Monday, July 15, 2024
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An open letter from an Indian to the I.N.D.I.A. alliance members

I found it quite distasteful to see such low-level politics that is creating a negative perspective about my country.

For the last two weeks, I am amused by the progress of the alliance I.N.D.I.A., the union of political parties to fight against the democratically elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Though I have minimal interest in this alliance, I cannot abstain from seeing the following. Especially as an NRI, I found it quite distasteful to see such low-level politics that is creating a negative perspective about my country.

The horrific incident in Manipur is beyond any sort of condemnable words. I would prefer to see nothing short of exemplary capital punishment for the perpetrators. While demanding such extreme punishment, I am unbiased to the religion of the victims or the suspect or convict. This is the least expectation from our politicians as well.

However, on many occasions, this was not the case. I recall the Asifa rape case when I was in Canada. A protest was organised by creating a social event through Facebook. They aimed at defaming India in the guise of fighting for justice. I openly opposed their claim to defame my country based on a heinous incident. As a result, I got death threats in personal messages. Unfortunately, at that time, another similar case happened with a little Hindu girl, Twinkle Khanna. We never saw any outrage by any politician at that time as the suspects were not from a minority group.

In the case of Manipur, again, we are seeing a similar type of selective outrage from our opposition leaders. The Home Minister clearly asked for a discussion in parliament, the Defense Minister also did the same. Still, our opposition works relentlessly to try and disrupt parliament and protest against the Prime Minister.

Well, as political players, they can continue to do so if that suits their political ambition, but what about the moral standings? While the opposition today selectively picked up topics to protest portraying themselves as the advocate for minorities, I am wondering if they will protest if an incident happens today similar to Prof. Joseph’s incident in 2010. A group of Muslim students chopped the right hand of Prof Joseph in 2010 under the UPA 2 government.

Can you imagine a young boy hanging on an electric pole with a message on his back that whoever will support BJP will face the same fate? It happened during the 2021 Vidhan Sabha election in West Bengal. After the 2021 state election victory, ruthless violence highlighted the peaceful nature of CM Mamata Banerjee.

A seventeen-year-old minor girl from the SC community moved to the Supreme Court to seek justice as she was gang raped during the post-poll violence in West Bengal. The

grandmother of a six-year-old girl moved the Supreme Court to seek justice for the rape of her granddaughter as per media reports. Abhijit, a youth was beaten to death and also his puppies were also killed because he was a BJP supporter.

Even in this Panchayet election, 60 people were killed in the state! Are these deaths not painful? Are these deaths not shameful in a democratic country? TMC members who believe only the Manipur incident is shocking but West Bengal is ignorable, must be labelled as psychopaths in dire need of treatment.

In addition, how did members of TMC forget their leader Mamata Banerjee’s statement as a chief minister after rape cases? Here are some of her unbelievable statements. First, park street rape was a pre-planned incident; second, need to investigate whether it was an extramarital affair. Third, like we have fever or coughs sometimes, rape can happen sometimes as well. I am not at all trying to defend anyone in Manipur, but those statements of Mamata Banerjee being the CM were no less than the crime itself. MPs of her party who have been shouting about the PM’s statement, do they have the courage to ask Mamata Banerjee to apologise to the people for such statements?

Considering the bigger impact on society, it is important to clarify something to Rahul Gandhi who recently made a statement that his father, and grandmother suffered to save this land. I am empathetic to his pain. However, will he apologise to the people of India for the statement, “Jab bada ped girta hai to dharti hilti hai” made by his father to justify horrific anti-Sikh riots?

A minister in Rajasthan was sacked by the Congress government as he questioned the women’s safety in that state. Does Rahul Gandhi have the courage to have a press conference to apologise to him for the autocratic behaviour of the CM of his party in Rajasthan? Does Rahul Gandhi have the courage to publicly state that he is ready to cooperate with the Government of India to visit all states to understand the depth of the existing problems in women’s safety?

In 2024, we are not interested to elect someone who relies on his grandmother or father. Instead, we will be glad to have an alternative face who can set up some exemplary leadership. Like Vajpayee Ji did being an opposition leader by representing India in Geneva.

Similar things can be cited easily for every single party in I.N.D.I.A. For example, the hanging of the 2012 Delhi rape case was delayed due to the AAP government’s irresponsibility. It is not needed to remind people how Lalu Yadav made Bihar the heaven of anti-socials. Last but not least, in response to a question by a journalist about a woman who was raped inside the party office of CPIM in Bengal, the former chief minister, the infamous Jyoti Basu replied that he did not have time to look at such small issue due to the May day preparation. It was also a part of the left legacy to force a mother to eat the rice mixed with her son’s blood (Sain Bari Killing). The killing of innocent Hindu refugees in Marichjhapi was also under Jyoti Basu’s regime.

Concurrently, the Parole for a rape convict Ram Rahim may be legally right but it is devastating from a moral point of view. Why doesn’t our opposition work together with the government to bring changes in the law to abolish this parole for rape convicts? Having said that, it is also a bit frustrating to see how Prime Minister allowed a rape accused to continue his position in a ministry? Though it is quite common that many politicians in India are accused in many similar cases, Narendra Modi has set exemplary leadership in the last ten years. Hence, the expectation from him is also very high.

The blame game can continue as long as our politicians want to do so, but, at the end of the day, it was PM Modi who brought changes in the law to punish juvenile rapists or to establish fast track court to speed up the judicial process in rape cases. Whenever it comes down to considering women’s rights, I think no Prime Minister other than PM Modi did a better job. Be it making toilets in all houses or abolishing triple talaq to save Muslim women.

The aspirants for the Prime Minister post from the alliance I.N.D.I.A. may dream of denigrating Modi based on the Manipur rape case, but in reality, they prove themselves as insensitive and shameless human beings in the end. I think it will be more appropriate to call this alliance as “Insignificantly Nationalist and Democratically Irrelevant Alliance”, the abbreviation remains the same as I.N.D.I.A.

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Rudra Prasanna Banerjee
Rudra Prasanna Banerjee
Postdoctoral Scientist, Washington, USA. PhD in Molecular Biology & Genetics, University of Alberta, Canada.

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