What will it take to show people that today’s India is not the “Bharat” of their ancestors, and doesn’t sanction the repressive practices of their erstwhile tribal villages? While many people get nostalgic about a mythical “golden past”, it’s time to realize that this is the 21st century and they either need to get with the program or leave India for some other country whose ideals are more in line with their desires. Like Iran maybe.
Take today’s article on how khap panchayats have magnanimously decided to “allow” inter caste marriages. As if they have any right to allow or disallow anything! And behind all this, they want to bring in a law banning same gotra or same village marriages in the Hindu Marriage act! Like hell that’s going to happen, but how can they even think it will?
It’s very obvious that there are people in today’s India who don’t believe in the values of the Constitution. They don’t think that everyone is equal, they don’t feel that women have equal rights, they don’t sanction adult franchise and according to them parents have the right to dictate the lives of their children even after they have grown up.
Everyone remembers the horrific gang rape of the tribal girl who was supposed to have “dared” to have an affair with a non tribal. Did even the women in the tribe support her? Did they show sympathy? No! Rather, they blamed the girl for her affair.
The question arises, should such individuals remain in India? Aren’t all Indians required to believe in the liberal values of the Constitution, and respect its precepts? True, the Indian Constitution is the largest in the world and has been mercilessly amended, but the basic structure – the “core” – has not changed and never will since the SC is there to watch over it. Living in India, we have a responsibility to adhere to these principles, or leave the country.
The reason I think is that there are many who don’t know what “India” is. They look back at some rosy past lost in the mists and imagine that it was a time of peace and plenty. When non married women were all virgins and knew their place, where children always obeyed their parents and there was none of this irritating “equality” business. They yearn to return to such a time. But they are mistaken – that “Bharat” is and was imaginary and its very idea has been thrown away.
Today’s India is different. A new country. In this sense, “India” never existed before 1947. In fact, it started only on the 26th of January 1950 when India was truly born for the first time. Whatever existed in the past was some other country in the same geographic space. There was no India before independence, after which it had a unified and coherent set of principles based in equality for all, universal franchise and the age of majority where a person is fully responsible for their actions.
The cognitive dissonance arising from what India is to what many people want India to be is the cause of a lot of the trouble we see. Children learn in basic sixth standard civics class about the fundamental rights which their parents may not be aware of! So they go ahead and exercise those rights to the dismay of their elders who curse the Constitution and who wish India was a different country.
Well, all that is gone and done with. India is the Constitution and if you don’t believe in it…please leave. This is not the land for you.