India very rightly, and very righteously, condemned the apartheid regime which obtained in South Africa till the early 1990s and which segregated the country on lines of the colour of one’s skin, white, black and brown.
But is a similar form of apartheid making a backdoor entry in today’s India in the form of political and social separation which is dividing the nation not by the colour of one’s skin but by one’s ideological complexion?
India is celebrated as being one of the most colourful countries in the world, a riotous splash of rainbow hues, from the emerald green of Kerala paddy fields to the sapphire blue of Rajasthani skies, from the golden beaches of Goa to the flaming red of the ubiquitous gulmohar.
But in stark contrast to this dazzling array of colours is the increasingly black-and-white world of our country’s political and social realm. Or, rather, two separate and divided realms, one belonging to those who endorse the policies of the current political dispensation at the Centre and those who oppose it, with each claiming to be the good guys in the white hats and casting their opponents in the role of the bad guys in the black hats.
Those who support the Modi government, on anything and everything – from demonetisation to the new agri laws, from CAA to the scrapping of Article 370 in Kashmir – are dubbed as ‘saffronites’ and ‘bhakts’ by those who oppose the government, on anything and everything, and who in turn are called ‘anti-nationals’ and ‘seditionists’ by the pro-government camp.
As in South Africa’s apartheid, in our apartheid we’re not allowed to switch sides. In South African apartheid blacks couldn’t sometimes choose to be whites, and whites couldn’t sometimes choose to be blacks. Similarly, in our apartheid we cannot elect to be sometimes pro-sarkar and sometimes anti-sarkar.
We can’t say, OK, I generally disagree with the government’s policies but I’m all for the farm reforms it’s proposed. Nor can you say, Right, I concur with most of the government’s views but I’m against CAA.
We’ve got to be a 100% pro or anti, in a black-and-white divide. A divide which makes us misremember that the many shades of multihued India are all equal under the tricolour of the Republic.
This article is intended to bring a smile to your face. Any connection to events and characters in real life is coincidental.
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