Fuck Indian Secularism

Dear great liberals of the Indian mainstream,

We are writing to you standing at a crucial historic moment. On 9 January 2019, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had to give up their efforts to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the Rajya Sabha even though the Bill had already been passed in the Lok Sabha. The only reason for that was the fierce protests against the Bill in the northeastern states, particularly in Assam and Tripura. The Bill which is a stringent attack on and a mockery of the Constitution of India could not be passed only because of the protests by the people of Assam and the Northeast. However, the passage of the Bill has been halted only, the Bill is not dead yet! But this is certain that in future, the people of Assam and the Northeast will not rest until the final nail in the Bill’s coffin is put. Dear great liberals, what were you smoking?

You are the vocal proponents of Indian secularism. We often listen to your grandiloquent lectures on television screens – on secularism, on democracy, on the Constitution of the country. But, what the fuck did you do against this fatal Bill? Unlike you, we are jungli people living on the margins of the Indian state and society. That these jungli people had to save your secularism from death and save the face of the country in front of the world, what the fuck would you say now? That is why we say your secularism is damned – fuck your secularism.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 not only represents the communal agenda of the BJP but has also stripped you stark naked. Look at the history of the Bill – you would see your shameless ignorance, hateful selfishness, and limitless hypocrisy. You do not even bother to look at the fire unless it catches you; you do not see any problem anywhere unless there is a problem in the mainland India – even if the people of Assam or the Northeast die. In your mainland India, there will not be any disturbance if the Bill is passed. Therefore, there are no worries, you can keep discussing your secularism. Such is your selfishness, such is your hypocrisy! That is why we say – fuck your secularism.

What do you know about us? You know that we are jungli people – somehow, way beneath you, we are just hanging on the ladder of modernity. There is terrorism in our land – and your army save the nation and the people by fighting against and suppressing that terrorism. But you do not know the modernity-bred complexities of our society; you do not know that our region is crippled by various conflicts born of modernity’s path of development. You do not want to know that the policy and the logic of the modern nation-state have given birth to this terrorism and the complex situation of ethnic conflicts and violence. That Indian state – the state which still thinks of us as wild aberrations who just need to be subjugated and oppressed – which is your own and which you are beneficiaries of, is yet be our own. You talk about the greatness of India, about the diversity of India. But you do not know that your world is flat and the same – therefore you think about the outside world in the same light. But our world has a great diversity, our life is multi-coloured and multi-dimensional, which your flat thinking cannot even understand a bit. Yet in your pomposity, you try to be omniscient, give lofty, patronising speeches, and occupy higher moral ground. You do not know your pretence, and that is why we call you morons, we call you hypocrites.

You live in mainland India, at the centre of the Indian state. We live at the periphery. Our cries do not fall on your ears (which are deaf anyway), our stretched hands cannot reach you, because you are far away from us. Hence your eternal ignorance – of our location, of our qualification, of our standard. Yet we believe you have good ears, our chests puff out when we get your trifling attention, our desire to conquer the world gets satisfied when you give us a derisory place. The higher you sit on the peak of vainglory, the deeper we sink in the abyss of timidity. This is our psychological enslavement resulting from our peripheral geo-political location.

But today we have thrown off the shackles of that psychological enslavement. Today we are standing at such a historic moment where the equation between you and us has been completely reversed. We, the jungli people, have saved the soul of the Constitution of India and you have kept on watching like a nincompoop that you are. Thus you have become the object of our pity.

The equation will reverse again – you will continue to sit atop the peak of vainglory. It is because you have realistic means. The state which is so unknown to and far away from us is so near (and dear) to you. But we will remember your hollow character. We will remember how you have become the object of our pity.

That is why we say your secularism is damned – fuck your secularism. Down with such secularism.

[Translated from Assamese by Biswajit Bora]

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Jiten Bezboruah Written by:

Jiten Bezboruah is a young socio-political commentator currently working under the Central Government of India. He has extensively written on socio-political issues in Assam and India. His recent book, Boikolpik Rajnitir Xondhanot [In Search of Alternative Politics], a collection of essays, has been published by Mukto Sinta Publication in November 2017. His main interests include social movements, nationalism, culture, and socialism.

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