Notwithstanding the indispensability and importance of education, it’s stating the obvious that the right to life, honour and dignity take precedence over all other rights including the right to education and employment. Its these rights which are being snatched away from the people of India in a sustained manner, and in turns. Next to the Muslims and other weaker sections of the Indian society who are being isolated and pinned down as the real villains of the piece and as the chief reason for India’s woes, now it’s the farmers who are being vilified, demonised and vulgarised for the sin of expressing their reservations on the three highly controversial farm laws which have of late been legislated and promulgated by the Indian parliament. It’s this relentless lust for and the abuse of political power that is being used to deny these rights to the people of India and of those in Kashmir where a sheer majority of them are beginning to look up to the neighbour across the border as the lesser evil to deal and live with, rather than with the country that had annexed their land by sheer deceit and stealth.
This is so because, in pursuit of its extremely violent and life denying agenda to throttle the voices of sanity, India has destroyed everything in Kashmir including its economy, identity, syncretic culture, besides of course the right to education and employment which have been snatched, especially after Aug.5th. This despite the fact that the country next door has not been in great shape on many fronts in recent years whereas the scope for excellence in education, research and development are admittedly greater in India than elsewhere in the region. Sadly, that has been no reason for consolation among the Kashmiris who had willy nilly reposed their trust in the post 1947 arrangement which was forced upon them, but which was routinely eroded and betrayed by India, with the climax of that betrayal having been accomplished post Aug.5th, 2019.
The bottomline is that individual life, freedom and dignity matter considerably more than what have at best been hollow promises of progress, development, safety and security of the people. The ongoing farmer’s agitation is proof enough that the hollowness of these promises has been extended to mainland India which has not remained unscathed from this massive attack on individual liberty and freedom. That is clearly a resounding manifestation of a devious mindset to force their writ in a situation where debate, discussion and dialogue are being relegated to the margins as irrelevant, but which would have achieved much in terms of peace, progress, development and democracy.
The events in the 1930’s leading to the Nazi juggernaut in Europe should serve to underscore the harsh reality that the price to be paid by those who see evil and do nothing can be enormous. And the evil that stares us into the face may be seen in the pathetic plight that the farmers have been plunged into, in the demonisation of those who had staged the Shaheen Bagh protests and in the victimisation and unlawful confinement of those who raise their voice in favour of the weak and the underprivileged of the society. And not the least, into the dance of death and destruction in Kashmir, especially over the past 30 years and brought to its crescendo since 2014. All this may be seen as part of a concerted campaign of mainstreaming hatred of those who are condemned to remain marginalised – the dregs of the society.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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