An Open Letter to the Opposition

Published: February 9, 2018 - 16:07 Updated: March 23, 2018 - 15:25

Dear Secular Parties,

We, the people of India, dislike Hindutva parties far more than you do. Some of you secretly play footsie with the BJP — the JD(U) actually married the BJP after Nitish Kumar received bouquets of flowers and bottles of gau mutra (in lieu of alcoholic champagne), and is now playing the silent, ignored bride. The BJD pretends to be ‘equidistant’ but blatantly supports the BJP — demonetisation too, which actually makes Naveen Patnaik look foolish. The NCP is untrustworthy. Sharad Pawar has always cosied up to Hindutva parties when he wants to play power games. The TMC has a love-hate relationship with the BJP, depending on how the Congress is placed — the Congress party’s near victory in Gujarat didn’t make Mamatadi jump with joy, despite all the lovely things she says about uniting to fight bigotry. As for the AAP, well the emails they sent out during their first election campaign in Delhi had a telling slogan: ‘Modi for PM, Kejriwal for CM.’ It’s only the Congress and Left parties that have stayed immune to the BJP’s mysterious charms. However, with an obdurate Prakash Karat riding roughshod over Sitaram Yechury, the Left will not ally with the Congress.

Frankly, I cannot see the Opposition holding hands to ward off evil Hindutva. But hope springs eternal and all that. Meanwhile, we are hurting. If any of you come to power in 2019, we need to be comforted. Hot chocolate and platitudes aren’t enough to make us feel better. Here are a few things we want from you:

No Hindutva. Period

Hard/Medium/Soft Hindutva is not acceptable. Go to temples (if you wish) on your own time, not during election campaigns. It doesn’t matter that Hindus make up over 80 percent of India’s population, most of us want to be treated as equals. Please leave mean-spirited majoritarian bigots out of your consideration. They are not your vote bank and never will be. Don’t make concessions for them. However, we wouldn’t mind if you give them a free one-way ticket to Mars on ISRO’s next space adventure. After making us feel like aliens in our own country, we’d like to give them a taste of the real thing.

No caste discrimination

Put the Manusmriti on the spaceship to Mars too. Do you have any idea how distressing it is to read about atrocities against fellow human beings? Please do set up centres in small town and rural India (that’s where the worst atrocities happen) to educate citizens on equality. Those centres can be like secular shakhas, where we learn to respect each other. Let’s out-shakha nasty Hindutva shakhas!

Don’t play mummy-daddy

We’ve had enough of the rubbish propagated by the BJP — the cow is not our mummy, the RSS chief is not our daddy. Seriously, if they were, we’d look like cow-bodied centaurs! We already have mummies and daddies, thank you very much. We’re so tired of being told what we can’t eat, drink, wear, read, watch, et cetera. If we’re old enough to vote, we’re old enough to make personal choices too! And this includes the right to love and marry who ever we want, even if our real mummies and daddies disapprove of our choices. We are Hadiya — respect that.

Bring back the rule of law

We want to see all the murderous gau rakshaks and love jihad goons in jail — it’s disgusting that they’re currently being rewarded and not punished by the BJP. We want to ensure that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who threw out all the cases against him is tried. We want a proper probe into Judge Loya’s mysterious death. We want Amit Shah to be tried again in the Sohrabuddin case. Even though he’s wearing eye-popping pink shirts these days, he isn’t exactly smelling of roses.

Destroy the Aadhaar


This story is from print issue of HardNews