As I write this piece from a hotel room in Sharjah, I have in front of me local newspapers replete with colourful and wide coverage on Indian Republic Day celebration in UAE but simultaneously Indian news portals flashing breaking news of a young man being killed in Kasganj, UP for carrying out Tiranga yatra.
All major Arab nations supported International Yoga Day, but these simple breathing exercises were portrayed as potent threat to secular fabric of India. Rising goodwill overseas but rising tendency of loathe our own traditions is new phenomenon unfolding in front of our eyes. Perhaps, these contrasts have now come to define the modern India.
I flew my fighter jets with zest till retirement in 2009. Was a typical apolitical fauji who viewed every other political protest and movement with contempt and as dirty game of power hungry politicians. But in 2009, news of JNU student celebrating the death of 76 CRPF Jawans in Dantewada struck me like lighting. I could sense it’s not politics in the sense we ordinary Indians relate to. We don’t need a political pundit to tell us that it was a naked effort to undermine Indian state. But what I could not fathom then was the possible reason behind such acts. How on earth possibly can death be the cause of joy?
In the same campus our revered Tricolour was trodden underfoot. Divine Durga Mata was called Prostitute (Durga Mata Ki Jai is the war cry of J&K Riffles regiment). These developments numbed me, as perhaps most of you.
As years passed by, our nation witnessed series of protests over hanging of terrorists Afzal Guru and Yakub Memon. That Supreme Court opened its doors in the midnight to hear final appeal on Yakub Memon’s hanging further strengthened my confidence in the institution and its commitment towards delivering justice to all. But with headlines like “And they hanged Yakub Memon” our major national dailies proved that stakeholders in the case had interests higher than the national interest. What aghast me more is how these forces which dream of uprooting constitutional India never shy away from using the very country’s democratic institutions to further their cause.
Hyderabad Central University, located not too far from where I live, reverberated with slogans like, “Afzal tere sapno ko hum manzil tak pahuchayenge”, “tum kitne Yakub maaroge, har ghar se Yakub niklega”. Just as majority of apolitical citizens of this country, I too believed these activities are handiwork of fringe elements. But it did not take too long to realize that menace lies deeper when section of mainstream political parties, who also did not hesitate to side with Azadi gang in these universities, openly questioned credibility of Surgical strikes carried out by Indian Army.
My agony knew no bound when they questioned the likes of Major Gogoi and compared our subservient Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat with Gen Dyer. It made me question their intent more than their acts now. A particular English publication instead of supporting our government’s effort to save abducted naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav carried an article suggesting him being a RAW agent, weakening the case pending before International Court of Justice. It would be naive to ignore this as example of irresponsible journalism. Is it not a criminal act and an open case of treason?
To better understand reasons behind such developments I contemplated turning to my childhood friend who now teaches political science in JNU. Could there have been better choice than him to steer me through maze of politics but to my innocuous Facebbok post praising a labourer son junking US jobs, IIM to join Indian Army he comments “Why should we eulogise Army? Do we like the war and bloodshed….”. This was exactly the mindset bothering me and he turned out to be its evangelist.
Undoubtedly, something serious had gone wrong in the system or else what justifies students and faculties of premier institutions, sections of mainstream political parties, sections of national media develop tendencies detrimental to national security and stability? Why they display uninhibited aggression to destroy ancestral Idea of India and work to discredit and discard anything native to this land?
I was groping in dark for answers until I watched the documentary “Bharath Ek Chetna” by Dr. Manish Pandit, who I am told self funded this project and received immense international recognition. The documentary very systematically clears the web and solves the jigsaw puzzle. He dissected the design and ideology behind these forces with a surgeon’s precision.
This educative documentary is unparalleled in its content and research. It chops the “Bharat Tere Tukde honge” gangs into pieces and exposes their evil designs. At the end the documentary connects us to Idea of India which has roots in the traditions of our motherland. Exposes us to Idea of India envisaged by Swami Vivekanada and Rishi Aurbindo.
Documentary like ‘Bharath Ek Chetna’ has potential to correct the course of prevailing national discourse. Let’s do ourselves a favour by watching it and spread a word among those we care for.
I humbly salute the spirit and dedication of Dr. Manish Panditji, who in spite of being a British citizen now breaths for the well being of future Bharath.
You can watch the very thought provocative documentary here: https://vimeo.com/226264636
Sri CH Bal Reddy ji is a Kargil war Veteran and retired Wing Commander.