As India claims and shows to be marching towards creating a “new India”, a move that is supported by “digital India”, growth in the equity market, rupee getting stronger, and with GST implementation just a few months away; all may not be well there. Disturbing trends and events are ripping through the fabric of the society some of them even remain unreported by media there and some don’t even come to bother the law makers.
India has reached a situation, where the very fabric of secularism is no longer cherished; it is no longer something to be proud of. It has reached a condition where the world is gazing at it with a sense of uncertainty. Its hostile neighbor Pakistan has been carrying out the act of mutation in a well orchestrated manner at regular intervals; where by soldiers on the Indian side have been beheaded and their heads carried over to Pakistan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made tall claims during his election campaign. However, three years down the line, India has only been able to repeat-call the envoy and issue warnings. Such measures have not been able to deliver results and would not. The seriousness with which India addresses the problem at the border, the issue of its soldiers getting killed and even beheaded can be very well judged by the fact that in a live TV debate, Bharatiya Janata Party spokesman Sampit Patra lied to the wife of a Martyr. The concerned said to Paramjit’s wife that Indian Army has taken revenge for the martyrdom of her husband and the action will continue even further. But that was not something that actually happened. Rather, his statement on a live program put in Indian Army in a spot. Later the same was denied by the government – Another attempt to play to the gallery, even if it amounts to the security of the country, and hurting the feelings of a widow of a slain hero.
Fanatics are fancied by yet another phenomenon. India has attained a dubious distinction of having a tag where the human life can be taken on the pretext of saving cow(s). The media worldwide has taken a note of this and is carrying stories that get ample attention here, but not in India even if reported by the Indian media. Almost a year back, a Muslim was lynched when allegedly some beef was found in his refrigerator. Lately, Muslims have been made a target while carrying cows, even when for their own diary! Government perhaps didn’t act against the cow vigilantes out of choice, and some socially conscious groups approached the Supreme Court with a Public Interest Litigation. A division bench of the Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Centre and the States of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Jharkhand to respond within three weeks on why such gau rakshaks (Cow security) should not be banned. Even before the case could be heard, a daily from Gujarat exposed the nexus between the slaughter houses and cow vigilantes. The daily carried the story that a truck full of cows and calves were seized at Vadodara by police based on a tip received by Animal Welfare workers. The cows and the calves were sent from the Shrinathji Gaushala – Ahmedabad via Vadodara to a slaughter house outside Gujarat with the permit papers signed by the National President of a Gauraksha organization. The so called gau-rakshak was found allegedly involved in the process of sending cows to the slaughter houses. This may not be treated as a sole incident, rather shows how closely the cow vigilantes were working to create opportunities to take on minorities, while the authorities were turning a blind eye to all such cases.
Attempting to create “A New India”, through that fails to respond to the hostile neighbor; has no response to the situation where human lives have no value. Where opportunities are being created to tear the very thread of secularism, it does call for soul searching by leaders.