Welcome 2019

Vidya Bhushan Rawat

very day is a new day. We have been celebrating every year for last so many years but it also give us opportunity to introspect about our lives.

It is time when we need to seriously ponder over as what kind of society are we becoming. Every now and then people are asked to prove their ‘loyalty’ to the nation.

And our loyalties to the nation have been converted into following certain slogans and symbolism.
We must understand that these symbolic nationalism is nothing but ‘bania kee dukaan’. Anna Hazare started with his gangs of lawbreakers holding the tricolors in their hands. With our national flag in their hands now people can do anything. Now they go to Kanwar yatra carrying these flags on their bikes. People are lynching the others and being cremated with national flag draped on their bodies.
The other symbolic nationalism come from singing Vande Mataram and Bharat mata kee jai. Now, for many like us it does not matter but the fact is these slogan became ‘nationalist’ during the freedom struggle and the brahmanical elite that dominated the Congress party actually created these slogans.
Even during the freedom struggle, all those Muslims who were in the Congress Party were called ‘nationalist’ muslims, a clear indication that those who differ with the party were not nationalists. Such demarcation of identities were dangerous.
The issue in the Indian subcontinent was caste but Hindu and Muslim power elite fought with each other so deliberately that the caste issues were kept aside and ignored. Frankly speaking caste actually supersedes religion in our subcontinent but dominant Muslim and Hindu narrative ensures that the issues of Dalits, pasmandas do not come into picture. Every day, these socalled liberals and ‘radicals’ fight with each others to keep others aside. So you have to either defend them or speak up against them. We cant live with out them in this age of social media.
Should we allowed to be used by the people trying to brand themselves through deliberate social media campaigns. Don’t those exists who are not brand and not so ‘important’. We need to oppose this agenda setting exercise.
I don’t believe in ‘liberal-radical’ debate. I know they all are part of power structure and they position themselves.
Modi’s chelas have made a film ‘accidental prime minister’ but I can say here that Narendra Modi has given India many ‘accidental heroes and leaders’ and now they have become brand. The brands have over taken the work of those sincere activists at the grassroots who have dedicated their lives for years. Society too look for celebrities and many of them only speak either for Modi or against him as if there are no other issues left in India. The result is many time these brand embarrass their promoters too.
Wish each one of you strength. Please defend right to free speech. It is important also for us to allow people to speak their language and ideas. The biggest contribution of Modi-Yogi brand in India is that they have created a perpetual hatred against Muslims in India. This is the biggest challenge for all of us to ensure that all citizens of India including Muslims and Christians to feel that this is their own country and none have right to distribute any certificate to them.
India is passing through a critical stage. It is time we protect this idea of India which our constitutional forefathers adopted for us.
You can not impose Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan on vast Indian population. The Sanghi agenda has failed to take all along. The irony is that those in power spreading fake news and hatred. Democracy is under the threat but we have to protect it all cost but we need to talk about inclusive democracy. Let us talk about proportional electorate system which give representation to all.
Our solidarity with all those who continue to speak up despite facing threats and abuses from the religious thugs and goons. We know they are of every colour and every variety. it is only time to understand that a theocratic society is most dangerous for all of us. The Brahmin monopoly of knowledge is now being challenged by the Bania-marwari control of money and resources. All others are merely the spectators in this game of control over polity, national resources and knowledge.
The only way to get out of this mess is for all those who do not believe in hegemonic tendencies and democratisation of society is to speak about collective leadership. Shun the celebrity culture and disown the brands. It is they who betray the trust of the people. Have’nt we understood what happened to India in 2014. Celebrity culture and brands are attempt to control levers of powers and disallow any outsiders in the power structure.
My advise to friends would be to enjoy life without attempting to be ‘ Very important’. I can bet, it will give you much bigger strength than being a VIP. Life will not be less meaningful if you get lesser calls and invite to deliver ‘big’ inaugural speeches. There is joy and meaningfulness in many things including encouraging youngsters and providing all help and ideas to those who are unable due to their socio-economic conditions. Create a new generation of people to fight, write and decide about themselves. For a stronger India, we must do away with Bhakti cult in politics as Baba Saheb Ambedkar said. We need to do away with the messianic culture and focus more on issues and collective leadership.
Wish you strength, happiness and greater ideas each day.
Welcome 2019.
Vidya Bhushan Rawat
January 1st, 2019