India 2019: The Country We Want, the Country We Don’t Want
December 31, 2018
As we come to the end of 2018, we look back at our series India 2019, where we asked citizens to speak out against the concerted ongoing attacks on fundamental rights and freedoms granted by the Constitution. The coming year, with the Lok Sabha elections scheduled from April to May, will be vital in determining the future of the country.
We asked citizens to give voice to their vision for the nation – about the India they want and the India they do not want. We hope their vision contributes to breaking the current reign of fear, hatred and intolerance.
Here are a few selected posts of different media from the series.
Sayed Haider Raza: Untitled, acrylic on canvas, 148 x 173 cm, 1985
Once this was a nation
A continent built in salt and sweat
A flower raised by blood
A conch risen from the sea
A map of many colours drawn in tears
Extending from the Himalayas
To the Arabian Sea.
Now I see the festival of the people
Turn into a funeral procession in black
And triumphal chants into laments
We will raise a new nation, of compassion and
Sisterhood that laughs without hate, a nation,
Without walls and borders, without
the rich and the poor, its head held high,
And its arms open to all, here,
On this soil of dried-up rivers and heirless forests
Where evening stars fall like magnolias, we lay
There are other obvious things, such as annihilating caste and attaining socialism and true secularism that I would like to see in India. At the present juncture, they may not be realisable, and so may need to be relegated beyond more immediate concerns. At the present juncture, this is what is paramount. I would not like to see India again under BJP rule. It has poisoned the population with its lethal venom of nationalism and religion. It has deintellectualised the country. It has pushed it into the dark alleys of obscurantism, corroded institutions with its saffronisation, undermined the democratic ethos and criminalised dissent.
The Voice of Resistance, © Merlin Moli
As capitalism acquires higher dimensions of development, democracy becomes increasingly implausible. It is the political economy of capitalist development, and not the idiosyncrasies of individual political leaders, which leads the state towards fascism. Corporate houses try to restructure the Government by forcing it to become functionally autocratic through bureaucracy and legislating centralisation to substitute democratic procedures. All these factors align the state perfectly with the growing techno-military global neo-imperialism; consequently, reaffirming the death of democracy – an inevitable possibility under capitalism.
I am standing in a country of many-hued umbrellas.
In it, not one word,
not one poem,
is allowed to drown.
मंगलेश डबराल का मानना है कि हर कवि की भाषा के प्रति एक ज़िम्मेदारी होती है, ख़ास कर के ऐसे वक़्त में जब राजनेता शब्दों के मतलब ही बदल दे रहे हों।
In the two to three decades following India’s independence, the vision of the founding leadership on the role of science and technology arose out of the freedom movement. It was not as if we became independent and then began thinking about what kind of nation to build; the idea of India was already nascent in the national movement. The role of science and technology in shaping development was central to this idea. This was quite unique among the developing nations. Even during the second wave of independence of the erstwhile colonies in Africa, the centrality of science and technology in the post-independence development story did not quite feature in the same way as it did in India. Science and technology were envisaged to have three major roles in independent India.
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