By Nalini Ranjan Mohanty & Jayaraj Chinnasamy
As we bid goodbye to the year 2020, the obvious question before us is: how was the year for us, the proud Indians?
Was it a year of hope or of despair?
Well, in a way, it was both.
The coronavirus was an external threat, beyond our control, that hit us hard. But our ham-handed response to it made the situation worse.
The manner in which our Prime Minister announced a lockdown, with barely three-hour notice, exposed us to the worldwide ridicule that our government only knows how to shoot from the hip.
We had had a sorry spectacle of millions of migrant workers and their family members walking on the highways to reach their native places, defying the draconian lockdown: it made to the headlines in the international media and our government became a laughing stock around the world.
Our government also became an eyesore in the democratic fraternity for systematically undermining all the institutions of checks and balances that prevent a democratic government from degenerating into an authoritarian one.
It weaponised the police, the investigative agencies and even the army for petty, partisan ends. Most of the media, especially the television news, gave us the feel of a lapdog masquerading as a watchdog.
But what was more distressing was the spinelessness of our top judiciary; many of our Supreme Court judges — with a few rare exceptions — appeared to be in a race to placate the government.
They made it look like as if the Judiciary is the loyal executor of the wishes of the Executive!
In such an environment of despair, there were some glimmers of hope:the year 2020 started with an unrelenting, nation-wide, protest against a patently communal legislation like the CAA.
The year ended with a massive uprising of farmers against an authoritarian government that pushed through Parliament many black laws — anti-farmer, anti-worker laws — without any modicum of discussion with the stakeholders.
These mass leaderless agitations give us hope, at a time when the opposition parties have been swept off their feet by the Hindutva tide and have virtually become a pale shadow of the ruling party.
Let us hope that the popular protests will gather greater momentum in 2021 to preempt further backslide of our democracy!
Balanced analysis. Few highlights: “lapdogs masquerading as watchdogs;” our government knows only how to shoot from.the hip” they ( some judges) look like the loyal executor of the executive”
That is on the so called pillars of the democracy. The unrelenting peoples struggle on the CAA, & the tenacious battle by farmers are the instances of good hope from We the People. Hope the new year August well for democracy.
Hope & despair loomed together and more despair came in hand ! Hope a better 2021 with a pleasant dawn of only goodness !
It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.
The more we live in the past, the worse we understand the present, and we will never learn to live in the future.
#2021ready #2021vision #2021challenge
Nalini Ranjan Mohanty Jayaraj Chinnasamy