Look around you.
The once-invincible citadels are crumbling down.
People who thrived, flourished, prospered behind those thick, impregnable walls seem nervous.
Almost fearful that the boundaries they had carved, keeping so many out of these exclusive clubs will now be overrun by new ideas, thoughts, ideologies which they never opened their minds to or even considered in lazy complacency and their assured security.
As most scared people are wont to do.
They hit out with flailing arms at shadows, imagined ghosts, even their own demons, but do not do what is most necessary in such times — that is to sit down calmly and assess the situation.
The New World just beyond their walls, so to speak.
If truth be told, the New World voices are not new. They have always been there, but locked and pushed into a box, first because of the politics of Faith and then the politics of Language.
This is not to say that many did not find a way to clamber out.
They did, but they saw to it that the gates were firmly locked behind them.
In their quest to be accepted, our very own Kapos, not only rejected where they came from, but they were also active and happy accessories in the crime of suppressing fresh voices, ideas and clamping alternative opinion.
As a young nation, we resisted fundamental changes because our leaders were unsure of the power they might unleash, hence freezing us in old fears and dogmas. With their own intellectual inadequacies and inexperience, tying us forever to history and past masters.
The status quo suited them and we, new to freedom, followed unquestioningly.
The consequences of which are so evident in art, literature, history, education, culture, publishing, films, politics where tight incestuous squads, reduced to mediocrity with little or no infusion of new blood and worse, manned by zealous gatekeepers quite drunk on power and arrogance….controlling their fiefdoms from cosy Durbars, desperately and shamefully pursuing validation from foreign soldiers of fortune and rebirthing Nabobs.
On the other hand, the existence of the boxed ones remained subterranean at best, seeking and being recognised only by their own.
The aspirations of the meritorious, held back so far only because of social chains, was frustrated by mocking and scoffing of those who wouldn’t allow them entry into bastions that they considered their inheritance.
However, a confidence in their abilities, combined with the power of that great equaliser, social media, drew from the core of its belly, a so-far- suppressed roar that brought them out to rattle the iron gates of every citadel.
No, it’s not the man who is almost always blamed and loathed, that brought us here. That is the sorry excuse on which people who have rarely exercised their own mind or even connected with their own people, fall back on.
On the contrary, it was our call of anguish and our anger that he responded to and in years to come, whether he is in office or not, our voice and aspirations will remain.
They will continue to resonate with someone else who will rise to carry the baton forward.
Therefore, perish the thought that our quest to voice and participate in every sphere of our lives will disappear with him.
The Body Of A Man Is A Limitation.
Only The Spirit Opens Onto The Infinite
We are here to stay. Deal with it.
So, open the doors, or they will be brought down, as every civilisation and society since time immemorial has pushed for change and renewal.
Those who stand in the way only get crushed. Actually, on second thoughts — keep the relics of the past and wallow in your sorry state of insecurity because, in the India that you don’t recognise or understand, stronger and greater edifices will definitely emerge.
Where a book will be met with a book.
A thought countered fearlessly by a contrarian thought.
Free speech will not be a one-way street.
And yes, a joke or a painting will be not be encumbered by Faith, Ideology and then a whimpering apology.
Nothing is stronger than an Idea Whose Time Has Come.
First published in https://swarajyamag.com/blogs/open-the-doors-or-they-will-be-brought-down