Tomorrow seems to be a day of being born for certain states in India. Of course, we all need to celebrate it, by all means,upholding the value of diversity and plurality. Nonetheless, tomorrow when we celebrate it, it is a certain sense of wreckage that haunts and flashes by.Fr. Stan Swamy is no more, acclaimed and the young actor who still had a lot to contribute to the movie industry Puneeth Rajkumar has left us, young minds like Alan and Thaha are released but there still exist other political prisoners who are jailed including Sudha Bharadwaj who will be celebrating her 60th birthday tomorrow. It is also to be noted that the health condition of these political prisoners is bad and is constantly on the decline as much as the society’s value for humanity is, especially in this momentous moment when we celebrate for being born as a state. Hence compiling all this has evoked a deep-seated and terrible sense of helplessness, especially in a time when we all struggle to be born (Gramsci Prison Notebooks). This is definitely an ethico-political issue and there is no falling back on it rather than to confront it with utmost due diligence, reason, and most importantly patience. However, friends today amidst the established backdrop let me also put forward an equally important issue that seems to have been conveniently waylaid. This is an epistemic issue as much as it is a political issue and Covid 19 in this backdrop cannot be considered as a means to brush the facts underneath the carpet. Yes, I am talking about the availability of data. We are almost nearing the end of the year in another 2 months. Census is supposed to have happened in the year 2021. As far as the update goes there hasn’t been any update on the census or be it any nationally representative data. Also when we take most of the institutions /other private studies conducted, the data says how bad and crippled the current state of our economy is. But sadly the only convenient counter in this regard by the people at the helm of power and also by the supporters of the same is that – “the data is not grounded and lacks reliability”. If that’s the case let’s just keep the data and the methods of collecting the same aside and wait for a minute and think about the number of informal labor workforce that was strangled when a lockdown was announced. Even further if one could take themselves down the memory lane, remember the large queue of people standing with their tensed faces waiting to get money after knowing that their money in hand is no longer money fit for transaction (demonetization). Few of them even resorted to taking a color photostat of the new currency that was delayed in circulation. Imagine a country’s situation of such intense helplessness? Doesn’t that itself stand good enough to speak the state of working India? So the point attempted to be raised here is that people who say that whatever data that is available is not grounded and methodology followed is not systematic, then it is high time for the same people who say it to work and throw out the data to the public. But that will not definitely happen, primarily because reality and truth needs to be confronted. Perhaps this is primarily the reason also why political prisoners are born too. Yes, confronting the reality and truth sadly is no longer the order of the day!
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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