Our stifled voices are burning our souls, fighting our bodies, dying to come out. All they want is to change this impenitent world our country has become. These voices want to douse the flames of ignorance and dystopia in which our country is burning, before all that is left would be ashes and pieces of a legacy, legend or myth. A myth of a country great and powerful, united but colourful, a country that would soon be a figment of our imagination. These voices are chained to shackles of merciless injustice while our motherland is charred by the forces of greed, power and sheer brutality.
The CAA (Citizen Amendment Act) has brought our country to the brink of an abyss. It is not only outright discriminatory but also puts great pressure on our already debilitating economy. This act has made us; Indians believe that we are not protected. This act has made us live in fear of our existence. Our State cannot protect us, all it can do is leave traces of pain, suffering and misery.
To put it simply, when NRC (National Registry for citizens) is combined with CAA it’s like Thanos’ infinity gauntlet, one click and half the population rendered nationless. Well, except if you are not a Muslim. But being a Muslim is no crime, is it? The real criminals here are the ones who see it as one. They are the real perpetrators of the sin of discrimination.
The preamble of our nation, states –
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.
And today we are violating all this and much more. Justice and humanity have gone down the drain and left the stench of a rotting democracy.
Article 19 (1)(a) gives us freedom of speech. Article 19 (1)(b) gives us the right to assemble peacefully. Today both these rights have been snatched from us. Peaceful protests have been broken up, shot at and violence ensued. Each one of us has the right to raise our voice against what we deem to be wrong. It is what the word ‘DEMOCRATIC’ in our preamble has guaranteed us. But when we do raise our voice, we are suppressed, silenced and ridiculed. Fear is poured into our hearts silencing our will for freedom forever. And for what? Just to prove that a wrong was right. This cannot be accepted.
Doom is now greeting us at our doorsteps. It is in our everyday news. Our hearts know it is here, and our eyes burn from its unrelenting pain. Ultimately, only we have the power to stop it. Only we can fight for ourselves.
The day we stop thinking that “this is not affecting me, then why should I fight” it is that day when we would have won half the fight. If we would have stopped this injustice at its origin, this day would never have come. Children would not have been thinking about the differences in religion nor would have students been protesting for their rights. This started due to us, our negligence, our ignorance and now only we can stop it. Why should we wait until this injustice affects us? Why should we ignore the pain and suffering and live in an artificial bubble of ‘everything is ok?’ we created this mess, we are guilty of it and we are the biggest perpetrators of these crimes and so we should be the ones to clean this mess up because one day when this injustice will affect us it would be too resistant for us to conquer.
We can’t lose this battle now, for the sake of our country, for the sake of future generations, for our sake. We need to rise, fight, demand justice and win, because if we can’t. No one can.
- YUKTA BHANDARI