The cost of being apolitical. Can you afford to be apolitical in a democracy?

By - Abhudai Pal 

"I hate politics. All politicians are the same. What I want is peaceful life free of politics." 

The above words are of a privileged Indian youth who don’t like politics. Privileged because of the ceiling over his head and meal on time more than two times a day. Another privileged is his “cellular data pack.” 

The only thing which worries India’s youth is the exhaustion of 1.5/2 GB of his daily data pack. He should be. After all, the lack of data might make him data malnourished. Without it, the person's ability to rant on social media is nil.

Actually, guys/girls of this ilk are awesome. They want a peaceful life but do not know how peace is maintained in society? Or they are ignorant to acknowledge it. 

Well, I won’t discuss politics here. However, I desperately want to ask certain questions to the apolitical youth of India

Do you want clean air to breathe? 

Are you against women-related crimes like Rape, Eve-teasing, sexual harassment, domestic violence, etc.? 

Is Making India an educational hub, so it produces world-class researchers, educationists, academicians, etc., your vision? 

Aspiring to roam freely at any time without fear of theft, robbery? 

Want to eradicate poverty and provide social justice to every Indian? 

If your answer to the above questions is positive. Sadly, I have to tell you that they will not be fulfilled with your data pack consumption. 

Also, think that you want the above changes to be observed around you. It implies that these aspirations of yours aren’t fulfilled at present in society. Thus, you see women being raped, you breathe air rich in hazardous materials, academicians under pressure, houses being theft and the widening of inequality among caste and class. 

Now, you have understood these harsh realities around you. Therefore, you must answer the next question, which will help you see a clear picture of life’s canvas. 

Who are the people who decide the quality of the air you are breathing, women's safety, academic excellence, societal inequality, etc.?

Are they roadside Romeos? Knowledge imparting Uncle or aunts? The conclave organizers on various issues around the world?

No, they are not. The decision-makers are politicians, whom I, you, and we elect to govern. Unfortunately, India’s educated youth's apolitical nature paves the way for such unscrupulous politicians to power. 

The politicians affect whether the people of Delhi will breathe less polluted air? Or Metros will be built at the cost of forest Aarey. 

Not just environmental, these people decide who will rape whom, and justice will be delivered based on the caste of perpetrator and victim. In short, the license to rape and be free from punishment depends on the perpetrator's caste. 

Remember, Manisha Valmiki from Hathras. What happened to her? She was denied her last rites that too by the administration whose duty was to protect her dignity. Actually, the government is not at all at fault. The fault is of the people who chose not to talk about this incidence in their drawing room in front of their family. Since this is a political matter.   

Implicitly, each and every person, especially Uttar Pradesh citizens, are responsible for Manish’s life. The brazenness of perpetrators is not built in a day but is a result of the apolitical gentleman and ladies' political choice. 

I believe that people who chose to be apolitical should contact Election Commission and explain that they are not interested in voting. 

It will save tons of money of India’s Taxpayer. Otherwise, these voluntarily apolitical organisms will continue electing people who applaud divisiveness, animosity, and bigotry.

Now, coming to academic freedom. People argue that one who sponsors you should be respected. So public universities should focus on teaching and not comment on government policies. I disagree with such a view. 

However, What about Ashoka University? You should have heard its name. It is cent-percent self-funded. Still, an esteemed professor Pratap Bhanu Mehta compelled to resign as per media speculation. This is an autonomous university, and what professor Mehta does is writing articles in “The Indian Express,” an English newspaper. 

What threat does a person whose articles are not read by the vast Indian majority pose a threat to the regime? And when professors of the self-funded university had to pay the price for writing. Are we moving toward academic freedom? 

With such Intolerant politicians, India's dream of being a world leader- “Vishwa Guru”-will remain a dream perse. 

In such a scenario, could you afford to be apolitical? 

I cannot. If you think you are safe. Please remember Indian Farmers. 

They chose not to speak when Jamia Students were thrashed since they are Muslims. The silence continued even in the case of the “JNU attack.” Delhi riots happened no farmer's organization came to condemn. 

Now, when they are facing the heat of brutal and suppressive administration. They seek support from everyone. 

There are plenty of instances, which show how society paid when you chose to be apolitical. Moreover, if politics decide what you eat when you sleep, with whom you sleep, and had sex. I wonder! Could you be apolitical? You should take a stand. 

Which side of the spectrum you might be, however, you must choose your side. 

Practical Wisdom 

Being apolitical is akin to a crime. 

The killers of Manisha are, indeed, the society we live in. 

Take a stand because the corpse had the habit of keeping mum. 

If you chose to be apolitical, voluntarily give your voting right to someone.  So that he/she chooses wisely. 

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