Death of a voice

Death of a voice

People of India are currently standing on a watershed of political violence. Every person lives with the constant fear of getting abused or threatened at the slightest discourse of opinion or any kind of articulation of independent political views and outlooks. “Whoever has said that the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons” –This quote has proved to be painfully true with the course of time for Indian citizens. Gauri Lankesh, a senior journalist and chief editor of a tabloid was shot dead by a couple of unidentified men just in front of her house in Bangalore. She was “accused” of defaming and voicing adverse opinions about the right wing extremist groups and was said to have affinity towards left ideologies. What if she did have those opinions? Does that grant any permission to these vigilantes to go out and shoot a citizen of the country? Our constitution boasts of words like secular and democratic without giving them any kind of recognition. Lankesh spoke up against the wrong doings of the Hindu extremist groups who misinterpreted the original Hindu texts and promoted the hateful notion of communalism. She was one of the few people who talked about the unfair and unjust practices that were being carried out by the groups leading to many more horrible riots. But unfortunately she was murdered in the most alarming way. Her murder was the murder of democracy, it sparked outrage all over the country and the events that followed were quite similar to the unsolved murder case of M.M Kalburgi (2015). The police were left with zero clues and candle light marches and silent meetings took place in her memory whilst the common people sat in front of their television screens fearing for their lives. This climate of hate that is being spread like wildfire is the reason why India has been turning out to be the hotbed of communal riots. No matter how many posters or campaigns get launched in public, the moment someone dares to open their mouths to talk about refining the system, they are silenced forever. The newspapers have highlighted this issue with taglines like ‘journalist martyred by the saffron brigade’. These interesting choices of words have made the issue of communal violence extremely vulnerable and if one goes through the Internet, various articles and reports can be found which are turning out to be mere cases of yellow journalism. The government and its weak policies have so failed miserably that it has become sheer topics for memes. The great nation that once boasted of its equality amongst diversity is slowly falling victim to that vast diversity only! The diversity in religion, language, taste, opinions, ideologies, everything has fallen apart. The internal conflicts happening throughout the country have left it nothing less than a war ravaged state. If we flip through the pages of history we will find the rise of terrorist groups like the Al Qaeda, ISIS, Taliban, was the reason for generating a worldwide hatred towards Islam and suspicion towards the Muslims. With the string of ongoing events, we, the people of India are slowly and willingly moving towards that path of hatred and suspicion from the other countries as well. So isn't it high time to stop the war for votes and focus on existence in peace?

Srimoyee Chowdhury


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