George Floyd’s murder at the hands of the police in the U. S. must stir outrage. We must ostracize the racists, casteists, xenophobics for the betterment of the society. Injustice is anywhere is injustice everywhere. We must not spare a single chance to purge the society of racism, casteism, xenophobia. These are the impediments on the way of an egalitarian society.
India is under a strict nationwide lockdown to check the spread of the COVID 19 since 25th March. Amid this crisis in general and the largest mass exodus since the Independence of India in particular, the cruel witch hunt of the student activists by the establishment raises a question on our selective activism to condemn the incident which if compared to the one happened in the US appears to be of the same magnitude. I am in no way belittling the tragic death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala. The reason behind our strong outrage over the incident is due to the fact that she was pregnant. Safoora Zargar, a student activist at Jamia Millia Islamia University has been put behind bars after charges of sedition being slapped against her under UAPA which makes it impossible for the accused to appeal for his or her bail. She was pregnant too. WHO guidelines clearly state that children, older people, and pregnant women are more vulnerable to this virus. She has been lodged in Delhi’s overcrowded Tihar jail. Facebook warriors came down heavily when reports of a pregnant elephant’s death after swallowing a pineapple stuffed with firecrackers went viral. The cruel death of the pregnant elephant is undoubtedly horrific and inhumane. Safoora Zargar’s ordeal does not end here. While still in jail, right-wing troll bands take up the “assignment” to slander her through circulating a clip from a porn video claiming that the lady in the video is Safoora Zargar. This follows the same pattern when Rana Ayyub, an investigative journalist tried to dig deeper into the chain of events that were responsible for a pogrom in Gujarat in 2002. Details of how her character was assassinated following her investigation into the dark, murky state mechanism that let the anti-Muslim pogrom go on for days killing more than thousands can be accessed through her breathtaking investigative book “Gujarat Files, an anatomy of a cover-up”.
While amid this sensitive situation when we find it difficult to step out of our homes, Safoora Zargar’s rigorous imprisonment just for participating in peaceful anti-CAA protests in the national capital points out the establishment’s urgency to muzzle the voices of dissent to make the country walk on the path of an authoritarian state and on our part as citizens of this nation our silence underlines how much selective we are to raise our voices of concern for two pregnant females.