Of Bans, Arrests and Censors : Why Asking Questions in a Democracy has Become Antinational ?

Chanya Jaitly

With the all the bans, detentions, arrests, acid attacks on women, censors, brutal lathi charges, protests for raising questions, for speaking what comes to the mind or maybe speaking out the truth, one question came up and made everything unclear.
Why has questioning anything become wrong? Why has finding out the truth become wrong?
Is it because our question is challenging or is it because no one can answer it?
The state is being accused of stopping people for raising up their voices? Is it just the state’s fault or is it because the state knows the people won’t pay attention to the truth?

In the case of Afzal Guru, he was convicted on the grounds of being a terrorist. He was accused of being the mastermind behind the attack on the parliament in 2001.
People believed it. People believed it to the level that before a court trial started, people wanted him to be hanged. Who really read his side of story? Who would want to read about some terrorist who killed our fellow Indians? The one who did weren’t “Indians”. They were “anti nationals”. They were going “against” their own country.

In the case of rapes and murders in Kashmir by Indian Army, people would never want to hear something against Indian Army. They would never go Google about the accounts of women and men who have been traumatised instead of Google “amazing facts about Indian Army” . But, some did. They talked about rapes, murders, illegitimate arrests, they were also called “liars” and “anti national”

In the case of rising crimes against Dalit, the only crime we mostly hear about is “honor killing” and feel really sad about and feel that should not happen. What about rising number of rapes? What about Dalits getting killed? What about their land being taken away? What about their rights? No answers yet again.
“Caste system doesn’t exist” , “it’s not true” “why do we have to talk about the caste when a girl is raped or murdered?” Well, only questions and no answers.

For whatever is happening wrong, in Manipur, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Punjab, West Bengal or in front of you, the ability to question it is taken away from you.
Sometimes, asking questions is as easy as it gets. The dilemma or the problem is when you go and find answers and speak them out.

There is a saying : “If you do not ask me what time is, I know. If you ask me, I do not know”
Everything goes around just like this saying. Everyone knows what’s wrong. Everyone knows what’s really happening. Everyone knows who’s doing what and why. Maybe it’s just, they don’t want you to ask them. They don’t want you to say it. They don’t want you to challenge them because if you do, they won’t know.

Every question should have an answer.
So, what about the people who really go and find out the answers? What happens to them?
Terms like , “anti national”, “terrorist” , “mentally not Indian” , “communist”, “Maoist”, “marxist” , “leftist”, “feminazi” are ready to shoot them. Their courage to answer the questions gets reduced to one term which sometimes lead them to jail.

One common thing among all those who question and answer the questions, is that they go against certain power, hegemony, authority or some paramount figure. They figure out their rule, brutality, injustice done by them, their unfair interests and eventually they get the ability to give a solution to how to throw away that power.
Who would want that?
One section of society, one class, one caste, one gender, one colour of the skin and let’s take one religion, which has powers for ages, would never want someone to question them which will lead people to give answers.
It’s obvious, someone who has inherited something from the social structure would never want to give it up even if that someone feels for the oppressed.
And, this is how answers become the fight against the the class system, the caste system, patriarchal system, racism, the fascist regime, imperialism and any system which dominates individuals.
Thus, answering questions which are in people’s minds and hearts should not be a crime but sign of courage and strength.
Keep raising up questions and answering them. This is a part of the revolution. A very important part.

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