CPI-ML New Democracy

Editorial ND February 2020

Initiate and Participate in

Protests against CAA-NRC-NPR

Protests against CAA-NRC-NPR have become a people’s movement.

RSS-BJP rulers, like all anti-people rulers, had grossly underestimated

the strength of the people’s resolve. Drunk with power and driven by their

fascist Hindu Rashtra dream, they moved to change the very character of

India, striking at the very root of identity of the country and its people.

Unleashing their anti-Muslim poison to make the country secure for corporate

exploitation and oppression of upper caste landlord elite, couching their

offensive in the long used tirade against neighbouring Pakistan, they drove

the knife into the very heart of the people of this great land. Like many

other rulers before them, they mistook the forbearance of the people for

their cowardice. People, long accustomed to the anti-people games of the

rulers, could no longer identify themselves with the India that these fascists

sought to fashion. Like the proverbial strike of the iron smith, the iron rod

of this forbearance broke and the lava of the people’s anger burst forth.

Students and youth, women and men, from different religious groups,

people of all walks of life came out in protest against RSS-BJP conspiracy.

Cities, centres of reaction for long, became the centres of protest against

reaction. Vast urban India has been up in flames which are being carried to

rural India. Intelligentsia rose across India in premier institutions and joined

the down trodden to unleash one of the biggest mass movement in the

history of India, lighting up the sky over the forces of darkness, ushering a

heat wave during the shivering cold weather.

The struggle challenged the RSS-BJP drive but the challenge was not

limited to this. They questioned what ruling classes have made India.

Poetry of defiance became the sound of the day, youthful enthusiasm and

feminine perseverance flavours of the day. Slogans of left and sacrifice

lent exuberance to the colour of the day. The movement symbolized the

present and is pregnant with possibilities for the future, standing firmly on

the ground and looking up to the sky. It has risen to save what we achieved

in the past striving for a future for the people.

Besides, thundering over the heads of the fascist rulers, the movement

is a search for Indianness. Decades and centuries of colonial brand of

historiography, looking for India in artificially crafted version of the past,

excising a comprehensive view of the history, its struggles, victories and

defeats, successes and failures, highs and lows, oppressions and fight

against them- all bringing the people to the present, truncating it to fit the

ruling class narrative to serve their interests. But old civilizations, the

cradles in which the factors shaping the present have been rocked and

nurtured, have their own way of assertion which the hangers-on of power

are hardly expected to appreciate. It is not important that each participant

be aware of it, yet they express the underlying necessity, or what one may

call as life asserting itself in myriad ways. The present movement has

given fillip to this search which is so all embracing that the experts appear

novices, those who fancy themselves as drivers are only part of the caravan.

Like all thoroughgoing precursors, the movement has endured all

hardships and braved sacrifices. More, it took no cognizance of them,

taking them as they came, brushing them off like fleas and moving on as

the great purpose needs. Amits (Shah), Ajays (Adityanath) and their ilk are

looking on in bewilderment as the country unfolds before them and designs

of the Nagpur establishment unravel. They thought they had demolished it

long back. Not to underestimate the challenge of the present does not

mean not to see the green shoots of the future.

Every great movement brings to life new forms enriching the great

repertoire of people’s struggles. Shaheen Bagh has not just remained the

name of a place of protest, it has become a symbol of the new India rising,

of its novelty and vitality. It has become a beacon light of the movement.

Shaheen Baghs have been created in nearly 150 centres (and many more

unreported). Built on resolve, fired with vision and bringing together people,

Shaheen Bagh symbolizes life and the living challenging what is dead and

parasitic in Indian life. No wonder it is led and managed by the most creative

force in society- the women. People in different parts of India are creating

their own Shaheen Baghs. The vast country needs many more of them. It

stands for rejuvenation as Baghs have traditionally done, to rescue the

country’s environment from the RSS-BJP chauvinist devastation.

Shaheen Bagh Tujhe Salaam!