November 2nd, 2015
Image Source: mathrubhuminews
Rajnath Singh’s reconciling tone and the call to protesting academics to “discuss” issues and give “suggestions” is symbolic of the fact that BJP is coming to terms with the ideals of “Discussion”, “Debate” and “Democracy”.
The reactions of BJP ministers to the protests by return of awards, most prominently Mr Arun Jaitley terming it as “manufactured” have surprised many who thought government would make a course correction in nipping the protests in the bud. That was not the case though. The democratic form of protests starting with a few, snowballed into many with even International organizations joining the chorus against the stifling of voice and violence against minorities.
Dichotomy of BJP and the silence of the Prime Minister over the return of awards are only symbolic of the widening gap of the way in which BJP views democracy and the way it actually is. Rajnath Singh’s recent rally call seeking the writers and academics to come for “discussion” has only shown how Democracy puts all who are dependent on it on the course of healthy debate irrespective of the erraticism of their political leanings.
History has its lesson’s
Returning awards is one of the oldest Democratic form of protest by intellectuals. Some critics might suggest Democracy was a British import to India, however history shows it was as much Indian as it was British. Subramania Iyer returned (renounced) his knighthood protesting against the Montagu reforms whilst Tagore renounced his Knighthood in protest against Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Both were symbolic yet strong statement given their position of influence in the freedom struggle. Who won the battle is all there to be seen.
It is very much acceptable for political parties to differ with other parties and with anyone who differ with them. It is in the acceptance of someone who differs with you, the attitude of agreeing to disagree lays the soul of Democracy. Political parties are dependents and benefactors of Democracy, it is a healthy practice to play by the democratic conventions else Democracy puts you in place.
TLI thanks Mr Rajnath Singh for calling out to the academics for “discussion” and “suggestions”. TLI hopes this will kick start a healthy debate between the academics, the voices they represent and the government besides we hope the Prime Minister breaks his silence on these issues and re-invigorate the trust and energy of all Indians alike as Mr Narayana Murthy had mentioned a couple of days back.