Partition of India was instrumental in strengthening unity amidst diversity of the Indian culture. It was a transfiguration of the Indian struggle for Independence into a Revolution emanating from the transformation of the Indian citizens into experienced leaders. There was no prospect of any prolongation of the British rule as their crookedness was forced to succumb to the strong foundation of this Country. Out of this Havoc was born the Indian democracy with the largest written constitution in the world.

However, this was only a momentary subjugation of injustice and corruption. A battle that had been fought unitedly  parted ways, the repercussions of which are still being faced by the Indians. The preamble of the Constitution reads ‘India is a sovereign, socialist , secular and democratic republic’. However, it’s realisation is only a dream of every Indian.It seems that the spirit of nationalism witnessed a demise with the termination of the British colonisation. The democracy, which was supposed to be ‘by the people, of the people and for the people’ became only ‘of the self’. Consequently, the representatives of the natives became flag bearers of fraud and corruption. The curse of poverty and communalism began to take roots in the country because the battle for leadership had changed its form into a battle for authority. When cries of inequality and indifference fell into deaf ears, there began a crusade against crime. Consequently, the homeland of the natives has now taken the form of a battlefield.

Since corruption does not confine itself to any religion or community, the movements for reform are also incentives of integrity. The struggle of Irom Sharmila in Manipur bears a testimony of this fact.Change does not happen by itself nor can it be inflicted upon. A complaint without an action is as meaningless as a life without equality. This is reflected from the conflict of ideas and viewpoints that is inclusive of people from all the strands of the society. The heated debates in the media to the physical protests on roads are clear indications of the fact that corruption stands abated in front of integrity.Even religion cannot be its weapon of mass destruction. The discriminatory practices of both the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the All India Muslim Personal Law Board are equally criticised by all groups of the society. The joint struggle for the upliftment of the condition of dalits and the venture of combating the gau-rakshaks are all exemplary embodiments of nationalism and humanity. Resignation of the chairperson of the SUM Hospital in Odissa after the fire mishap and the cancellation of the order of bail of Rocky Yadav by the Supreme Court are products of the participation of the public in an effort to wipe out duplicity and Sham.

However, there has been a deep seated skeptimism about this internal skirmish between the ‘good’ and the ‘evil’. Some argue that the so called ‘victims’ of corruption are actually traitors with an ambition to incite disregard for the nation and tear it apart. Moreover, such acts of ‘sedition’ are clear evidences of the fact that corruption has dismantled not only the Political regime of the country but also the foundation of the country as a whole. The notion of integrity has blotted out because egoism and indifference have achieved eminence.

A Mantra from the Upanishads reads ‘Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya’ which means leading from darkness to light. Nepotism has taken such deep roots in the Society that it has apparently expelled the very idea of an egalitarian society. Freedom from  ideological fundamentalism prevailing in the Society is a need of the hour. Failure to enlighten parochial mindsets with righteous and patriotic ideas can both be catastrophic and detrimental to the Society.

The author, Aastha Agarwal, is a student of Political Science at Loreto College, Kolkata.