HIMMAT is starting off as a blog by Rajmohan Gandhi who has written on the Indian independence movement and its leaders, South Asian history, India-Pakistan relations, human rights and conflict resolution. His latest book is Modern South India: A History from the Seventeenth Century to the Present (New Delhi: Aleph, forthcoming).

Minorities in 1975-77 and now

I read with interest your post (Aug 22) on the Emergency. It might be true that lynch mobs may have not chased people while they were walking down the lane then, but things were certainly rough not only for the political leaders who were locked up and the press, but particularly for minorities especially if they were in places like Turkman Gate, Delhi. 

It was really the poorest of the poor who suffered then. It's hard to believe that a grandson of Nehru (Sanjay Gandhi) would turn out to be a right wing bigot, but the present dispensation would regard him as an amateur. 

Today, the situation is different because now the entire country has been polarized, there is practically no need to silence the media, and the concept of right and wrong itself has changed. 

It is no longer morally abominable to lynch or kill based on some religious precept. Such events find some support in the wider society and color the perceptions of justice to be meted out. 

Today, society does not need an Emergency to be compliant. The society is pretty much in concord with whatever is happening. 

The deteriorating environment will have only a marginal impact on minorities because they have been resigned to their second class status for a long time. However, it will certainly curb the freedoms of the majority itself if it is not doing so already. It's sad when a majority impels itself into becoming an abnormal nation and that too in the 21stcentury.

War Story from 1971

Who runs our world?