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Why we should have a problem with those who say ”Bharat ke tukde honge’

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Why we should have a problem with those who say ”Bharat ke tukde honge'

Poonam Mahajan

There is a fine line between dissent and disintegration. Societies that are aware of this maxim prosper and those that dilute it inevitably disintegrate.

Freedom of thought and expression has once again become a focal point due to recent events at Ramjas College of Delhi University, where students on both sides of the ideological spectrum confronted each other over an invitation to Umar Khalid for a seminar.

Two years ago, when All Bakchod (AIB) was criticised and faced legal action for organising the AIB Roast where filthy jokes and expletives were made at the expense of the participants, I strongly supported their freedom of creative expression despite not endorsing the roast.

Freedom of thought and expression is a valuable gift of our Constitution and must be protected from a lunatic fringe at all costs.

When somebody utters slogans such as “ demands azadi“, or “Bharat tere tukde honge“, we need to ask a pointed question: How are they going to achieve this goal?

Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

In 1947, our motherland was partitioned into two dominions – India and Pakistan.

More than 15 million people had been uprooted and between one and two million were dead. 75,000 women were raped, forced conversions and mass abductions defined the birth of our nation. This is what happens when societies disintegrate.

The casualties alone are a horrific reminder of the manifestations of some who have exhibited such extremist tendencies. It doesn't end there.

In 1974, Pakistan amended its Constitution, declaring members of the Ahmadi sect non-Muslims thereby restricting their religious freedom. In fact, Pakistan's first ever Nobel Laureate, Abdus Salam was an Ahmadi, whose remarkable contributions in Physics were erased from Pakistan's collective memory.

Recently, Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations tweeted that Mahershala Ali (of House of Cards fame) was the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award, and later deleted the mention because the Moonlight actor is an Ahmadi.

In 1971, the Pakistani Army killed lakhs of Bengalis in East Pakistan and forced 10 million to flee to India. It is a forgotten genocide.

Since the year 2015, bloggers from Bangladesh who espoused the values of secularism, pluralism and spoke in favour of atheism were hacked to death by Islamist extremists.

Every country has to define and decide what it sees as non-negotiable.

For India, it is utmost priority is the territorial sovereignty of our nation. It does not matter which caste, creed, religion or political affiliation we belong to, maintaining our territorial integrity is essential.

A society like ours, with a horrific past, has to be very careful when words like “Bharat tere tukde honge” are uttered.

Everybody agrees that a speech that brazenly incites violence is objectionable. Hence my question to everybody is: What will be the consequences of such utterances? Who will take the responsibility if lives are lost when some misguided youth accepts the slogan literally and goes on a killing spree?

How can “Bharat tere tukde honge” be a part of discourse? Doesn't it incite violence towards citizens of India?

We are a young and vibrant democracy. 65 per cent of India's population are under the age group of 15-35 years. We are undergoing an exciting era – seeking to harness our demographic dividend.

A country as young as ours should focus its energies on debating issues such as endemic poverty, employment growth, income inequality, gender inequality, environmental degradation, poor educational and indicators et al.

These issues will be resolved when the collective conscience of our country is focused in the right direction instead of thinking about India's balkanisation.

The solution to each and every problem that exists in our country is more democracy and steadfast adherence to the Constitution of India.

What is happening in certain campuses across India does not help us in moving forward towards this positive goal.

 

 

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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