Not even 10 days old, 2022 already looks ominous

The super-rich are running away from India. Anybody who can afford to send their children abroad, including bureaucrats and ministers, are doing so because they see no hope, writes Ranjona Banerjee

Not even 10 days old, 2022 already looks ominous
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Ranjona Banerji

Muslim women put up for auction in a specially created app. At least four young Hindu men and one woman, all students, arrested.

The “holy” Hindu “leaders” of Haridwar reiterate their hate campaign against Muslims in spite of FIRs – but no arrests – after their last “religious parliament”.

Two Christian women picked up by the police in Karnataka for holding a prayer meeting.

Calls in the Hindu supremacist chatter space for genocide against Sikhs after PM Modi is stuck on a flyover in Punjab for 20 minutes.

Posters appear all over Varanasi, put up by workers of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, stating that only Hindus will be allowed into the city.

Large Hindu mob in Chhattisgarh gather to declare they will boycott Muslim businesses.

Thousands of NGOs lose their access to foreign funding.

How does 2022 look to you so far in democratic India?

I hope you’re not one of those annoying persons who goes, “Come on, it’s not so bad.”

Or their close cousin of the pompous proclamation: “Things were much worse in 1174”.

The first is a subjective comparative which therefore can never be adequately countered.

The second is just someone who either thinks they’re very clever or thinks they’re really clever.

Both are just signs of humans being unable to accept reality. Hiding behind some fake comfort zone – the future can be worse and the past was worse.

It won’t cut it any more.

The investigation by the news site, The Wire, on the TekFog app, demonstrates in chilling detail how the BJP and its universe of followers both amplifies and creates online hatred. The app allows them to infiltrate chats, attack those who question the BJP, spread sexual degradation of women who oppose Hindu supremacy, and then delete all evidence.

The investigation by the news site, The Wire, on the TekFog app, demonstrates in chilling detail how the BJP and its universe of followers both amplifies and creates online hatred. The app allows them to infiltrate chats, attack those who question the BJP, spread sexual degradation of women who oppose Hindu supremacy, and then delete all evidence.

It’s too late for anyone to claim that they didn’t know this was going to happen. If you were naïve enough to believe the Modi hype and believe those promises of “development” and “good days” in 2014, in 2019 you just voted for hate. And hate is what you have got now.

The more you pretend it’s not that bad, the deeper we fall into regressive fascism.

Education has been infiltrated to a disastrous extent. All the textbook rewriting episodes of the past which failed or were reversed are now entrenched. And the internet provides an endless stream of twisted history and lies. The extent of indoctrination is evident in the beliefs of the four students arrested in the BulliBai App case.

What to your mind is the future of a nation which has radicalised and dehumanised large swathes of its youth? Just as an example, in the case of over 100,000 fake Covid negative reports used to allow last year’s Kumbh Mela to be held in Haridwar by Uttarakhand’s BJP government, students in Kota were used to fill in fake data. These young people have been made pawns in a network of chicanery and lies without their permission. It will have an effect.

And when you create this level of hatred and your economic situation is a mess thanks to your lack of economic education or sense, you have at your disposal an arsenal of angry young people who will not be able to get jobs and will blame the target you will provide them. Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, women, liberals, the list is only going to get longer.

Does it appear that the judiciary is trying to find its head again? Maybe. But the judiciary like everything else is drawn from the same pool. We have doctors pushing for quack cures without adequate research because of their belief in “ancient culture”, even in the middle of a global pandemic, and we have judges who believe that peacocks procreate by sharing their tears. Why blame politicians for their ignorant nonsense. Look at the cream of society.

The bulwark of our democracy, Parliament, has been commandeered into acquiescence. Controversial, even ruinous, bills are rammed through as opposition parties stage walkouts and disruptions. Democracy itself has been reduced to a series of election rallies.

The media has stood by and clapped and cheered this destruction or gleefully contributed, like a bunch of ghouls hovering over a cremation ground.

The rich by the way are running away. Anyone who can afford it are sending their families out of India. Many of these have supported the RSS-BJP and Modi’s regime of hatred. But they know that there is no future here and will continue their support from elsewhere.

For those of us who care, the time for silence is over. We have to depend on ourselves to wake up and re-educate ourselves and those around us.

Or?

(The writer is an independent commentator and columnist. Views are personal)

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