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'Let us wake up before the curtains fall on our democracy': Sanjeev Bhatt

Former IPS Sanjeev Bhatt, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment, has written a letter from the jail, addressing to his fellow countrymen. The letter has posted in his fb wall by his wife Shweta Sanjeev Bhatt. Do read as it's the need of the time:

Screen Grab of Sanjeev Bhatt's FB Wall

This is Shweta Sanjiv Bhatt,

73 years ago India awoke to freedom, today it is slipping into a deep slumber of fascism. Today, on our Independence day, Sanjiv has penned a letter to his fellow countrymen ...

Let us wake up before the curtains fall on our democracy.

Place: The Heart of Darkness Date: Independence Day 2019

Dear Fellow Indians,

As we join the chorus of celebrations on our 73rd Independence Day, let us pause for a moment and reflect on our journey so far; as well as the direction of our current trajectory. Have we reached anywhere near where we set out for on 15th August 1947? Are we even headed in the right direction? Was Aazadi just about throwing off the colonial yoke? Wasn’t Aazadi about the freedom to question, to challenge, to express, to amend… without fear of state reprisal?

Thanks to our apathy and indifference over the last few decades, we allowed politics to become the resort of choice for thugs. And now, thanks to our ignorance and gullibility, we are allowing nationalism to become the resort of choice for the political thug. Angry, vociferous and muscular nationalism as the sole fiefdom of a political party automatically implies that anyone or any other political party that questions their narrative is antinational. Unfortunately, the idea of nationalism that has gained currency today, is premised on the exclusion of minorities- The Smallest minority being the thinking, rational Indian.

Needless to elaborate, people with low self-esteem and high ignorance are the first to mindlessly scramble towards the construct of a muscular Hindu identity that feeds on aggressive and vociferous nationalism. Today, the muscular nationalism and mobocracy that is thriving under the aegis of the state, silences and snuffs out all voices of social, cultural and political dissent.

When everything else fails, the thugs-in-power fetishize the flag to whip up the gullible middle class into a frenzy of belligerent jingoism. The bulk of the self-proclaimed nationalists and patriots invariably comprises of people with very strong opinions, but very little knowledge of history and almost non-existent capacity for reason - as the bravado of nationalistic fervour blocks out everything else, especially the capacity for reason.

If India has to survive as a functional democracy, every sensible Indian will have to rise above the crowd, try to make his voice heard above the din, and deconstruct the seduction of muscular nationalism that is conveniently used as an opiate to numb and block out reason. We, the people of India, will have to realize once and for all, that the government is not the nation, and being anti-government is not the same as being anti-national.

It is obvious that the current political narrative and rhetoric have not only clouded our capacity for reason, but have also deprived us of our ability to differentiate between good and evil. Today, we are on the threshold of unprecedented darkness. Those of us who will not see this are bigots, those who cannot are fools, and those who dare not are craven slaves.

When the state throttles the voices of its citizens, while the judiciary and legislature watch in impotent silence, whom do you approach for redressal? Whom do you indict, try and sentence? Nothing short of condemning this vile state to death is justice.

Aazadi (freedom), in its true sense, is still a far cry. As Jean-Paul Sartre once wrote: “Freedom is what we do with what is done to us”. Think about it.

Today, we have progressed from the phase of banality of evil, to the phase of audacity of evil. We have miles to go before dawn breaks and the darkness dissolves.

Yeh daagh daagh ujaala, yeh shab gazida seher (This stained tainted light, this night bitten dawn)
Woh intezar tha jiska, yeh woh seher to nahin (That we were waiting for, this is not that morning)
Yeh woh seher to nahin, jiski aarzoo lekar (This is not that morning, in whose yearning)
Chale thay yaar ke mil jaayegi kahin na kahin (We had set out full of hope that we will surely find)
Falak ke dasth mein taaron ki aakhri manzil (In the wilderness of the sky, the final destination of stars)
Kahin to hoga shab-e-sust mauj ka saahil (Somewhere the night-weary waves must find their shore)
Kahin to jaa ke rukega safina-e-gham-e-dil (Some place must be the final halt for the boat of our heart’s sorrows)
Chaley chalo ke who manzil abhi nahi aayi… (Keep marching, for that destination has not yet arrived)
-Faiz Ahmed Faiz (15th Aug 1947)

Let us continue our march from the darkness to light… Undaunted, undeterred, undefeated.

Happy Independence Day! With lots of love and hope…

-Sanjiv Bhatt

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