When fiction seems more factual than reality!
Well, Leila gives us a scary sneak peek into the future. It tells us about how we might have made all the technological innovations and progressed as such, in reality we have actually regressed, from a socio-economic standpoint. The story is set in 2049, 30 years from now when there is an autocratic regime of an Aryavat rule. You have the GPS chips implanted in your skin, you have virtual screens everywhere, you have ATM for water packets, etc.but you also have ever-growing waste disposal problems, hazardous environment, black rains, unsurmountable pollution, lack of open spaces and greenery and acute shortage of water leading to riots and chaos.
This draws a lot of parallels to the world we are witnessing as of date. In the current times when we have fancy gadgets, modern homes, and luxurious cars, we also witness extreme heatwaves, diminishing forest cover, increasing use of non-disposable plastic, frothing rivers due to harsh chemicals, disappearing lakes amongst several other visible signs. Farmers are committing suicide due to ever-increasing debt, there is rising unemployment, increasing violence by Lynch mobs, hooliganism, no regard for law and order, no independence of the judiciary and other governmental organizations, a surge of autocratic leaders, diminishing freedom of speech, caste and religion-based politics, widespread ignorance by the masses, denial for climate change and the list just goes on…
We aren’t far from that day, when this fiction turns into a reality. We have a perfect mix of all the ingredients to cook a this disastrous recipe of doom. Wait yet, aren’t we already there?
No, not yet. We still don’t have a full-fledged authoritarian regime as a) we witnessed the world’s biggest so-called democratic elections, b) the liberals still speak their mind freely as we see in the case of Mohua Moitra (MP from West Bengal) who made her maiden speech in the Lot Sabha about the 7 signs of early fascism that is significantly visible in the present times and c) there is no division of state as per their caste/religion yet. However, it would kind of naïve to think this is just an extremist portrayal of some right-wing “Hindutva” brigade. There are quite a few things happening today – To name a few top ones a) fielding a terror accused in the Low Sabha elections b) large scale rampant protests by different groups, c) resignation of some of the most intellectual executives in numerous Government institutions(RBI, CBI, CVC, EC,etc.) d) suppressing jobs data, e) manipulating GDP numbers and these are only the major ones. This has been highlighted by the parts of free-press that exist and thanks to those brilliant YouTubers and social influencers.
But the problem is that someone is cooking this recipe on a low flame; so the intensity is lacking and the change not-so-obvious. For example, when they introduced the electoral bonds in 2017, few had noticed this but come 2019, a lot of election analysts are now blaming this scheme as the root cause for everything that is wrong with our current politics. As part of this scheme, any person or company can buy these bonds from the ‘State Bank of India’ and their names and details would be fully confidential. So if you have deep pockets, then you can get your work done from this Government. But for people like you and me, we can only wish that the Government does its job as dutifully as it should.
The issue with this slow brewing pot of political porridge is that we at large and minorities specifically, won’t even understand when they strip us of our rights, when the constitution gets slowly re-written and when the reigns of the country slips to an autocratic power. And why just the minorities, even Hindus aren’t safe in this so-called Hindutva era not with the laws that favor the rich and crony capitalists, laws that promote communal divide, laws that are weak to protect our vulnerable sections – children and women, laws that are destroying our ecology and environment at large. Think about these small changes that are happening so gradually that we sometimes are oblivious to how much has the world changed in the last few decades and now think of the consequences of these change in the near future or even in the present scenarios, you will find we are just heading in that direction – where India is no longer a secular and democratic country but just another authoritarian regime within whom resides all power – legislative, executive and judiciary. Scary, isn’t it?
I am scared. And I won’t deny,I am scared that if we don’t do much today, this dystopian fiction might just turn into a reality and probably won’t have to wait for three decades.
Whilst I am sad, I am not giving up hope, because we survived the British rule, we survived the world war, we survived some brutal terrorist attacks and we survived the worst calamities that have hit us. We shall fight this war too, fight for our rights, fight for the poor and vulnerable, fight for freedom of speech and above all fight for the truth!