Uttar Pradesh is dealing with CAA as it dealt with crime : encounters
Image Courtesy: PTI
Seventy-six year old advocate Mohammad Shoaib fought to have innocents branded as terrorists under repressive laws released, and risked multiple assaults by right-wing lawyers as he took these cases through various courts in Uttar Pradesh. His contemporary, former police officer SR Darapuri became a human rights activist and writer after he retired. Neither would have imagined one day they would be lodged in jail, charged with rioting and creating disaffection, under similarly draconian laws.
But as everybody knows, in Uttar Pradesh today Shoaib and Darapuri are not exceptions. They are just two notable figures among the hundreds of socio-political activists, writers and cultural workers—not to forget ordinary folks—who have been packed into various state prisons for opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). These protests are going on across the country, and started peaking after 19 December, when students spontaneously poured out in the streets against the new law and the proposed policy.
Uttar Pradesh’s administration has come down on those protesting with a heavy hand. The Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, tried to project the opposition to the bill as a purely ‘law and order issue: therefore, he sought to justify seeking “revenge” against those who damaged public or private property.
( Read the full article here : https://www.newsclick.in/your-government-wants-revenge-you)
It was late mid-eighties when we use to do streetplays in Varanasi as part of our activities as a left student group – which called itself ‘Gatividhi Vichar Manch’ in Banaras Hindu University. One such plays was titled Desh ko Aage Badhao. The 5-7 minute play was part of a compilation of many other plays brought out possibly by Jana Natya Manch. We must have done hundreds of shows of the other play Raja Ka Baja – which was about the dire state of education and employment.
The theme of this short play Desh ko Aage Badhao was rather crisp. It showed a Netaji/leader in white clothes telling people gathered around him how the ‘nation is progressing’. When the innocent people ask for details, then he starts listing out his personal achivements and the wealth he has acquired through all these years of ‘serving the masses’. The tagline was Arrey Murkhon, dekho desh kaise aage badh raha hai‘ ( You fools, look how the nation is progressing)
The end scence showed people coming together, getting organised and slowly pushing the Netaji. When the terrified Netaji use to ask Arrey Murkhon, yeh kya kar rahe ho. (What are you doing idiots). The awakened people use to answer in unison Netaji, desh ko aage badha rahe hain ( We are pushing the nation forward).
I was reminded of this short play when TV started showing the ad how the nation is changing and how it is progressing with a tagline Mera Desh Badal Raha Hai, Aage Badh Raha Hai. ( How my nation is changing, and advancing) focussing itself on two years of Modi government at the centre. Continue reading Modiversary – Mera Desh Badal Raha Hai! Really