“Globalization” may not have been part of the discourse 45 years ago when Indira Gandhi shelved civil liberties after declaring the Emergency but it is not possible to sketch that bleak episode on a wide enough canvas without touching such disparate points on the world atlas as Latin America and India’s cow belt.
A passionate appraisal of the widespread anger at George Floyd’s murder by a white policeman that newspaper columns are full off, inspires no lasting change in race relations. Establishments have entrenched themselves too securely.
It is heart breaking to receive messages of concern from friends and relatives overseas whenever Hindu-Muslim riots break out. Most painful by far is the query from relatives in Pakistan: “Bhaiyya, are all of you safe?”
The BJP President Amit Shah’s game is straightforward. He is eager to do a Tripura in Kerala. The Tripura results were the biggest shock I had experienced in 50 years of covering politics.
I had barely registered that the sword of Damocles hung on the heads of over four million people, mostly Muslims, in Assam by a very Orwellian sounding National Register of Citizens, when a friend from New York drew my attention to similar happenings in Israel.
Two mutually reinforcing images from last week may well define the next phase in national affairs. It is too early to call them game changers but they have considerable potential.
Encouraged by the spontaneous outpouring of sympathy and resolve across the country after Gauri Lankesh’s murder, I began to ferret out my last year’s notebook. The thousands who came out in marches need a regular formation to lean against – a non-doctrinaire Left. Are such movements stirring globally? I fell back on my coverage of events, including elections in the US, Spain, France, the UK and the mayhem in virtually every West Asian country.
This is a true story. I am revisiting it with a purpose: so that it collides head on with the nation’s 70th anniversary celebrations. Absolute, undiluted joy on this occasion would require total amnesia of that which accompanied independence: Partition.