“Give us back our old India”

Shiban Khaibri
The golden words of Shakespeare that “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man” are time tested and could verily be followed in letter and spirit by those at least, who are active in public life. Since they have to interact, though not always directly with the people but impliedly in respect of what they do and what they speak about in the open and in the most important and sensitive forums, they must go in for self appraisal. Decidedly, they would feel loathed about most of what they said just for the reason to placate or keep in good humour, certain sections and for no other reason whatsoever. On June 24, Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad spoke in Rajya Sabha with intent to attempt to “demolish” the idea of “New India ” under the superb leadership of Narendra Modi by saying, “Keep the New India with you and give us back our old India.”
There is a limit to opposing each and everything by Congress Party that the Narendra Modi led NDA Government plans and proposes for taking this country out from the morass of the decades old status-quo -ante, stereo type ‘Chalta Hai ‘syndrome, blatant appeasement policy, communal clashes and discord, backwardness, poverty, corruption , faulty and flawed secularism, outdated and obsolete laws and procedures and the like. Economic reforms initiated and newer flagship schemes of welfare like Ayushman Bharat of this Government must be opposed as per the policy of the Congress party and some other opposition parties and layers of cynicism, dissatisfaction and annoyance wrapped by fatalistic viewing, made rampant to percolate down the psyche of the common Indian, perhaps is their type of politics. The idea and the aim are not that they could offer comparatively something better and not mere fantasies , make believing and daydreaming inventions like bringing such machines which when fed with raw potatoes as raw material would instantly produce gold but to checkmate the resultant popularity and confidence of the people likely to be earned abundantly , if not necessarily harvested by Modi Government.
Which old India is sought to be given back in the opinion of Gulam Nabi is full of confusion , haze and ambiguity and why should he oppose the New India excepting only to repeat the same old tactics of opposing for the sake of opposing. In the opinion of this writer , old India could refer to the period of the Great Samudra Gupta ( 335- 380 AD), epitome of an ideal king of the “Golden age of Hindu History”. It could refer to the Vedic glory and the Vedic civilization which flourished between the 1500 BC and 500 BC in Indian sub-continent and many countries around , followed by the Golden Age Of Hinduism and classical Sanskrit literature , the Maurya empire and the Middle Kingdoms of India. It could refer to all the glories it was prior to foreign invasions starting from Mohammed Bin Qasim, Mehmud of Gazni , Gori and the like till invader Babar. It could refer to the era of East India Company followed by the era of the British rule . It could refer to the pre-partition era of Indian sub-continent. Which old India, Gulam Nabi Azad is seeking to receive back and from whom? Who is the recipient and who is the giver?
If one is selective and conspicuous by one’s attempt to writing off fair-play and probity in expressing views or religious , sectarian or emotional feelings prevail upon one to speak on sensitive issues, it is tantamount to mocking facts and realities. A young person in Jharkhand suspected of having thieved was caught by some villagers and reportedly bludgeoned who subsequently was handed over to police and later passed away in Hospital. It is alleged that he was forced to recite some religious words usually spoken by Hindus. Whether he was beaten because he committed theft or because he did not recite religious words is a subject of deep probe but whatever the case be, treating anybody, even a thief in this manner is inhuman, barbaric and unacceptable. The culprits must be severely punished. Now, one must be sincere in saying that had the victim been a Hindu , would the same level of concern and anger have been expressed vociferously and while giving vent to emotional feelings , extraneous issues too brought in by the same leaders and used the same august platform? Why this selective outrage? Why to say that Jharkhand had become the ‘akhada’ or the hub of lynching and blame the entire state and its people? Prime Minister Modi’s reply in the Rajya Sabha that civilized and gentle people also lived in Jharkhand is apt. How can Azad “directly blame” the RSS for this heinous crime unless he has pointed and specific information?
Azad has not uttered a word for mass exodus and persecution of the indigenous inhabitants of Kashmir, the Kashmiri Pandits from their Kashmir with roots dating back to over 5000 years , why? Whose Government was there at the centre and in the state in 1990 and which Party’s flawed policies right from 1947-48 down to decades, brought Kashmir to such a pass ? Azad has never raised voices in the Parliament to institute a SIT of highest level to probe killings, massacres and other atrocities committed against the Kashmiri Pandit community, why? No tears are shed by these self styled champions of secularism and unity of communities on the demise of so called and much hyped “Kashmiryat” when the very soul of not only Kashmiryat but Insanyat was killed when the beleaguered community was given marching orders from Kashmir.
In this very Kashmir, a Muslim couple was recently shot dead , Gulam Nabi Azad did not utter a word, why? In fact, he is on record saying that the army there was killing more people than the ‘militants’. Is it a fact or an accusation with motivated ambitions? When the victim unfortunately is a Muslim, only then voices are raised and not equally when it is otherwise, is again amounting to committing the same blunder which under flawed secularism, all these decades had been a common and established practice in India and it is that injustice and suppression which could be said to be contributing to giving space and room to certain undesirable persons to resort to such despicable acts of killing on the roads. Matured politicians should oppose crime just for the sake that it was a crime and not look at it with communal angle or attribute factors, reasons and grounds for it which were laced with baking political loaves. There should be no room for unnecessary accusations, hatred and spreading discord as they all are not only unwarranted but could never be afforded as this country, on the road to economic progress, has no time to waste on unproductive, unfruitful and futile issues.
Land Acquisition Bill was opposed tooth and nail, Demonetization was attacked vociferously, GST single tax regime was mocked as Gabbar Singh Tax, Swachh Bharat social Indian revolution was pooh- poohed, EVMs were declared as manipulating machines, surgical strikes against Pakistan were doubted. The supreme authority under democratic system in the country, the people, however, endorsed, supported and hailed with their decisive verdict , all these reforms and innovative measures in 2019 much more than in 2014 which, in the words of Congress leader Sulman Khursheed, was due to the tsunami of the popularity of Modi, “thank God, we survived and were not swept away”. New India, therefore, as proposed and aimed by Modi is acceptable to the 135 crore Indian people and not the “Old India” with scams, corruption, financial irregularities, policy paralysis, appeasement policy, weak economy, highest inflation rate, agrarian distress and the like. However, mob lynching and similar acts of lawlessness and promoting discord between groups of people and communities should be uniformly dealt with more firmly as in the instant case of Jharkhand, 11 people have promptly already been arrested to face the consequences of their condemnable act. Tolerance , mutual co-existence, love and affection are the soul and the core philosophy of living of this country which could not get rattled and shattered , not even in the least, by the partition of this country in 1947 on Muslim League’s communal and exclusive policy and demand.