By Malay Mishra

Disturbs me, like any other well thinking intellectual who needs to revolt against such regressive practices still very much visible in the second decade of the 21st century. But then does it really change the society? Will it?

Moot questions, and as I stood at the footsteps of Bapu, at the Gandhi Smriti Pith in my ancestral town of Puri, with the breeze from the Bay of Bengal directly caressing Gandhiji’s  bronze allure, on this august day of celebration and resolve, it seemed to me that the hitherto slumbering civil society needs to now awaken to consciousness and fight the roots of the evil, instead of harping on superficialities. As the President in his powerful Republic Day message exhorted his countrymen to revolt, the time has perhaps come to follow the President’s words, instead of just feeling good about it.

Let us therefore, friends of the diaspora, not gloat at India’s achievements alone for they are just visible at the brim but look deep into the stinks that are concealed beneath, and ask yourself, do I have an obligation to my motherland, in fighting social prejudices, a kind of ersatz nationalism which hinges on mowing down dissidence in the slightest form?

I again go back to Rohith Vemula, a person who showed extraordinary courage in committing suicide, a forced euthanasia as he called it, when his life was taking off to a brilliant beginning, out of the embers of a decadent social system, when he could have seen the sun rise on an equal society, but instead slumbered off to the netheria of a nowhere world. Is his voice to be stilled forever?

Reflect, as only you can,

—Malay Mishra