A New India – Democracy and the Power of the People
“Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.”
In the past India has offered a home, a place of rest and safety to people from many different religious backgrounds. When those souls may have been banned, persecuted and rejected by their own country, they found that they were welcomed by India, and they were allowed to voice their opinions. Look at some of the oldest ancient civilizations of the world, Aztec, Inca, Roman, etc., they were successful and thriving civilizations. But what is left of them now? India today is still one of two largest democracies in the world – let us not lose that position.
Sadly we have seen, and we continue to see many injustices all over the world. I am not a journalist, nor am I a politician, nor am I a human rights activist. But, I am passionate about virtues, values and freedom of expression… and democracy in Bharat Mata, Mother India. I would like to add my voice to what I see taking place in North West India just within the last few days.
“Nothing is more dangerous than ignorance
and intolerance armed with power…”
Some of you may, or may not be aware of these current events taking place in India. Arnab Goswami, Owner, Editor and Chief of India’s number one news networks, Republic TV (English), and Republic Bharat (Hindi), was arrested illegally and in a very shocking and appalling manner.
Police, commandos and a special force came to his house at 6:30am on November 4th. They stated that they wanted to re-open a case that the court had closed in 2018. So literally they took the law into their own hands and they came armed with AK47’s! They arrived in large numbers, as though they were to catch a tyrant or terrorist and they literally dragged him out of his house… without giving him time to put on his shoes… and shoved him into a police bus. They exercised full force of physical power and at the expense of money from the taxpayers! It was all caught on camera by his wife and son, so the whole incident was going live at the same time.
For the last several months the government of Maharashtra and its police have been harassing Arnab Goswami, his channels and his staff. They have filed many cases which are being proved false daily. As a voice for the people, Arnab is a reputable journalist and has been the number one anchor in India for over a decade. Yet, many object to his bold style of reporting and questioning. Arnab is fully aware that he is ruffling some feathers, but it’s in his blood to get at the truth of the story. Very few are willing to risk their lives to find the truth. To push buttons whether it is of local government officials, or people with money and power, or even the police.
“It’s dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.”
People are still getting used to his investigative style of journalism in this New India. Arnab started his own channel two years ago so he could exercise autonomy. In one interview he is known to tell young journalists: ‘Do not take any favours, that those favours come back to bite you later in your life.’ What a good motto to live by generally. It is because of this sincere and ‘digging for the truth’ style of reporting, as well as taking up the ‘people’s issues’ that others refuse to highlight, that the people of India and around the world support Arnab. This is also why the guilty dislike him. Truth is that spark that touches the heart of each and every one of us.
Millions of people have come onto the streets to support him from all over India and demand his release from judicial custody. They are shouting: ‘enough is enough’. Holding placards and torches during the day and night. It is amazing that Arnab has received such unprecedented support. Arnab is not just a person, but he is becoming a movement. People are coming out in support, not just for the man, but for justice; for the right of democracy; for free press and freedom of expression. The social media is also playing its part in many areas where there is a disregard for human rights. The public is not as naïve as we may think. All actions are obvious and speak for themselves.
India is not perfect and it has many problems. But of late we are seeing the rise of a NEW INDIA. Where the people of India are waking up to the power they have in their own hands, not just literally with the mobile phone. But with the power of social media and the internet they are finding their own power, and that each and every voice counts.
In fact, we are seeing the same sort of thing happening with the current elections in America… ‘Power to the people!’
“I may not agree with what you have to say,
but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
The right to free speech, apart from abuse and profanity, is a fundamental right of all people. We must be careful not to see our freedoms slip away so easily from our own hands. There will always be those who will stand up for truth. Our lists in history are full of such courageous people, but today and for India it is Arnab… Who will it be tomorrow? It might possibly be you or me!! Are we ready?
It’s Time… to support the voices of those who speak out to protect our freedoms.
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK