Friday, 12 May 2017

INDIA SYMBOLIZES INEQUALITY

“Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake “

 

Saurav Kumar

India has been a symbol of liberty and inclusiveness in the world. Its rich heritage and culture have been appreciated by millions. World’s largest democracy currently is one of the most vibrant economies and the youngest one too. At this juncture, though, we find that the fundamental right to critique establishments is being taken away by the current dispensation. Dr. B R Ambedkar in his speech on the eve of republic day (26th January 1950) had mentioned “we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics, we will have equality and in social-economic life, we will have inequality”. It seems Dr. Ambedkar has been proven right in a sinister way, the politicians have shaken hands, the citizens are divided.

Economic Exclusion via Policy

Let us analyze different facets of inequality in the state of Gujarat where the hyped development model of Narendra Modi has been at play for more than a decade and a half. Policies aimed at the rich have hit the poor hard and across institutions.

Per a recent report, Gujarat tops the list of caste discrimination in colleges, accounting for almost 32.3% of the cases reported. At the school level around 1.47 Lac Anganwadi kids out 43 lac were found severely malnourished.

Recent data from Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2016 shows exponential increase in the wealth of the wealthy and their share in the Indian economy.  India is one of the most unequal country with share of richest 1% in total wealth is 58.4%.

On contrary to above data a third of world’s malnourished children live in India, 31% of world’s stunted children live in India. In Global Hunger Index (GHI), India slipped from 83rd rank to 97th rank in 2016. Four countries (Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh) who are above India in the list; not one of them had 9% growth, not one of them is the 4th largest power of the world, not one of them is the 6th nuclear power on the planet, not one of them have had scientific technological human skills capability resource pool and yet they have done better. How did that happen?

The country which ranks 5th in dollar billionaires, ranks 130 in Human Development Index (HDI).  How did we manage to achieve this?

Is vacuous growth the reality then? Statistics reflect the colossal gap between the rich and the poor. We must reject the politics of a government which leaves its annadata in peril, and lend favors to corporate. In 2016 Finance Ministry declared, Indian government has forgone Rs. 17.15 Lakh Crore revenue in the past 3 years due to tax concessions, incentives. The rich of this country have thus been provided a free ride at the expense of taxpayers. Per a report, top ten corporate houses of our country owe staggering amount of Rs. 7 Lakh Crores to Public Sector banks and financial institutions. On the contrary NCRB data says, “Suicides by farmers rose up 42% to 8,007 in 2015 among which 38.5% of the cases had reason Bankruptcy.

Per Employment-Unemployment Report 2015-16, 45% of Indian populace earns less than Rs. 10,000 per month. The government with its skewed economic policies is widening the rich and poor divide rather than bridging it.

Social Exclusion and increase in societal animosity

Narendra Modi led government at the center is one such entity which endorses worst form of inequality based on caste, religion, and income etc. through its ideological set up. Its fountainhead Rashtra Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is vigorously imposing its divisive venom of culture since pre-independence times. In recent times BJP-RSS nexus has been successful in polarizing common man on caste, religion card by using a mirage of development which left its people in ditch of suffering. Atrocities on dalits and muslims is on rise under Narendra Modi led BJP government.

Incident of Una in Gujarat was an organized act to terrorize the dalit community. An intentional communal upsurge was recently seen in a village named Vadawali where Muslims were terrorized. Day light murder of Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer in Rajasthan, murder of two youth in Latehar district of Jharkhand by cow vigilantes show an organized trend of hate.

Why only BJP ruled state acknowledges atrocities on Dalits and Muslims?  Because per holy Manu Smriti, it is legitimate to hate people of lowest strata of society.

Incident like scholar Rohit Vemula’s suicide in Hyderabad Central University (HCU) or a recent incident in JNU in which dalit scholar J. Muthukrishnan ended his life with words “When equality is denied, everything is denied” clearly shows our failure to eliminate caste based discrimination. It symbolizes deep rooted hate in our culture altogether which denies basic right to dalit community, shattering ambitions of attaining humanity.

The need to reawaken the country is now

 Bhagat Singh, wrote an article for newspaper Kirti under the pen name Vidhrohi in June 1928 named “Acchoot Ka Sawaal” in which he questioned “We are animatedly engaged in a debate whether or not the untouchables are entitled for a sacred thread? Are they allowed to read the Vedas? We whine that some foreign countries do not respect us and the British do not give us equal status. Do we have a right to bemoan all this? “

“It is not possible to break caste without annihilating the religious notions on which it, the caste system, is founded”, said Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

Dr. Ambedkar raised the slogan “Annihilate the caste”.

The unholy nexus of economic market and socio religious fundamentalists is derailing our vision for democracy, social fabric of unity irrespective of caste, creed, color, gender. This trend is uniquely sponsored by the state masked in Constitutional duties. We need to become an organized force to confront this cultural economic hegemony. As rightly put by an American ecologist Edward Abby, “Growth for sake of growth is ideology of cancer cells, the faster they grow, the sooner you are dead”. Recently Prof. Stephen Hawkins said, “the biggest danger to this world is the danger of inequality”. The biggest source of insecurity in this country is growing inequality. The sheer indifference we show, the justification of that inequality and even the celebration of it, which we have seen in the last 20 years is huge threat to our democratic stability and cohesiveness. It’s shameful and degenerative that a society must debate whether it is our duty to feed the hungry or not. In the 16th lok sabha out of 543 MPs, 449 are crorepatis. Basically, Indian parliament has become a “Club of Crorepatis”. In this situation, how can we expect the rich section of society to work for the welfare of people who are neck deep in inequality? Our political democracy has essence of One Man-One Vote, One Vote-One Value, until and unless it gets transformed into One Man-One Value, the commitment of improving it into a social democracy cannot be fulfilled. Set of contradictions would continue to rupture our democratic strength and togetherness. Simple practice of inter-caste marriage must be undertaken by us to challenge caste based prejudice, oppression enhancing social integration; we must abolish the practice to know the caste identity in daily life.  Hope we stand to expose and oppose the divisive politics of BJP-RSS or else this hate and inequality will be the death of democracy and humanity.

 

Photo Courtesy

 

1. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/gujarat-universities-top-in-caste-discrimination/articleshow/57009136.cms

2. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/1-47-lakh-Gujarat-anganwadi-kids-have-severe-acute-malnutrition/articleshow/51133110.cms

3. http://indianexpress.com/article/business/economy/govt-forgoes-rs-17-15-lakh-crore-revenue-due-to-tax-incentives-in-the-last-three-financial-years-2923820

4. http://www.indiaspend.com/cover-story/farmer-suicides-up-42-in-2015-second-consecutive-drought-year-4335

5. https://heignotes.com/2016/09/21/revisiting-b-r-ambedkars-views-on-caste-system-and-untouchability/

6. http://nirmukta.com/2011/08/27/the-status-of-women-as-depicted-by-manu-in-the-manusmriti

7.http://www.shaheedbhagatsingh.in/hindi/chapter11/17achut.html

8. http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/day-before-riot-gujarat-village-split-sarpanchs-term-for-muslim-hindu-1674486

9. https://www.google.co.in/search?q=credit+suisse+global+wealth+report+2016+India&biw=1366&bih=672&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjE2K2Z1uHRAhXKJpQKHSXDDhkQ_AUIBygC#imgrc=dqHD0IvbablWEM

10.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-ranked-97th-of-118-in-global-hunger-index/articleshow/54822103.cm

11.http://en.southlive.in/india/2017/02/10/religious-intolerance-and-atrocities-against-minorities-dalits-escalated-under-modi-rule-us-report

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

DISRESPECTING WOMEN

The patriachial society of which we are prideful is becoming an insane inhuman place for women community. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has made a joke of itself by exposing it's unjust character to disrespect dignity of women community.

In textbook of Physical education a section of book openly says the best measurement of a female body is 36-24-36. What does this signify? What message does it give to students? Simple answer is it show the way to play with dignity of women community, openly that too via route of education.
This government at the centre has proved in every sense that they can cross any limit to flaunt image of a particular community. For me personally it is not a mistake but a planned attack on women section in accordance to principle of Manusmriti, the holy Hindu scripture. As a youth I condemn this insensitive, insane decision which is degradation of society via education.

http://homegrown.co.in/article/800907/this-cbse-textbook-claims-that-36-24-36-is-the-perfect-female-body

Monday, 10 April 2017

TO MAKE THE DEAF HEAR

Bhagat Singh & Batukeshwar Dutt threw harmless bombs in Central Assembly Hall on 8th April 1929 against passage of two draconian bill.
Trade Disputes Bill
Public Safety Bill.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

23rd March 2017

Why I Think India Is Letting Down Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev And Rajguru
  
The Martyrdom Of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru

The year 2017 marks the 86th year of martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru. They symbolise the best example of sacrifice to free India from the imperial clutches of British rule. We have kept them at a place in our heart, loaded with emotions. However, we have very less exposure to their visionary battle against British rule. These revolutionaries envisioned India’s future as a nation where there would be social, political and economic freedom. Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, i.e., leaders of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, represented one of the major currents of the freedom movement. One was led by the Indian National Congress, under the leadership of MK Gandhi. However, people like Bhagat Singh and his comrades, EV Ramasamy Periyar, Subhash Chandra Bose, were part of one current, which undoubtedly stood for an egalitarian character and inclusive fabric of India.

However, the present status of our nation is no different in certain aspects from colonial India. It continues to remain alien to the ‘idea’ of India, which was envisioned and worked upon by revolutionaries. How can this be justified?

Sedition Law, A Tool Against Citizens

Continuation of colonial laws in independent India is the very first point of shame for the world’s largest democracy. The law of sedition is the one which has been in the limelight for a few years, as it is being vehemently used by the government in power against artists, NGOs, university students, who stood up for expressing their opinion on sociopolitical issues and against the government’s policies. Recalling the words of MK Gandhi, IPC 124-A “is designed to suppress the liberty of citizens.”

Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were one of the worst victims of this colonial law and were denied even a fair trial by the imperial power for waging a ‘war‘ against HM King George. Their efforts to defeat the colonial power by unmasking their brutality were crushed by the sedition law. Post independence, our nation saw a vigorous misuse of this law against social and political opponents. According to a landmark judgment in the Kedarnath Singh vs State of Bihar in 1962, it was clearly stated that seditious speech and expression may be punished only if the speech is an incitement to violence or public disorder. Criminalising dissent in a democracy, that too, by using the sedition law and tagging people as ‘anti-national’ is an attempt to make a fool of the common man. The burden of this derogatory and misused law framed by the imperial power is being abandoned in nations like United Kingdom, South Korea, Indonesia, etc. However, it continues to exist in India

Rise In Atrocities On Dalits

The atrocities on Dalits continues to rise in India today. Many in the country today reject the idea of inclusiveness, humanity and equality, for which the revolutionaries had sacrificed their life unconditionally. This includes the beating of Dalit youths in Una, Gujarat or the incident which happened with Dalits in Sonepat, Haryana. The state of Gujarat has witnessed a skyrocketing rise in cases of Dalit atrocities, rapes and murder.

The death of students like Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad Central University (HCU) or a recent incident in JNU, in which a Dalit scholar J. Muthukrishnan ended his life with words ‘When equality is denied, everything is denied’, clearly shows our failure to eliminate caste-based discrimination. It symbolises hate, deep rooted in our culture altogether, which denies the basic rights to people from the Dalit community, shattering ambitions of attaining humanity. Bhagat Singh wrote an article for the newspaper Kirti under the pen name Vidhrohi in June 1928 named ‘Acchoot Ka Sawaal,’ in which he clearly said, “we are animatedly engaged in a debate whether or not the untouchables are entitled for a sacred thread? Are they allowed to read the Vedas? We whine that some foreign countries do not respect us and the British do not give us equal status. Do we have a right to bemoan all this?” This concern of Bhagat Singh on untouchability hangs our head in shame.

Poison Of Communalism Hampering Our Unity

Communalism is a reality which we cannot deny. Especially, when a government works hard to transform a secular, sovereign, socialist, democratic, republic nation into a Hindu Rashtra. Communal riots continue to be used as a tool to disturb the harmony. Any government, irrespective of the party, has utterly failed to get rid of this issue.

Bhagat Singh, in his article, wrote, “class consciousness is required to ensure that people do not fight among themselves. It has to be made very clear to the poor, working class and peasants that their real enemy is capitalism. That is why they have to safeguard themselves from its stranglehold. The rights of all the poor – be they of any caste, colour, religion or region – are the same. Your wellbeing is in overcoming all these differences and remaining united, and strive to take the reigns of power into your hands. With these efforts, you will lose nothing; with these efforts, one day your chains will get cut and you will have economic independence.” Exactly the opposite atmosphere is being created by the political ruling class today. Is it not taking our country back to the colonial era in where the British raj succeeded in playing the card of ‘Divide and Rule’? Today’s rulers are not foreigners but Indians.

No Recognition But Disrespect

After 69 years of Independence, any elected government, either in the state or the centre, did not bother to pay due respect to the contributions of revolutionaries. The notebook which Bhagat Singh kept in jail, the documents of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha, HSRA, handwritten pamphlets and articles on social issues must be included in mainstream academia, curriculum, so that it grooms existing and upcoming generations of our society. The Government of Haryana crossed the line of decency when it tried to name the Chandigarh airport after senior RSS leader Mangal Sen, instead of Bhagat Singh. Is this acceptable?

It did not stop here. The ABVP, student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh disrupted a lecture session on Bhagat Singh on the day he was martyred, which was to be given by Prof. Chaman Lal,  a renowned researcher on the life of Bhagat Singh.

Such repeated insults are undertaken only by the rightist force, which fears the thought process of Bhagat Singh and his comrades. They don’t want our countrymen to know the ideas for which the young freedom fighters sacrificed their lives.

We did achieve the status of a free nation as per law, but not in terms of establishing equality, where no caste, religion can divide us.We still don’t have answers on how to solve malnutrition, the colossal gap between the rich and poor, farmer’s distress. Why? The insane obsession with a neo-liberal understanding of growth has led us to this shameful situation, which in no manner matches the expectations of our martyrs. Caste prejudices, suppression of the Dalit community, religious fundamentalism, etc. are taking centre stage in politics. This was mercilessly opposed by the martyrs. In the Assembly bomb case judgment of 1929, it was said, “that Bhagat Singh is a sincere revolutionary I have no doubt, that it is to say, he is sincere in the illusion that the world can be improved by destroying the social structure as it now stands and substituting for the rule of law the unrestrained will of the individual.”

It is high time for us to realise the concern of these sincere students of history and re-start our fight against untouchability, communalism, things which are working under the mask of democracy. This will be our real tribute to foot soldiers of the nation’s freedom struggle.

https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2017/03/martyrdom-of-bhagat-singh-sukhdev-rajguru/

Friday, 7 April 2017

23rd March 2017

Why I Think India Is Letting Down Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev And Rajguru
  
The Martyrdom Of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru

The year 2017 marks the 86th year of martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru. They symbolise the best example of sacrifice to free India from the imperial clutches of British rule. We have kept them at a place in our heart, loaded with emotions. However, we have very less exposure to their visionary battle against British rule. These revolutionaries envisioned India’s future as a nation where there would be social, political and economic freedom. Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, i.e., leaders of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, represented one of the major currents of the freedom movement. One was led by the Indian National Congress, under the leadership of MK Gandhi. However, people like Bhagat Singh and his comrades, EV Ramasamy Periyar, Subhash Chandra Bose, were part of one current, which undoubtedly stood for an egalitarian character and inclusive fabric of India.

However, the present status of our nation is no different in certain aspects from colonial India. It continues to remain alien to the ‘idea’ of India, which was envisioned and worked upon by revolutionaries. How can this be justified?

Sedition Law, A Tool Against Citizens

Continuation of colonial laws in independent India is the very first point of shame for the world’s largest democracy. The law of sedition is the one which has been in the limelight for a few years, as it is being vehemently used by the government in power against artists, NGOs, university students, who stood up for expressing their opinion on sociopolitical issues and against the government’s policies. Recalling the words of MK Gandhi, IPC 124-A “is designed to suppress the liberty of citizens.”

Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were one of the worst victims of this colonial law and were denied even a fair trial by the imperial power for waging a ‘war‘ against HM King George. Their efforts to defeat the colonial power by unmasking their brutality were crushed by the sedition law. Post independence, our nation saw a vigorous misuse of this law against social and political opponents. According to a landmark judgment in the Kedarnath Singh vs State of Bihar in 1962, it was clearly stated that seditious speech and expression may be punished only if the speech is an incitement to violence or public disorder. Criminalising dissent in a democracy, that too, by using the sedition law and tagging people as ‘anti-national’ is an attempt to make a fool of the common man. The burden of this derogatory and misused law framed by the imperial power is being abandoned in nations like United Kingdom, South Korea, Indonesia, etc. However, it continues to exist in India

Rise In Atrocities On Dalits

The atrocities on Dalits continues to rise in India today. Many in the country today reject the idea of inclusiveness, humanity and equality, for which the revolutionaries had sacrificed their life unconditionally. This includes the beating of Dalit youths in Una, Gujarat or the incident which happened with Dalits in Sonepat, Haryana. The state of Gujarat has witnessed a skyrocketing rise in cases of Dalit atrocities, rapes and murder.

The death of students like Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad Central University (HCU) or a recent incident in JNU, in which a Dalit scholar J. Muthukrishnan ended his life with words ‘When equality is denied, everything is denied’, clearly shows our failure to eliminate caste-based discrimination. It symbolises hate, deep rooted in our culture altogether, which denies the basic rights to people from the Dalit community, shattering ambitions of attaining humanity. Bhagat Singh wrote an article for the newspaper Kirti under the pen name Vidhrohi in June 1928 named ‘Acchoot Ka Sawaal,’ in which he clearly said, “we are animatedly engaged in a debate whether or not the untouchables are entitled for a sacred thread? Are they allowed to read the Vedas? We whine that some foreign countries do not respect us and the British do not give us equal status. Do we have a right to bemoan all this?” This concern of Bhagat Singh on untouchability hangs our head in shame.

Poison Of Communalism Hampering Our Unity

Communalism is a reality which we cannot deny. Especially, when a government works hard to transform a secular, sovereign, socialist, democratic, republic nation into a Hindu Rashtra. Communal riots continue to be used as a tool to disturb the harmony. Any government, irrespective of the party, has utterly failed to get rid of this issue.

Bhagat Singh, in his article, wrote, “class consciousness is required to ensure that people do not fight among themselves. It has to be made very clear to the poor, working class and peasants that their real enemy is capitalism. That is why they have to safeguard themselves from its stranglehold. The rights of all the poor – be they of any caste, colour, religion or region – are the same. Your wellbeing is in overcoming all these differences and remaining united, and strive to take the reigns of power into your hands. With these efforts, you will lose nothing; with these efforts, one day your chains will get cut and you will have economic independence.” Exactly the opposite atmosphere is being created by the political ruling class today. Is it not taking our country back to the colonial era in where the British raj succeeded in playing the card of ‘Divide and Rule’? Today’s rulers are not foreigners but Indians.

No Recognition But Disrespect

After 69 years of Independence, any elected government, either in the state or the centre, did not bother to pay due respect to the contributions of revolutionaries. The notebook which Bhagat Singh kept in jail, the documents of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha, HSRA, handwritten pamphlets and articles on social issues must be included in mainstream academia, curriculum, so that it grooms existing and upcoming generations of our society. The Government of Haryana crossed the line of decency when it tried to name the Chandigarh airport after senior RSS leader Mangal Sen, instead of Bhagat Singh. Is this acceptable?

It did not stop here. The ABVP, student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh disrupted a lecture session on Bhagat Singh on the day he was martyred, which was to be given by Prof. Chaman Lal,  a renowned researcher on the life of Bhagat Singh.

Such repeated insults are undertaken only by the rightist force, which fears the thought process of Bhagat Singh and his comrades. They don’t want our countrymen to know the ideas for which the young freedom fighters sacrificed their lives.

We did achieve the status of a free nation as per law, but not in terms of establishing equality, where no caste, religion can divide us.We still don’t have answers on how to solve malnutrition, the colossal gap between the rich and poor, farmer’s distress. Why? The insane obsession with a neo-liberal understanding of growth has led us to this shameful situation, which in no manner matches the expectations of our martyrs. Caste prejudices, suppression of the Dalit community, religious fundamentalism, etc. are taking centre stage in politics. This was mercilessly opposed by the martyrs. In the Assembly bomb case judgment of 1929, it was said, “that Bhagat Singh is a sincere revolutionary I have no doubt, that it is to say, he is sincere in the illusion that the world can be improved by destroying the social structure as it now stands and substituting for the rule of law the unrestrained will of the individual.”

It is high time for us to realise the concern of these sincere students of history and re-start our fight against untouchability, communalism, things which are working under the mask of democracy. This will be our real tribute to foot soldiers of the nation’s freedom struggle.

https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2017/03/martyrdom-of-bhagat-singh-sukhdev-rajguru/

23rd March 2017

Why I Think India Is Letting Down Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev And Rajguru
  
The Martyrdom Of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru

The year 2017 marks the 86th year of martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru. They symbolise the best example of sacrifice to free India from the imperial clutches of British rule. We have kept them at a place in our heart, loaded with emotions. However, we have very less exposure to their visionary battle against British rule. These revolutionaries envisioned India’s future as a nation where there would be social, political and economic freedom. Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, i.e., leaders of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, represented one of the major currents of the freedom movement. One was led by the Indian National Congress, under the leadership of MK Gandhi. However, people like Bhagat Singh and his comrades, EV Ramasamy Periyar, Subhash Chandra Bose, were part of one current, which undoubtedly stood for an egalitarian character and inclusive fabric of India.

However, the present status of our nation is no different in certain aspects from colonial India. It continues to remain alien to the ‘idea’ of India, which was envisioned and worked upon by revolutionaries. How can this be justified?

Sedition Law, A Tool Against Citizens

Continuation of colonial laws in independent India is the very first point of shame for the world’s largest democracy. The law of sedition is the one which has been in the limelight for a few years, as it is being vehemently used by the government in power against artists, NGOs, university students, who stood up for expressing their opinion on sociopolitical issues and against the government’s policies. Recalling the words of MK Gandhi, IPC 124-A “is designed to suppress the liberty of citizens.”

Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were one of the worst victims of this colonial law and were denied even a fair trial by the imperial power for waging a ‘war‘ against HM King George. Their efforts to defeat the colonial power by unmasking their brutality were crushed by the sedition law. Post independence, our nation saw a vigorous misuse of this law against social and political opponents. According to a landmark judgment in the Kedarnath Singh vs State of Bihar in 1962, it was clearly stated that seditious speech and expression may be punished only if the speech is an incitement to violence or public disorder. Criminalising dissent in a democracy, that too, by using the sedition law and tagging people as ‘anti-national’ is an attempt to make a fool of the common man. The burden of this derogatory and misused law framed by the imperial power is being abandoned in nations like United Kingdom, South Korea, Indonesia, etc. However, it continues to exist in India

Rise In Atrocities On Dalits

The atrocities on Dalits continues to rise in India today. Many in the country today reject the idea of inclusiveness, humanity and equality, for which the revolutionaries had sacrificed their life unconditionally. This includes the beating of Dalit youths in Una, Gujarat or the incident which happened with Dalits in Sonepat, Haryana. The state of Gujarat has witnessed a skyrocketing rise in cases of Dalit atrocities, rapes and murder.

The death of students like Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad Central University (HCU) or a recent incident in JNU, in which a Dalit scholar J. Muthukrishnan ended his life with words ‘When equality is denied, everything is denied’, clearly shows our failure to eliminate caste-based discrimination. It symbolises hate, deep rooted in our culture altogether, which denies the basic rights to people from the Dalit community, shattering ambitions of attaining humanity. Bhagat Singh wrote an article for the newspaper Kirti under the pen name Vidhrohi in June 1928 named ‘Acchoot Ka Sawaal,’ in which he clearly said, “we are animatedly engaged in a debate whether or not the untouchables are entitled for a sacred thread? Are they allowed to read the Vedas? We whine that some foreign countries do not respect us and the British do not give us equal status. Do we have a right to bemoan all this?” This concern of Bhagat Singh on untouchability hangs our head in shame.

Poison Of Communalism Hampering Our Unity

Communalism is a reality which we cannot deny. Especially, when a government works hard to transform a secular, sovereign, socialist, democratic, republic nation into a Hindu Rashtra. Communal riots continue to be used as a tool to disturb the harmony. Any government, irrespective of the party, has utterly failed to get rid of this issue.

Bhagat Singh, in his article, wrote, “class consciousness is required to ensure that people do not fight among themselves. It has to be made very clear to the poor, working class and peasants that their real enemy is capitalism. That is why they have to safeguard themselves from its stranglehold. The rights of all the poor – be they of any caste, colour, religion or region – are the same. Your wellbeing is in overcoming all these differences and remaining united, and strive to take the reigns of power into your hands. With these efforts, you will lose nothing; with these efforts, one day your chains will get cut and you will have economic independence.” Exactly the opposite atmosphere is being created by the political ruling class today. Is it not taking our country back to the colonial era in where the British raj succeeded in playing the card of ‘Divide and Rule’? Today’s rulers are not foreigners but Indians.

No Recognition But Disrespect

After 69 years of Independence, any elected government, either in the state or the centre, did not bother to pay due respect to the contributions of revolutionaries. The notebook which Bhagat Singh kept in jail, the documents of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha, HSRA, handwritten pamphlets and articles on social issues must be included in mainstream academia, curriculum, so that it grooms existing and upcoming generations of our society. The Government of Haryana crossed the line of decency when it tried to name the Chandigarh airport after senior RSS leader Mangal Sen, instead of Bhagat Singh. Is this acceptable?

It did not stop here. The ABVP, student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh disrupted a lecture session on Bhagat Singh on the day he was martyred, which was to be given by Prof. Chaman Lal,  a renowned researcher on the life of Bhagat Singh.

Such repeated insults are undertaken only by the rightist force, which fears the thought process of Bhagat Singh and his comrades. They don’t want our countrymen to know the ideas for which the young freedom fighters sacrificed their lives.

We did achieve the status of a free nation as per law, but not in terms of establishing equality, where no caste, religion can divide us.We still don’t have answers on how to solve malnutrition, the colossal gap between the rich and poor, farmer’s distress. Why? The insane obsession with a neo-liberal understanding of growth has led us to this shameful situation, which in no manner matches the expectations of our martyrs. Caste prejudices, suppression of the Dalit community, religious fundamentalism, etc. are taking centre stage in politics. This was mercilessly opposed by the martyrs. In the Assembly bomb case judgment of 1929, it was said, “that Bhagat Singh is a sincere revolutionary I have no doubt, that it is to say, he is sincere in the illusion that the world can be improved by destroying the social structure as it now stands and substituting for the rule of law the unrestrained will of the individual.”

It is high time for us to realise the concern of these sincere students of history and re-start our fight against untouchability, communalism, things which are working under the mask of democracy. This will be our real tribute to foot soldiers of the nation’s freedom struggle.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

LAST LETTER TO KULTAR SINGH

Letter to younger brother Kultar Singh by Bhagat Singh dated 3rd March 1931

अजीज कुलतार,

आज तुम्हारी आँखों में आँसू देखकर बहुत दुख हुआ। आज तुम्हारी बातों में बहुत दर्द था, तुम्हारे आँसू मुझसे सहन नहीं होते।

बरखुर्दार, हिम्मत से शिक्षा प्राप्त करना और सेहत का ख्याल रखना। हौसला रखना और क्या कहूँ!

उसे यह फ़िक्र है हरदम नया तर्ज़े-ज़फा क्या है,
हमे यह शौक़ है देखें सितम की इन्तहा क्या है।
दहर से क्यों खफ़ा रहें, चर्ख़ का क्यों गिला करें,
सारा जहाँ अदू सही, आओ मुकाबला करें।
कोई दम का मेहमाँ हूँ ऐ अहले-महफ़िल,
चराग़े-सहर हूँ बुझा चाहता हूँ।
हवा में रहेगी मेरे ख्याल की बिजली,
ये मुश्ते-ख़ाक है फानी, रहे रहे न रहे।

अच्छा रुख़सत। खुश रहो अहले-वतन; हम तो सफ़र करते हैं। हिम्मत से रहना। नमस्ते।

तुम्हारा भाई,
भगतसिंह