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Current Affairs (20 May 2020 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Post COVID-19 We Will Have to Learn to Put India, and Humanity, Ahead of Everything Else

By Salman Khurshid


May 18, 2020


Fifty years ago, on May 4, 1970, the students of Kent State University in Ohio gathered to protest the Vietnam War. The oldest democracy of the world faltered as the Ohio State National Guard fired at the crowd and felled four students. Observers concluded that the US was rapidly spinning out of control. The report President Richard Nixon commissioned on campus unrest said that “a nation driven to use the weapons of war upon its youth is a nation on the edge of chaos” — and Americans were feeling the “chaos”.


Days after the Kent shooting, on May 15, there was a shooting at the Jackson State College in Mississippi during a protest against racism that the students on campus were facing. Two students were shot and killed, and 12 others were injured at the hands of the police.


After the shootings, there was a nationwide student strike that saw four million turn out in response to the tragedy. As many as 1,00,000 students marched on Washington. David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young released their protest song “Ohio”, a month later, with the chorus, “Four dead in Ohio,” after seeing the photographs of the shooting.


President Nixon, who initially spoke of the protesting students as “bums”, then made an effort to reach out to them. His intelligence officials could not find evidence that the protest was stirred by outside agitators. Nixon accepted that the anger was coming from the students themselves — and it was only growing. The end of the Vietnam War, it is said, began in Ohio. It changed America forever. A year after the shootings, the voting age was reduced to 18, giving the students the right to vote when they were old enough to be drafted. That generation of voters forced the war to end although it took another five years till April 1975.


I do not believe that the worst critics of the students, even those who called them “bums”, questioned their patriotism for opposing a war that they believed to be immoral and unwise.


At home in India too, there have been casualties in January and February and the students who participated in the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, particularly those from Jamia Millia Islamia, have been booked for sedition and unlawful activities, a euphemism for terrorism. They had all quietly folded up their protest when the COVID storm hit the country. There is no evidence to arrest them, and some others who have been arrested since the onset of COVID-19. So, sequentially charges are added to the investigation by inter alia adding Section 302 of IPC (murder) and Section 13 of the UAPA. Suddenly it seems that the glorious jurisprudence of Articles 14, 19, 21 of the Constitution too has been locked down. India has chosen to fight its own children and their mentors and guardians have chosen discretion before valour. How did you sustain the protest financially for 60 days, is the refrain that they must answer. How will they manage to defend their honour in court and afford lawyers, one might ask. Suddenly, a long line of cases culminating in Anuradha Bhasin remains high on the stated principle of rights and sparse on practical impact. Rights in ordinary times are not much to boast about. It is in extraordinary times that rights should matter as the great legal philosopher, Ronald Dworkin, argues in Taking Rights Seriously.


Earnest Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms comes to mind. Hemingway sought advice on the ending after Catherine’s death in childbirth, from F Scott Fitzgerald, his friend and fellow author. Fitzgerald suggested Hemingway end the novel with the observation that the world “breaks everyone”, and those “it does not break it kills”. In the end, Hemingway chose not to take Fitzgerald’s advice. Instead, he concluded the novel with these lines: “But after I had got (the nurses) out and shut the door and turned off the light it wasn’t any good. It was like saying good-bye to a statue. After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain.”


However, broken and defeated by destiny the protagonist of the novel might have been, in real life for us there is no walking away from a lifeless statue. Post COVID-19 we have to make a fresh beginning, hopefully united and trusting each other as we must have been through a life-death experience together. We will have to crush the infection of hate that seems to have found some spreaders. Meaningless and misdirected hate must not last. We will have to learn to put India ahead of anything else — in fact, humanity first. This is something we have successfully done in our fight against the coronavirus. Fifty years from now, people will applaud and light candles to say that when India seemed to be spinning out of control our generation joined hands, hearts, and minds to hold it firm and sound. We would be remembered for having saved India.


Salman Khurshid is a senior Congress leader and former external affairs minister

Original Headline: We have to put India, and humanity, before everything else in war against hatred

Source: The Indian Express

URL: https://newageislam.com/current-affairs/salman-khurshid/post-covid-19-we-will-have-to-learn-to-put-india,and-humanity,-ahead-of-everything-else/d/121898


  • Aayena,
    How many lies do you want to tell in just one post? I have condemned Tablighi Jamaat, the Taliban, ISIS and several other such organizations. Malala has never said even one word against any Hindu. I have condemned what was done to Kashmiri Pandits innumerable times. Are you not ashamed to lie so blatantly again and again? Are all hate merchants liars?
    By Ghulam Faruki - 5/22/2020 12:49:38 PM

  • I have never seen any moderate including you who have exposed and named Muslim Oragnsatiom who hate Hindus, on the country Shamless like will defend like you try to defend Malala, exodus of Kashmiri Hindus did happen overnight people like we're happy inside the heart and speak shallow and lie in public and media,
    Name some of the Indian Muslim organisation today that hated Hindus,

    By Aayina - 5/21/2020 11:15:43 PM

  • What do the hateful comments of Hats Off and Aayina have to do with either the article or with my comment? Do they dislike criticism of organizations that promote hatred of Muslims in India? I have and will condemn any organization that promotes hatred of Hindus but you two are like automatons waiting all the time to spew your bile on Islam with or without relevance.
    By Ghulam Faruki - 5/21/2020 11:27:09 AM

  • all religions and religious people hate certain things. almost universally.
    they hate other religions and by extension, followers of those other religions.
    all of the religions hate assertive women.
    all the religions and religious persons hate women who do not dress according to the lustful eyes of the priests.
    all religions and religious people hate homosexuality.
    all religions and religious people hate people who refuse to believe the cock and bull stories peddled by the prophets.
    moderates hate all those that point out the inherent hate that is the bedrock of all religions.

    By hats off! - 5/21/2020 4:32:03 AM

  • more than prophet, like a god.
     In tradition of  Phrophet. Human loving prophet also came, but through out the history of Prophetic tradition God hates humans, some time Prophet tells to God have mercy on human.

    By Aayina - 5/20/2020 11:57:58 PM

  • islam is also a well organized and moneyed organization. don't be selective. but that is beyond your narrow soft-islamism.
    don't start off on your tripe of "what religions should be" as if you are a prophet others are sheep.

    By hats off! - 5/20/2020 5:58:20 PM

  • "Meaningless and misdirected hate must not last."
    True, except when hate is fueled by well-organized and moneyed hate organizations.

    By Ghulam Faruki - 5/20/2020 12:41:16 PM

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