Editorial: Altering Narrative Around Political Discourse in India

The recent updates from Kashmir, JNU, Jamia, Shaheen Bagh, Assam, UP, and other places witnessing oppressive state rule have only strengthened this idea: it’s imperative that we humanise our conversation around CAA-NRC and Kashmir (reminder: Internet blackout began in August last year, not to mention the military surveillance leading to mental and physical trauma for years before that).

There is a sharp dichotomy to our privilege – one which makes us uncomfortable every time we think about it, one which is very unique to our social and cultural identity. Childbirth, education, marriage – communities often practice informal modes of identification, ones which are not legitimised by the conventional tropes of state. Children born in homes in villages or women only registered for identification under their husband’s family name anticipate no need for legal documentation.

Countless more instances should remind you that just because someone doesn’t have documentation it doesn’t necessarily makes them guilty; they just don’t realise its importance. If you forget that, you’re merely paying lip service to the idea of social cohesion.

Even if you choose to believe a leader with a disturbing track record of distorting reality who will tell you that the government will allow eye witness accounts (vague, again), it is a structural nightmare leave alone the feeling of helplessness if people have to depend on others to validate their identity as citizens.

Challenge your instinct which pushes for the “greater good” aphorism by listening to real people, real stories beyond your ideological bubble. Your privilege should be channelised to empower others, not isolate them.