Yes, you read it right!
The BJP Government in Maharashtra headed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis launched the (I am not kidding) ‘Quit India 2 – Swaraj to Suraaj’ Movement on Tuesday i.e. 8th August 2016 to mark the 74th anniversary of the movement.
As far as I remember my history lessons, Quit India Movement was a civil disobedience movement launched on August 8, 1942 by Mahatma Gandhi as an ultimatum for the British to leave India after the failure of the Cripps Mission.
So what does the ‘reloaded’ version of the movement aim at?
Now if you are thinking that this move is on the lines of Congress Mukt Bharat and they wish for the Congress to quit, hold your horses. This is not the deal!
The BJP claims this to be a ‘fortnight long’ (yes!) movement for “freedom from illiteracy, farmers’ suicides, wastage of water, addiction, and corruption”.
“BJP MPs, MLAs, office-bearers and workers will participate in these events and commemorate the sacrifices made by freedom fighters to achieve freedom,” BJP state unit president Raosaheb Danve said.
Now the entire stint clearly seems funny to me.
The first thing that struck me was the duration of this movement. Fortnight? Are you serious? You are commemorating the 74th anniversary of the movement and it has been around 70 years to our Independence. Since time immemorial the issues of this country remain the same, illiteracy and corruption being the primary ones. While there is indeed a mushrooming of newer issues at hand due to liberalization. Increased social and financial gaps, State surveillance or intrusion of privacy being some of them. The older ones, casteism, class divides and farmer issues, still prevail.
These are turning even more grave and complicated with time and therefore getting difficult to solve.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to say that we should have created a utopian country by now.
But it definitely shouldn’t have been this bad!
These are serious issues that need both State and public attention. So when you run a 2 week program for such complicated issues, it does not seem more than a political stint.
Commemorating sacrifices is not enough to gain “freedom from illiteracy” or “corruption”.
Congress slammed the move saying that it is not a film for which they need to make a sequel. Sanjay Nirupam of the Congress Party said that never in the past has the RSS or BJP commemorated this event, infact the RSS opposed the move when Gandhi launched it. So he questions the reason to suddenly remember to celebrate it in the exact same venue where normally Congress has been commemorating the day for the past years.
Although the Congress stands in favour of removing these social ills and is even willing to support the Government. But according to Nirupam, the motive behind launching the movement tends to insults the original Quit India Movement.
As always, the parties are fighting over the ‘propriety’ of the event thereby reducing historic events to a sham to gain brownie points!
And I am again wondering, whether the politics of this country will ever rise above sloganeering, baseless protests, making lewd below-the-belt comments and metaphorical shams!
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.