Before getting into this post:
First read these posts on the need for a visible and demonstrable move on reconciliation:
And then read this post on – National Reconciliation Part 1 as the starting point for this process.
At the risk of reducing these words of caution to a cliche, let is be said one more time that “India cannot afford another lost decade”.
For far too long Demographic Fault-lines have been used as a Political wedge issue. It is time to make deft political moves, that will over time permanently bury these demographic fault lines. We lament corruption yet we fail to recognize that when immoral politics are accorded moral sanction using Identity as a wedge, such corruption is an inevitable outcome.
For far too long the Muslim Community in India has been emotionally blackmailed into voting out of fear even if it meant voting against the socio-economic interests of many within the Muslim community. Make no mistake today’s orders by the Supreme Court, will be twisted to pursue even greater fear mongering, in upcoming state elections – especially the all important Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. The moment calls for creative and imaginative political moves to ensure the process of reconciliation takes a visible and concrete shape.
A dialogue must begin on why the Indian Muslim Community must always condemn itself to voting out of fear.
A dialogue must also begin on why the Indian Muslim Community, in doing so, must continue to hurt its economic interests while patronizing vested interests who use that fear as a wedge to sustain themselves politically.
Shifting Demographics pose a challenge but also present an opportunity. The demographic challenge must be taken head on to make its many fault-lines irrelevant. Our response to shifting demographics must not be more vote bank politics. Our response has to be to make politics that uses demographic identity as a wedge, less and less relevant.
Ultimately this is about Leadership and social change. Our ancient history is testimony to how sagacious leadership can help forge a compact that will not just ensure lasting reconciliation but will help create a new order.
In closing we must recollect that ancient compact forged byVashishtha and Pulastya that has manifested in all that we understand to be Hinduism today. The former lost his son, the latter many of his kinsmen. Both found it within themselves to strive for reconciliation that not just buried ancient animosities but resulted in the creation of a new way of life – modern for its times. The Vishnu Purana stands testimony to that ancient compact forged by Vashishtha and Pulastya through the twin agencies of Vashishtha’s grandson Parashara for authorship and Pulastya for divine insight.
To keep our way of life going, modern India needs another such compact. Hope leadership emerges that draws from Vashishtha and Pulastya’s sagacity and wisdom to find ways to permanently bury these fault-lines.