A new trend has taken over the country. More and more people are taking up the streets. Are they being misguided by the opposition, who knows? People are protesting fully knowing the consequences of going up against the government. They are called derogatory names, for instance, not only by the Trolls but also by the mainstream media.
But the spirit of democracy is dissent and this the people have come to know in the last year or so. Let’s see how.
Shaheen Bagh Protest
Article 14 and Article 15 of our constitution may come across as odd to many. They say: The state shall not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, sex and place of birth.
But, then, a “law” to deprive/provide citizenship on the account of religion was established, causing much uproar, across the country.
For it had happened the first time ever in a country like India.
But amid CAA-NRC protest, visuals of barbarism, disheartened all. As a student had succinctly described: “The police forced themselves in. Beat up many students. With utmost cruelty. Abused us all the while we pleaded.”
However, no matter how hard somebody tries to divide India, her people will continue to strive for her principles. For her inclusiveness. From little children to the elderly. From students to celebrities. Everyone spoke out. Stood up.
Made a many remember that time when the British had tried to divide Bengal in 1905 on the basis of religion. In 1911, though, Bengal was united again. The British had to kneel before the Hindu-Muslim unity.
Against fee hike
About a year ago, students at JNU were protesting against the abrupt fee hike, brought about by the government. Later, when they had done and dusted for the day, in their hostel rooms, they discover goons enter, and thrash them as if they were enemies.
Those masked men brutally attacked the students and teachers. It almost seemed like a politically motivated attack. What could be more shameful than an all-out attack of such nature taking place in one of India’s most prestigious universities? Many prominent politicians are its alumni, after all!
On the next day of this horrific incident, students around India openly supported JNU. And they too protested against the fee hikes in their own institutes. Later when actress Deepika Padukone arrived at the university, trolls declared it a stunt to promote her new movie.
A brave reporter showed the cremation of a rape-victim in the dead of night. And without her family’s consent. This was in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, which took the anger and frustration of people to a whole new level.
In a matter of days, it came to be known that the victim’s family was under house arrest. They were even blackmailed to stay mum. Even after their little girl’s dead body was reduced to ashes without saying their last goodbyes.
Then, journalists were stopped from entering Hathras. Its borders were sealed in no time. A few phone-tappings; a few arrests. After intense public outrage and continuous protest, a CBI probe was ordered.
Just recently, CBI has debunked all the “conspiracies” around the incident. They’ve clearly stated that the woman was a victim of gang-rape. What happened after it was even more terrible, indeed.
Normally the middle class stays at home and watches the 9 o clock news with great pleasure. But when it came to their own they also were forced to protest against the government. This happened when a big co-operative bank collapsed rendering their accounts useless and their savings nil.
The management of PMC had unlawfully loaned 50 crore to HDIL, a company that crashed bigtime in the stock market. Money gone in the blink of an eye. RBI imposed restrictions on the bank soon after.
The depositors protested not only in front of their bank branches but also in front of the RBI office. Now, after continuous pressure, the government is trying to rescue the PMC bank, in 2021. Better late than never!
Farmer on protest
More than two months have gone by, 140 sacrifices, biting cold of Delhi, but the farmers are determined in their resolve. It’s a fact that the new farm bills were passed without debate or discussion. It was claimed that these laws would benefit the farmers’ interest. But farmers refuse to believe so.
At first, they protested in Punjab. For time longer than a month. But sadly, they did not receive much public or media attention. Eventually, the farmers understood: If the deaf must hear, the sound has to be very loud.
They marched towards Delhi. They were welcomed by barricades, water guns and tear gas.
Then, when they settled at the border, the mainstream media tried their very best to malign the image of farmers. But to no avail. They remain strong. Even after the violence that undeniably took place on the Republic Day. It would be now interesting to see where this movement goes.
Yes, one can fool the common people for some time, but not all of the time. Sooner or later they are forced to occupy the roads, in protest. It would have been better if that were not the case. But, when the government treads along a wrong, scary path, it becomes all the more important to question and dissent. It is what makes and sustains a democracy. Really.