Since the inception of Indian Constitution in January 1950, each and every citizen of India has been bestowed with their fundamental rights, of which one proclaims freedom of expression to all. But the minds of the country, as seems, have slipped off this right they all are entitled to. For, had they been versed with it, never would have they come down to ‘award vapsi’ path.
There’s no defiance of the fact that since last two months, quite a few unfortunate mishaps like Kalburgi’s death, Dadri lynching, Kulkarni’s face blackening and Ghuam Ali’s performance-ban, did strike India, but that what ensued was more unfortunate. Till date, the award-returnee count has shot up to reach 35, roping in, at last, the legend of legends, Arundhati Roy as well.
“I believe what artists and intellectuals are doing right now is unprecedented, and does not have a historical parallel. It is politics by other means. I am so proud to be part of it. And so ashamed of what is going on in this country today,” Roy lamented.
Not that I’m belittling the goddess of words, Roy, but this illogical act, in my eyes, doesn’t interlock with the logical mind of her. Anyway, it had to happen and there is no point mooting over it. Either left-inclined or blockheaded are these writers, scientists and journalists to have abjectedd their talent-appreciated token. They didn’t even care to envision the harm their act would do the country’s image across the globe. Well, every cloud has a silver lining and so is with ‘rise-of-intolerance’ protest as well. The iconic figure of Bollywood, Anupam Kher, has come up with a counter ‘tolerance’ march which is to befall on 7th November.
The crux of this entire glitch, which drove in so many to return awards, is their demand for freedom of expression. And Kher’s upcoming march is to dawn upon these returnees that India’s democracy has always been fair and conductive to the free voices of proactive spirits. Had Indian government tried subduing the voice of India, there wouldn’t have been any space for ridicules, abuses, critics, reproaches and memes which people overtly take use of, on social media.
I would literally commend Anupam Kher to have initiated this march and roar back against the wrongs that had taken a toll on India’s global image. Although, being a Kolkatan, I can’t be one of those logical Indians who tomorrow would storm out and mark the end of left-wing’s conspiracy against Modi government. Intolerance is rooted in India since its freedom but the forgetful brains of Congress can’t recall, and how would they even? For they very well know that Emergency was nothing, but, in fact, an extreme version of intolerance.
Anupam Kher, slew of spirits rest their bubble of hope on your hope, in the expectation to stay un-popped. Go, extinguish the fire of ‘Modi-hatred’, ablaze in India. Not my presence but my wishes are there to back this march of yours.
By Prerna Daga