The Horrors of Alienation

As I sit down to write this, anger and resentment engulfs me, eating into my whole existence. I have lived in Delhi only for the past few years now, this being the fourth, yet this is ‘home’ for me now. I am a part of this mixed bag of voices, diverse and vibrant, which had had a largely peaceful co existence until now. Yes, I say ‘had’. The spate of bomb blasts in the city, rather, across India, has changed the ‘has’ to ‘had’.

Whenever a blast happens in the city, I feel violated! What right does anyone have to infringe upon people’s right to life? Just because of a handful of crazed maniacs, life stops for so many more innocents. These are not only the ones affected by the blasts but also those who bear the aftermath of one. This is a growing threat for a volatile democracy like ours. A lot of press recently has highlighted how bans on outfits like SIMI are unfounded as there is no real evidence against them. Not only this, lots of innocent people have been wrongly implicated in such cases every now and then.

Both these trends (that is, the frequency of blasts and innocents being nabbed) are on an upswing and spell doom for the already fragile social threads of the Indian society. If wearing a skull cap and having a beard can make people around you uncomfortable or be reason enough to brand you a terrorist, then we definitely have a problem on our hands. However this paranoia is understandable to a certain level because of religious fundamentalists associated with terror strikes in the past. So where does this lead the society or its people to?? Highway to hell or something close enough!

The root of all this chaos being unleashed, lies in the systematic ‘alienation’ of people, communities, societies or even countries. It takes place at all levels and subsumes everything. Though this is clearly a global phenomenon, let us look at it from the Indian context. The alienation of Dalits or lower castes can be seen in satin pink kurta clad Mayawati’s shrill tone, who have not had a voice for over 3000 years. The alienation of minorities or let us be specific, Muslims can be seen in instances of educated youngsters taking up arms and subscribing to fundamentalist ideology. The alienation of the Adivasis and tribals has produced insurgency movements like Naxalism. The alienation of Kashmir and the North Eastern states has led to secessionist demands. Alienation transforms itself into anger in no time and pours forth so powerfully in the form of decisive action leading to an explosion. The explosion might manifest itself into a bomb blast or find other subjects, but that is immaterial. When it explodes, it does not go unnoticed and warrants attention. The alienated finally find a space and voice but is this the voice that any of us wants to hear?!

Niha Masih

[Image Source:]