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New Zeniths for Fascism

No rights for Muslims;

Students locked out of classrooms;

New India's here.

Today, I sit on my bed in a place where politicians would rather cancel school for three days and plan discussions for the cancellation of many more, rather than let some girls wearing a hijab go to school. With Omicron cases falling throughout India, the general populace breathes a sigh of relief. Muslim students in India will never get such luxuries. Friends have abandoned us, neighbours have joined the mobs. Another pandemic is strangulating India – so insidious that fundamental rights have gotten violated – communal violence.

Those who are not affected, continue to remain silent. Classmates are transforming into Nazis, and experts warn of an impending genocide. Still, people treat this as the norm. Has Islamophobia been so normalised in our day-to-day lives that people sit there in their comfortable beds and roll their eyes at another day of school being cancelled? Are we so heartless that violation of human rights and fascists stabbing students isn’t alarming us? At this point, India has drifted so deep into fascism that “staying silent” and “staying neutral” is picking a side with the oppressor. As someone who is indirectly affected by all this, I cannot look away.

Fascists want to kill everyone who is not identical to them. Hijabi Muslims were the first, but who are the next victims? Everyone has a common enemy. No one will be spared. They wreak havoc on schools, on the minds of impressionable youth. The new wave of mass radicalisation incoming in our society is threatening an entire generation of growing minds. I cannot predict the future, but as long as fascism remains the mainstream, in India and all over the world, there is no hope for us. Stand up for your classmates, protect them from these goons and wolves. Look out for each other and commiserate with your fellow workers. You have more in common with the ‘other’ than with the ruling classes.

First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemoller

There are ten steps to genocide, as discussed by Gregory Stanton, chairman of Genocide Watch. These include:

  1. Classification of ‘us’ vs. ‘them’

  2. Symbolisation

  3. Discrimination

  4. Dehumanisation

  5. Organisation of militias

  6. Polarisation of propaganda

  7. Preparation of mass killing

  8. Persecution

  9. Extermination

  10. Denial

Reading through the list, India has arguably reached step number 6 already. Now, the youth are being indoctrinated to personally harass Muslims. Mobs of a hundred young men. The Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangh (RSS) is hoisting their saffron flag, threatening to abolish India’s tri-colour flag – no need for more proof, these groups are a militia. Before we know it, they will begin to plan out larger massacres in secret. Gregory Stanton, the creator of this list, is the same man who predicted a genocide against Indian Muslims in 2002 and once again in January of this year, stating signs of early genocide in Kashmir and Assam.

Surely this can’t be allowed to happen. But I am losing hope.

Someone scooped out the flesh and bone from the site of my sternum. The orb of sun I aim for is beyond what I can hold in this tiny hole. Might I ask for a cast? This society is a cesspool.

By Eshal Zahur



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