26 April, 2019


As a nation we are failing on the ladder of secularism and scientific spirit. This primarily has to do with us, the people. We do not regard science sufficiently important. Neither our political leaders, nor even our progressive clergymen do so. And our professionals and academicians are too busy with trivia, or have become ‘practical’ enough to get drenched in material pursuits with no time left for ‘abstractions’ such as these.

1. Superstition and bigotry reflect in virtually every sphere of our life - from bedrooms two boardrooms. Nothing proves this better than the campaigning in the on-going parliamentary elections. I deeply and truly fear that by May 2019 India would have slid many notches in scientific pursuits, and regressed at least two decades in its intellectual progress.

2. Our politicians are primarily concerned with the statecraft and not with nation-building 

3. The ruling party is consistently, aggressively side-lining its progressive and secular people within, as the party feels the pinch of economic challenges. Its developmental plank, a new India-vision, has given way to strident Hindu extremism. The party is increasingly dependent on the likes of Yogi, and now on Pragya Thakore. 

4. The traction ‘Sadhvi’ Pragya is gaining – virtually becoming the star campaigner of the BJP – should scare those who care for secularism. In the process a good man like Digvijaya Singh may perish. And the party’s almost totally bigoted and pronouncedly anti-Muslim campaign is paying off as the only plank for its battle-cry.

5. Rahul Gandhi has impressed many with progressive and statesmanlike moves. However, the failure of the opposition to forge unity, nay, the fractured and ego-ridden self-proclaimed secular political parties have ensured self-destruction and facilitated the return of communal and anti-science forces. 

6. The North is where the BJP commands relatively greater strength and here it is that the contest is even more multi-angular. For instance, if active collaboration were achieved in Delhi, it may have been a clean sweep for the secular forces. Now, as a resurgent Congress eats into AAP vote, BJP may well end up doing better than expected, despite the magnificent work AAP did here, specially in education and health, the two vital sectors India needs to pay attention to.

7. I am personally very, very dismayed and worried for my country and for the fate of its hapless poor. Worse, its confused, superstitious and belligerently ignorant youth scares me for the future of the nation.

8. What India needs, therefore, is a mass movement of people for rationality, for secularism. And it is only when a catalytic, critical mass responds that leaders will begin to emerge, and then alone will the political parties find it worth their while to back this move. Lets work for this: long haul, but the only rational course available for progressive forces of the country.

9. Sadly, Muslims had offered invaluable gift to the communal forces, first with the horrific attack in Pulwama and now with the genocide in Sri Lanka.

10. Now one very serious, and completely unexpected, threat to possible check against communalism and bigotry has emerged suddenly from the serious sexual harassment allegations levied against the CJI, Gogoi Ranjan. 

11. The process that began with the murders of Karkare, Dabholkar, Kalburgi, Lankesh… is culminating successfully in the desired direction: fanaticism, bigotry, irrationality. 

Cry my beloved country: pause, rethink and act wisely for your multitudes

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