Dear India, I Hope We Can Rekindle Your Pluralism
It feels like your pluralism is being stamped on.
It is the year 2020, the year Dr APJ Abdul Kalam envisioned you as a nation where “poverty has been totally eradicated, illiteracy removed, crime against women and children is absent, and no one in the society feels alienated”.
But just like that, what he envisioned seems dystopian now. Suddenly, education, internet, media and communication has left us so shamelessly narrow that we are fighting battles in your name that should not have occurred in the first place.
We were left with no time and resources to work for the goals that we promised you. In 2020, your children face a crisis of identity that carries a profound tragedy. In our desperate attempts to seek identity as your children again, we looked at the easiest, surface-level difference: Our pluralism.
Today, your womb consists of ‘nationalists’ and ‘anti-nationalists’, where ‘nationalists’ are everyone who agrees and the ‘anti-nationalists’ are those who dissent. Somehow your pluralism is being stamped on and ‘Indian-ness’ is decided by our ability to keep our thoughts to ourselves or agree with the nationalists among us.
We are made to believe that poverty, education, environment, and economy do not matter. We have been dwelling in past glories too long, desperate to seek homogeneity as a basis for these nationalistic feelings and pluralism as a reason for all crises we face as a nation.
Dear India, we remember the pain of partition in 1947. We remember the riots of 1984. We remember the events that led to the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus. We remember the 2002 communal violence. We remember what happens when we let a mono-thought identity define us.
Despite this fact, today we learn your history selectively to justify our actions. And, quite often we forget that justice is not revenge. India, I hope we can find in our thoughts and aspect a vision that rekindles your pluralism and a resurgence in the conscience of our shared history, culture and beginnings.
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