The ‘Fit India’ campaign was launched by the Prime Minister of India a few days ago. We really hope that it gets all the success it deserves.
But regardless of how successful it may or may not turn out to be, it can not gloss over the fact that we as Indians have become more mentally ill and intolerant. What’s even worse is that many amongst us take pride in this behavior.
Any society than not just tolerates, encourages or even justifies mob lynching, hate speeches, fake news, and propaganda, casteism, communalism, racial or gender and discrimination do not have the right to call themselves fit and healthy.
We are willing to vote for politicians and governments (of any party) which actively engages in corruption, divides people, takes their rights away from them and forces them to live in sub-human conditions as long as they seem to serve our narrow self-interest.
The levels of indifference that we have towards our fellow citizens are astounding.
We are willing to deceive ourselves that all is well in Jammu and Kashmir because of the abrogation of Article 370 when it’s clearly not. We want Kashmir to be a part of India but we don’t give a flying f**k about the Kashmiris living there.
It doesn’t bother us that Kashmiris (especially in the valley) has been forced to deal with abysmal communication and medical facilities over the last month. It doesn’t bother us that many of them have been detained by police or the forces for frivolous reasons. It doesn’t bother us that there are allegations of serious human rights violations and extra-judicial killings in that state. All we care about is wanting to have that piece of land under our grip.
We prefix India with ‘Mother’ but turn a blind eye to injustices like rape, dowry, harassment, foeticide, and subjugation to the men in their family which are being faced by almost every member of the female gender in our country. We treat them as ‘Paraya Dhan’ ever since they are born and rarely allow them to make decisions concerning their own lives.
We try to be politically correct when referring to the Scheduled Castes, Tribes and Other Backward Classes as ‘Harijans’ or ‘Bahujans’ but fail to treat them as simply ‘Jans’ (As mentioned in the movie Article 15) and deny them their basic rights while forcing them to take up unhygienic, unhealthy and extremely demeaning occupations like manual scavenging. We still treat them as untouchables who can never be equal to us in stature and use violence to justify that.
We are clearly one of the most racist countries in the world but we will never admit it. It’s not just that we discriminate and demean anyone who has a darker skin tone than ours, we even have the shamelessness of justifying any sort of physical and psychological violence against them. Incidents of unprovoked violence against African students because of stereotypes that they are either drug traffickers, cannibals or child traffickers are very common in our country.
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