Not just yet another news item.The New Leam evolves a way of seeing, and reflects on the mood of our times.
Lynching, Mob Assaults and Misplaced Modernity
It would not be wrong to say that we a have a misplaced modernity. If modernity means a progressive attitude, a liberal and democratic orientation to politics, sensitivity to ecology, marginalisation and shared concern for the problems of society then we really have to think if we really have become modern. Our interpretation of modernity has remained limited to the utilization of techno-gadgets, a consumerist orientation to life and the unquestioned usage of materialistic-market based simulations.
The reason why we are referring to our half-baked modernity is the widespread regressive ideologies that we see around today. The lynching of a Muslim man in Alwar due to rumours of cow killing, the beating up of a woman in Assam due to allegations that she is a witch, the sexual exploitation of girls in a shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur and the latest beating up of a man in Delhi as he signed the marriage certificate with a Hindu woman- are all examples of how narrow and barbaric our minds are.
Why has modernity not helped us to see beyond particularistic values, beyond the limitations of religion, caste and gender? It is paradoxical that our education, our socialisation process, the media and the political culture that we are part of have not enabled us to become broad minded, to acknowledge and accept difference and to build a nation where everyone is allowed a dignified life. We must condemn but that condemnation alone will not serve the purpose if we do not transform our culture.
Pakistan‘s 11th General Elections Brings Hopes of Democracy
Pakistan is having its 11th general election since 1970.Voting is unfolding at 85,000 polling stations. More than 4, 00,000 police officers and 371,388 army personnel have been deployed at 85,000 booths as a precautionary security measure. The counting will be started post the elections and results will be announced within 24 hours. A tough contest is expected between Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz led by Nawaz Sharif’s brother Shahbaz Sharif. The election campaign was disrupted by violence, including an IS- attack that killed nearly 150 people, and political controversies over the arrest of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. It will remain to be seen how the election unfold in Pakistan and how the democracy unfolds given the fact that Pakistan has a troubled history of participatory democracy.
Buck Passing over Bihar’s Shelter Home Crisis
The Bihar Assembly has been adjourned over the shelter home issue. In a shelter home in Muzaffarpur ,16 girls were raped and tortured and one of them was allegedly killed and buried near the home. The brutality and exploitation that have come to limelight from Bihar have taken the entire nation by shock. The BJP government has said that if the Bihar government suggests a CBI probe will also take place. RJD has condemned has condemned the ruling state government for its incapacity in ensuring the safety of the inmates at the shelter home. Politics and buck passing have been unfolding on the issue but what remains to be seen is how the issue is understood at the national level and how measures are instituted to make sure that such incidents don’t take place in the future.
Protests in Maharashtra over Reservation Issue
Widespread protests are taking place in Maharashtra where the Marathas are fighting for a reservation quota. The Maratha Kranti Morcha has called for a state-wide bandh demanding for reservation for the community. In the last few days, protests have taken place in many parts of Maharashtra like Buldhana, Akola, Parali, Washim and even in Mumbai. The community has been asking for reservation in jobs and educational institutions. The matter is now in the hands of the Mumbai High Court.
PM Gifts Rwanda 200 Cows
PM Narendra Modi is on his visit to Africa. On this occasion the PM has gifted Rwanda 200 cows. The PM has gifted the 200 cows to poor families living in the villages of Rwanda. The support offered by the PM is an extension of the poverty reduction and child under nutrition tackling initiative in Rwanda. The agricultural significance of the cow has enabled several families in Rwanda to better their economic status. The PM has donated several cows to Rwanda and contributed in its poverty removal initiative but what about the children in India who die of malnutrition? What about the persons who have been lynched because of cows? The malnutrition and misery is grand in the nation and it would be appreciated if the PM worked effectively with his team to take care of it.