Dr. Charles Dias
On the eve of the 70th Independence Day of our country, it prompts me to write on the painful situation our country is going through. The attempt of the so called rulers of our country raise apprehension that what they really want is unity or to become the country disintegrate ?
The Urdu poem of Muhammad Iqbal Sare Jahan Se Achchha Hindustan Hamaara was composed in 1904. This beautiful patriotic song of a Muslim was and is an impressive piece of poetry for every Indian. Mahatma Gandhi was greatly impressed by this song. Later, in 1930 Iqbal made changes in few of its lines and by that time he was changed into a supporter of a separate Muslim State. What made him change?
India is not the creation of Hindus. Bharatvarsha of puranas was a vast area. ‘Indies’ was not India. About six hundred native kingdoms, with different languages, different religions and different cultures were practically attempted to be occupied by the Moguls. But they were not fully succeeded. The Europeans who came for trade mainly of spices tried to occupy many areas of Bharatvarsha. The British after defeating other European powers ascertained their power, defeated the Moguls and by using different tactics annexed majority of the areas and formed the British India. The 1857 mutiny was a turning point. The administration of British India was taken over by the British Parliament.
After 1857 the feeling of nationalism started spreading. The English language became a connecting link among people of different areas.(not Hindi) Bengal played a major role in shaping the destiny of India. Henry Louis Vivian Derozio who wrote his patriotic poems as early as in the beginning of 19th century was not a Hindu, but a Portuguese descent Christian. Derozio was perhaps the first nationalist poet of Modern India. In his poem To India – My Native Land he wrote: “ My Country! In the days of Glory Past
A beauteous halo circled round thy brow….”
The poems of Rabindra Nath Tagore “Where the Mind is Without Fear’, ‘Leave This’, ‘Let Me Not Forget’, ‘Last Curtain’ and ‘Freedom’ inspired people of whole India. Tagor’s Jana Gana Mana’ composed in 1911 became India’s National Anthem. Bankim Chandra Chaterjee’s ‘ Vande Mataram’ is used all over the country for special occasions.
What prompted me to write these lines is the sad situation that from the highest offices of our country voices dividing the people. People of this country are forced to accept a religion, speak a particular language, to deny foods of their choice, and to behave in such a way a certain set of people decide! These are plainly speaking curtailing freedom !
Thousands were forcefully converted in the name of ‘Ghar Waapasi’. ‘Demonetization’ caused about 160 lives. Government is acting according to the interests of a group of corporates!. Minorities were killed accusing eating beef. Communal riots are planned and carried out. Freedom fighters are ignored. Distorted history is forced upon students. Unless the ruling party and their agents show a realistic approach, the situation in the country will lead us to a 71st year to regret over what they have done and doing.
Dr. Charles Dias, Former Member of Parliament (LS)