“The history of liberty is a history of resistance”- Woodrow Wilson.
Writers, philosophers, thinkers have signified on the cardinal of liberty of man. Countries have a rich history of the struggle for liberty. Our own nation, India, had been in fetters under British rule till she decided to break the shackles and demand her own liberty to live independently.
Governments have come and gone, parties have taken the throne and have been ousted when the mandate has voted vehemently that saw the party’s defeat. The run-up to the recent Lok Sabha elections have brought back the party that came to power in 2014. However, a resounding number of social media posts have deliberated on the consequences that the party in power will bring with it. Is it time we questioned if the voice of the liberal been silenced?
Turning the pages of the newspaper will showcase a scenario of the present situation in India. Mob vigilantism has soared and so have the number of cases of lynchings. The targets more often than not have been people from the Muslim community. Have we forgotten how the meaningless barriers of caste creates notions in our minds that we, as a society harbor and that in turn creates stereotypes which we associate with particular communities and people? To think about it, any layman can have a liking for any kind of meat.
It does not strictly has to be one community that wants to consume pork or beef. Our democratic nation guarantees liberty for every individual of this country then where does the question arise for us to dictate who is to consume what? The simple solution to anything that irks us is not involving ourselves in that. As crude as the phrase is- to mind our own business, this phrase applies to all kinds of situations.
To state an example of movies which create an uproar due to the content, does it matter if the content does not match exactly with the traditions of a certain community? You can argue how historically correct the content is in a movie but surely, declaring to cut off the nose of the lead actress in a movie because she has ‘shamed’ the community by acting in it is not how you expect a democratic nation to behave.
Recently, a movie was released which received a lot of publicity and flak too. But surprisingly, it is running to houseful shows. The content of the movie is disturbing. It points to toxic masculinity and the tendency of people to normalize toxic relationships and call it romantic.
The debate that has erupted over the movie is whether movies should be made more carefully that handle sensitive issues and between watching movies for a movie’s sake. By minding your own business, you can either choose to watch it or not watch it if you feel so. But calling someone a ‘libtard’ because they have raised important questions and have chosen to criticize a movie, again points to the wrong direction where we are headed. Essentially, choosing to stop all dialogue and stop dissent in a democracy is deeply problematic.
The fabric of a democracy that rests on healthy dialogue and debate gets crushed when liberalism is asked to stop speaking. Voice of the voiceless gets hushed, liberals are pushed and shoved to the background where even the glimmer of liberty starts to extinguish.
It is time, as a nation brimming with young power, to strengthen the tenets on which this nation was formed and speak up as a liberal nation for every country and individual who is asked to stop talking. India has a voice and it cannot be ‘shushed’ to let the wrongs prevail. Question what should be questioned, and stand up for injustice. As a responsible citizen, let not the blood of the freedom fighters of this nation go in vain.