A Shameless Republic called India 2013

Dibyesh Anand

Dr Dibyesh Anand is an Associate Professor in International Relations at London’s University of Westminster with interests in politics of state, democracy and identity, especially in the Himalayan borderlands. He is almost always at www.facebook.com/dibyesh

As the Indian democracy conducted a state-planned, state-sanctioned, state-executed murder of Afzal Guru, and the news was greeted by celebrations amongst nationalist media and various political actors ranging from the rightwing BJP to the leftwing Communist parties, it becomes clear that India’s collective conscience is as hypocritical as it is murderous. I could do nothing but write two letters on facebook. One to my Kashmiri friends with my head hung in shame. The other to extremist Indian nationalist individuals who sent a barrage of abuse and threat in my direction. My words are all I have. They are ineffective. But they still come out. To express my indignation at the faux democracy that is India and its increasing extremist nationalism.

As soon as I read the news on 9 February 2013

Dear Kashmiri friends

I am sorry but it is clear again and again that India’s ‘collective conscience’ has no place for you.

You see, the affective space that Kashmir occupies in Indian nation is a territory purged off most of you (especially the Muslims). Kashmir is integral to India, not the Kashmiri people.

If any one of you have any doubt, speak to the paramilitary men occupying your homeland. They will tell you bluntly ‘you all are fanatic Muslims and can never be trusted’ [at least that was the almost uniform narrative I got from them when I was in Srinagar a few winters ago].

Even the old discourse of you being essential to the notion of Indian secular democracy is mostly worn out. What secularism, what democracy? Didn’t you know that India is competing to join the ‘big boys’ league of the USA and China who specialise in violence, occupations, and of course capital punishment.
You are a liability, but your territory is precious. Your aspirations, desires, histories, futures, pain, humiliation, hopes, nothing matters.

But then you are not an exception. Speak to many inhabiting the space called India in the northeast or in the tribal heartlands. It is a similar story of a lack of care, a lack of democracy, and even contempt for you all.

The merchants of conscience will not stop. They have tasted blood. If it is not you, it will be another Dalit, or another Muslim, or a tribal or another impoverished.

I never do pride in identity, but today, once again, I do feel shame in sharing a form of identity with the Republic of Injustices that is India.

hangingOn 10 February 2013:

Dear abusers,

Rather than engaging with me through emails and facebook now on phone and calling me ISI spy, or a Paki lover, or a closet Muslim, or a pseudo-secular, or a long distance anti-nationalist, or a traitor who should be brought down, or anti-Hindu who deserves to be shot, etc, why don’t you get a life?

I mean get a life that is worth living. Life of a human and not of a slave. You are nothing but a slave to an idea of nation that you yourself are making racist, exclusionary, and violent. Do not pretend to not be communal or racist or whatever for your every sentence is laced with that.

No, it is not me who is the problem, it is you who is the problem. Purge the nation of yourself and maybe it will become redeemed then.

No, it is not the Kashmiris who have been protesting non-violently in various ways and getting only arbitrary arrests, detentions, gagging orders, curfews, abuses, beatings, and brutalisations of all kind who are the extremists.

No, it was not the Manipuris or Nagas or others who were ever as violent as you. Even if they were ever used arms, at least they had a cause. A cause of fighting the banal securitisation of life and humiliation they have to undergo.

Come to think of it, no, not even the Naxals are as violent as you. They kill no doubt and have their own distorted and sometimes dirty politics. But can they ever compete with you with your religiosity, your casteism, your historical privileges, your increasing control over the institutions of the state, the non-state and the market?

You are an extremist. You are the extremist.

Look into the mirror. You should see an ugly face. A face that hides all kinds of prejudices (religion, caste, class, ethnic, racial, gender) but you are nothing but an ugly creature of hatred and arrogance. Your ugliness comes from your intolerance, your arrogant Self and your complete lack of empathy for the other.

Your face may be mine and similar to mine. But I am not you. At least I try not to be you. I may fail. But I will not give up trying not to be you.

I am unimportant, I am nobody.

But you are somebody for you claim to speak for a nation. Go and ponder and reflect.

If you cannot, at least leave me alone, apply your Fair and Lovely cream and remain smug in your world.

 

 

 

13 Comments

  1. H Pattabhirama Somayaji says:

    it needs a lot of editing/tempering

    if Gandhi were around, he would have found time not only to edit this but to properly situate your anger in the circumambient world of fury

  2. I m sorry dibyesh ji if u hv been reduced to abuses by some of the non thinkers in here….but I tell u,it’s not those people but their lack of.knowledge n intellect which has been booked to then by none but the country’s government.itself….

  3. I m sorry dibyesh ji if u hv been reduced to abuses by some of the non thinkers in here….but I tell u,it’s not those people but their lack of.knowledge n intellect which has been booked to them by none but the country’s government.itself….

  4. k.s.parthasarathy says:

    In this case it is the incompetence of the Home Minister , who is unable to withstand pressure and acts just like that ..his Secretary would have given him his advise sure..

  5. Iftikhar Ahmad says:

    Totally taken Sir, something deeply inspiring.

  6. I totally share your anger and frustration with the Indian state which is becoming increasingly more and more banal and banana. The state is essentially catering to the bestial instincts of some sections of the people who are shamelessly, rabidly communal and reactionary.

  7. I do not understand the logic behind this whole article. What is wrong with hanging of Afzal Guru?? Infact he should have been hanged years ago!!!

    • @smriti.there r variety of people in every nation.some sig a song of media,some of a religion,and some dont even sing.but the common character among all such people is lack of eyesight and hearing power that connects the sense organs with ur brain and lets u think whats right and whats wrong.media,govt,and people around u and u among them blieve that afzal is the man..he should have been hanged years back.
      the problem here is that people know about the injustice going on with the people of kashmir,but they say oh we love our country,india,the great india.MISS SMRITI,imagine ur brother or father who was a captured and falsely alleged,and where there is no direct evidence against him,where he is not given the lauyer o protect himself,tortured,brutalised,threatened and kept in jail for 10 years.then hanged abruptly.and u being his sister or daughter dont know that he has been hanged already.then u recieve a speed post after 3 days of hanging that ur brother or father has been hanged!!NOW UNDERSTAND AND FEEL THE PAIN…

    • Dear Smriti,
      There was no evidence against Guru, the evidence was only circumstantial, there is circumstantial evidence against narendar modi aswell but he is the top contender of pm post. Afzal was hanged to satisfy collective “conscience” of your nation, he wasnt even allowed to hire a lawyer.

  8. @kashmiri…. they will never ever feel the feeling whatever you felt… untill unless same thing happened to them….and their lives…and their relations are murdered… their sisters are raped…. their kids are orphaned…there is no value for life of a muslim….! If a muslim speaks this he is a separatist…!.if a muslim strives against struggles….he is a terrorist…!

    And the funniest thing is

  9. If Indian government thought that Afzal was a terrorist and hung him when they didn’t even have the evidence that showed he was involved, why has this country spared three people who killed Rajiv gandhi when they have the evidence and were caught red handed.Whole of Tamil Nadu and the Tamil Nadu ministers are fighting for these three people because they belonged to the LTTE,We are suppressed not for just being muslims but for being Kashmiri’s. when a country is occupying a region they should always extend hand to make the people feel safe,instead they place food in one hand and a gun in another. if after this also some people don’t understand what this article was written for then God help them.

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