Often, when I see the right wing people around me, come accross their thoughts on social media, I wonder if my India is different than their India.
I was never an expert in politics or governance. I first started writing on this blog about my personal life, boyfriends, heartbreaks, sex etc. Within few months, writing became a habit for me and from personal I went political. I started writing about news that made me angry. My blogging started in 2004, so I am talking about the period post 2002 when India was coming out of the shock of Godhra anti-Muslim massacre, and gearing up for 2004 general elections. And it so happened that the only thing that made me insane with anger was Babri masjid demolition and Hindutva agenda.
I grew up in the 80s in New Delhi in a central government neighbourhood with middle class families belonging to all faith, region, language. Multiculturalism at its best. Christian aunty, Muslim didi, marathi friend, Kashmiri professor, Punjabi Army Major uncle, his son my first crush.
On TV we used to listen to patriotic songs like ‘mile sur mera tumhara’, Hind desh ke niwasi sabhi jan ek hai’, mazhab nahi sikhata aapas mein bair karna’, all of which always taught us unity in diversity. In school during the summer holidays we were asked to do nationalist projects for civics class, and we were required to make scrap books containing photos of Indians in various dresses, belonging to different regions, religion.
There was a constant effort from the state to promote communal peace, harmony, love and multiculturalism and diversity.
Thirty years later, when my Marathi friend found me on Facebook, I visited her page, found out she lives in Nagpur, breathes toxic sanghi air. “I am pro-congress,” I tell her. She says, “Don’t you love your country?” I can’t talk to her anymore. I silently weep. How did we chose our politics? Who told her that if you love your country you cannot support congress party, what insane hate is that?
The first major communal clashes I personally heard of was post #babrimasjid demolition and there was not an iota of doubt in my mind that LK Advani and his rath yatra was solely responsible for this bloodshed. It was the seed of hate that changed India forever. Today the Hindutva forces are reaping the fruits.
UPA I and II – Most fascinating decade in India
In 2004, when Congress won the general election, I was so happy that people of India rejected the party which caused so much violence. The next ten years, India and my life changed so rapidly, it grew leaps and bounds, like this nation was on a supersonic jet, and so was I. There was no looking back. India under the 10 yrs of UPA from 2004 to 2014 was one of the world’s most happening and attractive nation. It was the most rapidly transformative period in recent memory. Mobiles, internet, digital media, roads, flyovers, metro rail, SEZs, malls, multiplex, foreign brands, new industries, new job opportunities, national pride, commonwealth game host, 2010.
Even though common people don’t understand economy well, they knew India’s GDP was growing during this ten years period. Best thing was we watched whole world suffering from recession but we were safe. After all India’s economy was in hands of one of world’s greatest economist.
These ten years were also the period we saw path breaking social legislations safeguarding the interests of women, children, marginalized, Scope of Right to Life expanded with Right to Food, Education, Information, Work. Other laws – PWDV, SHA , Land Acquisition Act, POCSO. No decade in the 70 years has been as productive as the UPA I and II in terms of bringing right based social legislations, and it was all owed to the Sonia Gandhi led National Advisory Council. Read Aruna Roy’s article on this.
So in a nutshell this was India’s story so far for common people. People knew we are third world, got independence just 6 decades ago, not perfect but young and growing, and last 10 yrs have been superb. Now, BJP needed to challenge this narrative. Defeat and deny this story. And that’s why you have all the new narrative, which are in complete contrast to everything we have known for over 50 years. The new narrative isn’t real, it is manufactured. The Hindu nationalism is manufactured, the Muslim hate is manufactured.
To be continued (how BJP created new narrative for 2014)