Editorial | Thus spake the soul of India

India is not just a great country in the community of nations but also a cluster of civilizations where every religious, regional, cultural and linguistic identity takes pride in being the sons and daughters of this great soil. There is a long history and troubled journey behind India’s present status as one of the greatest democratic republics. Over hundreds of years before gaining Independence in 1947, millions of people of this great country fought innumerable small and big, short and long wars for a dignified and prosperous life. These struggles were not of one region, one religion, and one community, one group of people or one party. All Indians fought together achieve for themselves and the future generations this great nation. For four to five decades after Independence the country had to struggle against poverty and hunger, against external aggressions launched by neighbours like China and Pakistan and struggles for gaining position of respect at the global scene through human resources and economic strengths. By the intersection of twentieth and twenty-first centuries as the country gained some amount of confidence by winning over some initial struggles, people started becoming more and more aspiring. Examine from the lowest strata, the labourer wanted to become the mason, the mason aspired to become the building contractor and the contractors realized that time has come to set up construction companies and be known as employer after a long struggle as worker. In the shining India of twenty-first century people want education and healthcare of global standards, jobs to elevate the living standards and life of prosperity and leisure which is informed by scientific temperament and cultural diversity. In the midst of this beautiful journey of aspirations we have been hit and smashed from all sides by a kind of regressive politics which is loaded with religious bigotry. This divisive and polarizing project sees phenomenal trigger around every elections. Call it, as you may, a flaw or strength of democracy, India is country of continuous elections where between two Lok Sabha elections the five years in between see an election every months in one or the other state. This means there is no getting off the religious divisive project. The most recent election in National Capital Territory of Delhi saw worst kind of polarization in the recent years. Politicians have often spoken about the religious issues to consolidate their vote bank in one or the community, every party has done that but this time the politicians –mainly from ruling BJP –appeared too callous and careless about the choice of words. One can condone the petty workers but could one overlook the blatantly offensive slogans used by the Union Ministers. The results –Aam Aadmi Party sweeping the polls leaving behind BJP as distant trailer –are before the country to introspect and rethink the culture of politics that attacks the social fabric of this great nation. Delhi, being the national capital, carries diversity of aspirations where people have come from all across the country to settle. This result is a verdict of India against the politics of polarization.


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