Welcome to Prozac Nation, India!

Following the glorious manner in which the Rajasthani government dealt with Salman Rushdie, it was today Shiv Sena’s and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad’s (ABVP) turn. I think the government can serve as such a great role model. Let’s bow to some more of these hurt sentiments and perhaps, we should all stop being critical or informed, because of course learning more about real issues and challenges will  hurt some more sentiments. Yes, I think we should work towards sparing our sentiments a lot more. How about Prozac, or some such mood elevator? We should just mix it into our water supplies and be all happy that we live in such a beautiful perfect country where Kashmiris are all happy, the Army commits no atrocities and corruption doesn’t exist. Let’s get rid of any mention of poverty, inequality, brutality and all such things, after all, confronting them can be hurtful to our sentiments.

ABVP’s perception of Jashn-E-Azadi as anti-Indian, anti-Army and separatist may or may or may not be correct. Are we as Indians supposed to object to viewpoints with censorship? Calling for cancelling the screening of the movie, and the Symbiosis University’s giving into it are both acts of abject cowardice. If the documentary is based on flawed premises and presents false or incorrect information, the ABVP’s and Symbiosis’ stance should be raise a debate around the issue and sue the filmmaker for libel! There is a correct way of dealing with the issue.

What is anti-Indian? What is anti-Army? What is separatist? I say that the ABVP is anti-Indian, anti-Army and separatist! By their measure we would never take a critical look at India, our Army and the causes for the unrest in Kashmir. Leaving these issues unaddressed would be a disservice to our fellow countrymen, to the upstanding members of the Army and our Government who would see injustices corrected.

On the Shiv Sena’s ransacking, the BJP’s craven response is to condemn the attack and advise the media to be more responsible with the reportage even while the BJP continues to ally with them. Shiv Sena’s approach to political effectiveness (read page 3 in link) is aggression.  Their motivations are based in fear and in divisive politics. The broad condemnation of their action gives me hope, but condemnation should only be the starting point of dealing with a militant organization bent on using force to wrest power. This is the kind of politics that if allowed to grow, will ultimately undermine India. I suggest that the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad direct their agitations to the likes of Shiv Sena if they really want to serve our country.

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