For the last year or more I've posted links, given data, opinion pieces and a lot more on one of our PM candidates. I've engaged with you, debated and persisted.
Tonight I'm going to stop because it won't matter once you've cast your vote.
I am deeply shocked and horrified by those who choose 'development' over human rights. Mostly because we're all educated people who can read the data, watch the video clippings and make up our own minds. Yet some of us have chosen to be brainwashed by the Modi PR machine.
Which leads me to wonder if its not brainwashed but a deliberate choice to turn a blind eye towards Modi and his Hindutva agenda. If in fact it's not just a blind eye, but at some level a belief that it is justified. That 'those people' need to be put in their place.
If it is, perhaps I have made poor choices in my friendships.
Please don't allow yourselves to be turned into cold, compassionless people. Please don't believe that development is a higher goal than secularity and humanity. They're not mutually exclusive.
Please don't be a part of the horrible history that our children are going to look back at in disgust, like Hitler's Germany.
Please don't believe that 1984 cancels out 2002 - every life is precious. An eye for an eye makes us all blind.
Please remember that we have a Sikh PM at the moment and the community has never been persecuted again.
Please remember that every riot is something to be ashamed of. Don't justify it as a reaction.
Please remember that the BJP has shown its corruption too (Adani, land allotment, petrol pump, Kargil coffins...) and really can't be the first one to cast a stone.
Please remember that you're voting in corruption again, this time with the added topping of fascism.
Please remember that you might be a smug majority today, but someday and in some way you won't. Once they're done with the Muslims, they will, like the Shiv Sena, come for the South Indians, the women, the queers.. the list is endless. When they're done with everyone, they'll come for you, as the old saw goes.
We have a history of bloodshed and to reward the man who masterminded one of the worst, is something our country should be ashamed of. When we talk of inventing zero and yoga, please remember we're wiping out all our past glories with one fell swoop. We'll be the country that voted a murderer in to the PM's seat, not inspite of his failings, but because of them.
If anything, this election has shown us up for the people we are. Shown up our prejudices and our deliberate, wilful denial of what is. Yes, it is important to have friends from every walk of life, with differing points of view so that we can have a dialogue, learn.
But there are some non-negotiables and this, is one of them. It's a shameful display of power and just the sort of thing cowardly bullies indulge in.
Elections are fought every five years and everyone has an opinion. This is the first time there has been such vitriol and polarisation and it's for a very good reason. Rarely do you get to see the face of evil so clearly and rarely do you see people you like and respect, go over to the dark side.
Am I going to cease to be friends with those who've shown their inclination for this sort of thing? I suppose not. But things will never be the same. We'll see each other in a different light and it's not going to be pretty.
If you've ever felt defenceless, ever felt marginalised, ever felt like a minority, ever felt vulnerable, have family who live in a country where they might be minorities, think twice before you vote for Modi.
If you've ever thought of yourself as fair, compassionate, open-minded, just, think twice before you vote for Modi.
On a different note, I wonder if there's any hope of them giving us someone else as their PM candidate. That would be too much to hope for, wouldn't it?
And lest you accuse me of being unfair and whitewashing over the 1984 riots (though in my books--the excuse "they rioted, so we can riot also" is wrong. Also the Congress has apologised for the 1984 killings, whereas a certain Mr Modi can't even bear to be on TV for two seconds let alone take any responsibility for his party. Oh my god, you guys, PLEASE let this not be our future with a PM who refuses to answer any questions!) /endrant
Another friend in the DNA, Pragya Tiwari speaks to survivors of the 1984 riots about their voting choices this year. It's a gorgeous piece, full of little takeaways of sorrow.
This sense of immediacy pervades Kawaljeet’s entire narrative – his loopy, terrifying, sometimes incoherent narrative of what happened in those three days. There is something disturbingly child-like about him. It is as if he could turn a corner and find himself back in 1984 in a heartbeat. The beatings left him broken, mentally and physically.Read the whole thing here.
And if you're in a position to, vote goddammit.