As Narendra Modi‘s event managers, starting with the man himself (as marg darshak L.K. Advani once called him) gets ready for yet another “bragathon”, Manini Chatterjee of The Telegraph asks a good question.
What has the opposition been doing for the last three years while India’s constitutional values were being destroyed?
For three years now, Opposition leaders have been content to issue press statements, appear in TV studio discussions (only to be abused and mocked by perpetually hostile anchors), put out tweets – and, yes, address rallies at election time. But they have been entirely missing in action.
In these same three years, a man has been killed by mobs on the suspicion of storing beef in his fridge, several men have been killed while ferrying cattle, Dalit students have been driven to suicide, upper caste youths invoking Rana Pratap have torched Dalit homes, students and college teachers have been branded ‘anti nationals’ for demonstrations against the State that were the norm in pre-2014 India, civil rights activists have been defanged by a crackdown on all kinds of non-governmental organizations (barring those from the saffron fold that have thrived), textbooks have been rewritten in order to mythologize history and historicize myths, Kashmir has become a cauldron of violence where even schoolgirls defy soldiers with stones and scores of uniformed men have died at the border and in the heartland as a result of the regime’s jackboot jingoism that has made India more vulnerable and insecure.
And yet, barring the customary statement or perhaps a visit to the home of the bereaved, Opposition leaders have done nothing….
During the Emergency, Opposition leaders were put in prison to prevent them from hitting the streets. Today, they are enclosed in prisons of their own making, too scared to take a stand that goes against the ‘public mood’, too timid to counter the assault on constitutional values in the name of ‘mass sentiment’.
Read the full article: Missing in action