Let us call it Democracy: a critique on the present status of Gujarat

I find it indeed shocking that most Indians see India in words defined by the Occidental rhetoric. You ask them and they will happily talk about it being the largest democracy or about having something to do with our growing economy.

I am going to start with the word democracy. Now we can agree here that we can consider it to consist of freedom, equality and justice as a base or foundation. But I am going to talk about Gujarat today, since I have decided to be critical of my “province” in the wake of the approaching elections.

Okay, so we call Gujarat a democracy. But when in the text-books that we read, we are brainwashed to think of Hindu-morality to base our ideas of freedom, equality and justice, I am going to say that we have started at the worst point, since our foundation is faulted. Lets take education for instance. The history text-books produced by the Gujarat Education Board are filled with Hindu nationalist agenda, where the story and violence of partition is entirely ignored while its negligible mention is filled with a pro-Hindu rhetoric, portraying Islam to be synonymous with the Taliban. Yes, these are the text-books I read.

Considering that our lovely population in India finds no incentive to go read anything outside of the academic text-books that are extremely faulty, there is no internal mechanism nor any space left to have a real analysis of the underlying fault. And hence this continuous presence of the Hindu agenda is ignored. I remember that during the riots in 2002, when my school had closed down, I found myself inundated with news channels on the television flashing the violence of “Muslims against the Hindus” for its very sensational value, and I happened to sadly believe it, considering that I had no objective tools derived from my polemic education to be able to independently analyse the situation.

I find it sad to return to my city every summer only to find my so-called liberal friends turned “traditional”. I do not question their choice, but rather the environment that leaves no option to be able to construct our own independent idea, not colored with the polemic and biased rhetoric ever-present in the education. What I find is an excuse, that some Monsieur has led to exaggerated economic growth in the province. Okay, let us not question this economic label (even though I would argue that it can be proven otherwise with statistical data, where we would find this claim absolutely baseless). But at what costs have we led to this “growth”. When we have no tools to be able to make our own independent choices, when we are brain-washed and programmed to think under this rhetoric and become its mechanized robots, what is economic growth? What value does it have? If we do not have freedom, equality and justice – the very base values of a common definition of democracy, aren’t we living on an inflated balloon titled “democracy” that could blow up anytime leaving us rotting in our idiotic biased rhetoric?

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About Shreya Parikh

I am Shreya. Project Rethought is my attempt to rethink my own observations as a brown woman of Indian origin. I currently live in Paris where I teach at Sciences Po Paris and Parsons Paris-The New School.
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One Response to Let us call it Democracy: a critique on the present status of Gujarat

  1. Pingback: Let us call it Democracy: a critique on the present status of Gujarat | Ideas are bulletproof

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