Communal hatred in India
The dignity, glory and image of our nation came in danger (like always) in the last 15-20 days – clash in JNU over veg-non veg, bulldozer on a particular community, dispute and debate on beef selling and consumption, namaz, hijab, and now loudspeakers. Stage set for talks of iniquity, threat to peace and harmony, show of strength by shotgun, pistol during Hanuman Jayanti procession followed by stone pelting. People are on cusp of a clash.
We used to hear about unity in diversity in our childhood. And, it is this unity in diversity that powers mega cities over the world today. Pick any top city in the world, and one thing is common – unity in diversity – even if we consider opposite cities like New York (free world capital) and Dubai (not democratic). This unity in diversity is common behind the success of both the cities – when people, despite all differences of religion, colour, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. work together. People of 200 nationalities live in Dubai speaking in 300 languages and dialects. 85% population of Dubai is expat and most of which are Asians.
But the sheikh of Dubai doesn’t feel threatened. They are busy working, improving their lifestyle. I admit that there is no democracy in Dubai, but also true that Sheikhs in Dubai did not force their wardrobe on others. So, we can witness a lot of diversity in terms of clothing. They enjoy life, go to club or beach, drink up or chill in water park, including all places of worship. Nobody is forcing anything on anyone.
Thus, co-existence is the key to happiness and success. Dubai is among the top 10 most multi-cultural cities, and in 2030, expected to be most diverse. As a result, people all over are attracted to the opportunities in the city and so it’s bound to prosper.
New York city is far ahead in both in terms of democracy and development. It is considered to be the most diverse cityof immigrants. It is said that if you spend a moment in Times Square, you will come across people of all nationalities. No matter which part of the world you are from, those differences fade here and humanity is above all. It is all simple as it reads. But why don’t we understand it then?
It is said that 800 languages are spoken in New York but one language is common, of hard work. Language of hustle. It’s not as if New Yorkers don’t debate or argue, but unity in diversity thrives. Without unity in diversity there’d be no NYC. In fact, America is an example of unity in diversity. America is called the nation of immigrants. World’s best talents work here and accepted as own. That’s why America is No. 1 economy in the world. Not forgetting racism in the US, that’s on the rise, but diversity wins eventually.
On one hand, the universities in the USA are spending billions on research and study, new papers published, interventions patented, etc., and on the other hand, our top universities here are debating about veg and non-veg. Where in countries like the USA, Japan, China, bulldozer is helpful in infrastructure development work, here in our country, bulldozer is used for doing the opposite, for breaking people’s houses, without any legal process often on the basis of surnames.
Hate speech is not at all tolerated anywhere else, but we, in India, witness open threats of murderseach day. Everyday is a problem, dispute on beef, namaz, hijab, and loudspeaker is now in focus, as if all the other problems have been solved in the country.
Constant targeting or provoking may turn words into actions as happened in Delhi. Stone pelting occurred during a Hanuman Jayanti procession between two communities and many injured in Delhi. Whatever your opinion is on these incidents, the bitter fact is that our future is in danger. Forget acche din(good days), high net worth individuals, now, are leaving the country. India is a top source of immigrants across the globe. Economic situation of the country has already been tricky. You might be happy by taking selective data doses like exports rise. But do you know imports were way higher?
The truth is that only a few individuals are getting richer, and poor are getting poorer. Farmer income did not double, but number of poor doubled. Not to forget, the unruly elements in society are also increasing at an alarming rate in the country.
Conflict in Diversity
Example of unity in diversity is not new for us. Our country was considered a prime example of unity in diversity. Today, we are divided over just about everything. Diverse democracy is becoming divisive democracy under majoritarian rule. Until a few years ago, we could freely mock the system but it’s not really possible anymore. The media, which was considered to be vibrant and thriving, it is now ranked in the basement of press freedom ranking. The judiciary system, which was considered robust, now puts contempt notice to cartoonists and comedians. Some get bail in hours, some not even for months.
How did we arrive at this, from international rising star to international joke in 8 years? You may call it an international conspiracy over last 8 years! (joke)
India is lagging in global race. We were once competing against China, but our per capita income now is less than that of Bangladesh. How come are the average Bangladeshis earning more? Were we distracted by the media or did we deliberately choose this path of divisiveness? Do we want development or content with seeing others in pain?
Economy in danger!
Our economy was crumbling in UPA especially in the last two years of Manmohan Singh as a Prime Minister. More news of scam and less of work! This was the time, when amid policy paralysis of the then government, opposition filled the gap and the image of Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh ruined. At that time, issues like woman safety, petrol price, inflation, jobs were picked up aggressively. Today, in 2022, there is no attention to or protest for those issues. Even media has turned its back.
Disharmony and divisiveness are on the rise. Nobody is asking questions, where is 15 lakhs? Where is acche din? Where is vikas? Why is the value of rupee so low? How much are politicians to blame and how much the common people? The addiction to detest minority will soon engulf all. Do you think investments will arrive when tensions are on the rise?Companies that shifted operations outside China migrated to Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia and Laos, but not to India.
Is India on off track?
Naseeruddin Shah said, “The question is not who lit the fire, it is who fuelled it?” Today, infighting and divisions are allowing China to take advantage of India. But, our government is busy fighting its own people – farmers, students, journalists, social workers, lawyer and academia. Whosoever raises a finger at the supreme leader will be put in place! Isn’t it? That is why, hasty decisions like demonetisations, GST, unplanned lockdown, imposing farmer have been made.
How to get India back on track?
There is definitely a danger of downward spiral in the country. Now the question is, what can the remaining people who believe in our country’s future and growth do? The supply chain of hate is to be stopped. Say no to bigotry, from WhatsApp to mainstream media. Let the world think and do as they please, but we should admit that long term growth is unlikely in atmosphere of tension.
Data shows that economic problems aren’t going anywhere in the country. So, as readers, we should be aware about the country’s growth prospects, stalled housing projects, rising NPAs, income inequality.
Can India be a ‘Rising’ Superpower again?
US president, Lyndon Johnson, who was called a racist, and later a civil rights hero ended apartheid in the country, as he understood that divided America cannot progress. Singapore’s forced housing integration fuelled economic success. The developed countries truly ensured “sabka sath sabka vikas and sabka vishwas” (everyone’s support, everyone’s development and now everyone’s trust), and not reduced it to Jumla (false promise).
Positive steps can under-taken here too, but can the media, court, opposition force government to take action? Or will people speak for themselves? Because government is afraid of people’s anger.
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