Grace, humility and sobriety marked the address by the Congress president Rahul Gandhi in his moment of triumph after his party wrested three major states from the BJP. These are qualities that, sadly, have become rare in public life in India today.
What much of India barely acknowledges is that the Indian state has substantially transmuted into a hard, majoritarian Hindu state which is callous to, and sometimes even at war with, its minorities.
As the grim threat of lynching casts a terrifying shadow over large swathes of the country, directions from India’s Supreme Court to all governments to take steps to prevent what it described as “horrendous acts of mobocracy” can only be welcomed.
Amidst the clamour for retribution, we must listen carefully to the gentle voices that talk of forgiveness and compassion. These alone light the way to locate, deep within ourselves, our own capacities for goodness.
Muslims are today’s castaways, political orphans with no home, for virtually every political party. This despite India being home to a tenth of the world’s Muslims, around 180 million people, making it the largest Muslim country after Indonesia and Pakistan.
This is what India has become: One more pitiless lynching. This time of two older men, a petty goat trader and a marginal farmer in a village in Hapur, Uttar Pradesh, a two-hour drive from the national capital.
A full year has passed since dairy farmer and cattle trader Pehlu Khan was lynched on a busy Rajasthan highway in April. As this year elapsed, his family and other Muslim dairy farmers have tumbled into bleak times.
I worry that perhaps we have so immersed ourselves in debates about the liberal imperative; that we have lost sight of the bigger questions of what is good, what is kind and what is just, writes Harsh Mander.
We began this New Year with a journey of the Karwan e Mohabbat into Bengal. Few parts of India are untouched by the swirling tides of hate, therefore we had resolved to take our Karwan to at least one state every month, visiting the homes of families hit by acts of hate violence.