Women are showing the way to challenge fascist diktats

Today, sidetracking and bypassing hackneyed notions that only menfolk will take on Hindutva goons, thousands of women have come out in the open, challenging the fascist diktats

Women are showing the way to challenge fascist diktats

Humra Quraishi

Today it is an open Jung between the Sanghis and the non-Sanghis! Thankfully and Finally! Yes, finally the facades are done and over with. Over with that silly shying-away from criticising the hardcore Hindutva characters and their terrorising tactics. Done with the scare of the aftermath of that criticism; that invariably comes along, unleashed in so many ways.

And as the brutality of the Hindutva forces increases every day, so are the numbers of its open and bold critics. Today, sidetracking and bypassing hackneyed notions that only menfolk will take on Hindutva goons, thousands of women have come out in the open, challenging the fascist diktats.

In fact, it's about time the fence-sitters take a definite firm decision. I would dub the fence-sitters as ‘Soft–Sanghis’ because they are not too openly condemning the horrifying Hindutva forces, out to destroy our country and all of us. Maybe a small percentage of the fence-sitters are taken in by those ‘Hindu Rashtra’ slogans! Little realizing that the fascist forces are whipping up sentiments along the ‘Hindu Rashtra’ slogans, to emotionally control the masses, before mercilessly butchering them too.

In these recent years, there has been targeting of the various communities and groups. One by one. The Muslims, Christians, Dalits, Sikhs…Not to overlook the tribals and the Backwards and other disadvantaged groups. And in the last few years, many more have become their target: students and scholars and researchers, the NGOs, the liberals and artists who dare to question them! Even young school-going children are not spared.

Mind you, the targeted communities and groups on the fascists’ hit list are increasing by the day. Even in their so-called ‘Hindu Rashtra’ (that is, if it ever happens! ), the fascist rulers will make sure to set one caste against the other.

It’s about time that we, the non–Sanghis save this country. Our country. Now and immediately. Hindutva rulers have already started demolishing documents, monuments and institutions; changing textbooks’ content; silencing voices of dissent. In fact, this brings me to write that I wasn’t really shocked to see the much-in-circulation photographs of the bearded former chief minister of J&K, Omar Abdullah.

Why? Because almost all the Kashmiri families I have known in Srinagar, in the last thirty years, have been surviving semi –imprisoned. Friends who used to look like Bollywood film stars now look so very changed! After all, each one of them has been surviving under severe stress and grave apprehensions.

Today as I look around, levels of stress are rising …spreading out. Writ large on the faces and in the eyes of the young and old, as they see the Hindutva rulers baring their fangs. Earlier, we were all well aware of the fact that the arms training camps were held to train Hindutva cadres to attack the ‘other’ during riots and pogroms. And now its seems that it is getting all too formalized as comes in news that in April the first formal RSS ‘Army’ training school will be formally inaugurated in Uttar Pradesh. We can imagine what kind of communally charged men will come out after all that training!

And I sank into depression seeing the chief guest - Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro - at my country’s Republic Day celebrations. Little need for me to quote the utterances of this Brazilian President! Why waste time and energy on such vulgar silly stuff! But it certainly did make me feel very, very sad. After all, we have had the honour of brilliant statesmen coming to our land as chief guests. And now, this contrast!

The only and only way out from this mess is for the non-Sanghis to get united, vocal and courageous. Also, the fence-sitters should see through the political treachery that’s going on where political games are targeting us all, one by one.

Nah, no easy days ahead. Not easy to be hounded and attacked and targeted by the State machinery.

Leaving you with these lines of Faiz Ahmad Faiz as his birthday falls on February 13. He passed away in 1984.

Love’s Prisoners

Wearing the hangman’s noose, like a necklace,

The singers kept on singing day and night,

kept jingling the ankle - bells of their fetters

and the dancers jigged on riotously.

We who were neither in this camp nor that

just stood watching them enviously.

shedding silent tears.

Returning, we saw that the crimson

of flowers had turned pale

and on probing within, it seemed

that where the heart once was

now lingered only stabbing pain.

Around our necks the hallucination of a noose

And on our feet the dance of fetters.”

This is the author’s personal view

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