By Humra Quraishi
In the midst of this milieu of political hopelessness, there seems just about a faint ray of hope. Nah, I’m not hinting at the possibility of a full-fledged revolution or revolt to take off but, yes, several young leaders have begun to question and query the might of the political rulers of the day.
If you hear the long and short speeches of Jignesh Mevani, Kanhaiya Kumar, Shehla Rashid, Umar Khalid, Alpesh Thakore, Hardik Patel, you will realize that they are taking on the sarkar of the day and their words are reaching out to the masses. Why? Because they are rather too blatantly and fearlessly relaying their utter disgust and anger at the ground realities of the day- joblessness, lynching, killings, injustices, demarcations and disparities, growing hunger and poverty, blatantcommunal poisoning.
These young leaders are not shying away from getting to the very specifics. They have been naming the so called top governmental brass in hoodwinking the masses .They have been exposing the utter lies and deceit and hollow promises made by the rulers of the day. They have been crying hoarse that you and I are being used and misused, made to slit each other’s throats in the name of caste and creed, region and religion.
Needles for me to add that it’s not easy to target or criticize the government, but still they are going ahead unmindful of the aftermath. Brave and courageous they come across and it’s exactly this which holds out hope for a change to come about. It’s that spark, that fearlessness, that passion in each one of these young leaders that holds out hope …much hope.
If you observe them from close quarters you will realize they actually represent the masses of this country. Their attires, their footwear, their living conditions are like yours and mine. Surviving far away from materialistic frills, they are focusing only and only on the ground realities. Compare the living conditions of these young leaders with that of the political rulers of the day and the contrast is not just shocking but alarming!
Can you even near a minister or a chief minister or the prime minister with your pleas. No, you can’t. For they sit in fortified, they live amidst layers of tight security, they fly in and out of heavily guarded setups …They are present only and only on your television screens or on those hyped events!
But these young and upcoming leaders are there. They are part of us – they are amongst us, for us, and with us. They don’t ask us whether we are Hindus or Muslims or Christians. They talk only and only of our haal and halaats and that’s why many are getting drawn to them.
The government does realize that these young leaders have established connect with the masses. Perhaps, that explains why barricades – political and police — thrust before Jignesh Mevani’s rally in New Delhi. In the normal course, an MLA or for that matter any citizen of this country has every right to ask the sarkar any possible query or to raise his or her voice against the murky build-ups, but today all’s going haywire…Today even student leaders are getting labelled anti –nationals by the very sarkar which seems to know little about nation building, and which is using every single ploy to silence the Dalits, Musalmans, Christians, and anyone who dares to stand up and raise his or her voice at the fascist forces.
Tell me, why is the establishment wary of these un – armed young leaders who are armed only with words and with that passion to let truth prevail… to question and query the killings of hundreds of innocents.The fact is that fascist forces are worried and apprehensive : What if Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashvi Yadav, Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakore, Jignesh Mevani, Chandrashekar Azad, Asaduddin Owaisi and several other leaders from the various regional parties of the country come together on a dais! What if they begin to ask and repeatedly ask some very basic questions regarding the dying structures of the country, human and otherwise!
Amongst the political lobbies there are talks of a large percentage of the Hindu votes going towards the upcoming Dalit leaders. Yes, the Dalits and the OBCs could be seen voting only and only for their candidates. And much against the BJP-RSS propaganda, Muslims of this country are till date extremely wary of any of the moves of the Right –Wing. They do realize that the so called ‘concern’ shown by the RSS- BJP for their ‘Muslim sisters’ in raising the Triple Talaq issue is nothing short of political tactics and fraudulent moves. After all, the Right- Wing brigades miss no opportunity when it comes to targeting the Muslim community along any of the set alibis, ranging from beef to marriages or divorces to madrasa education. Yes, just about any possible alibi to hit the community with …And if one were to focus on the Christian community, they realize that they are getting targeted on the alibi of conversions in the BJP ruled States. This when the Christian population is on the decline in the country! But that typical propaganda against them carries on. The Christians have begun reacting … In fact, in the last elections in the state of Gujarat; the Christian leaders had given a call to keep away from voting for the Right- Wing.
If this connects of the young and upcoming leaders with the masses continue then the Right –Wing could be in for tough times in the upcoming election year. But much will depend on two crucial aspects – the very togetherness and safety of these upcoming young leaders- after all, they are taking on the establishment! Another aspect is the very functioning of the EVMs! Why not emphasis on the necessity of the use of the traditional ballot papers!