India has had a rich and interesting history. As a civilization we are very old but we the India we know and recognize today only came together after independence in 1947. In our 66 years of history as the modern nation of India we’ve seen many incidents that have put India to shame. We’ve achieved many great things but we’ve also let ourselves down as a modern progressive nation. Here are the top 10 things that put India to shame.
The recent case of 2008, in which a Bihari student studying in Mumbai was shot for allegedly trying to hijack a BEST bus was full of controversy. Shiv Sena and MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) had been pushing regionalist propaganda for many years and it came to a new low when they started attacking non Marathi people working in Mumbai. Whether Rahul Raj was really trying to hijack the bus to kill the MNS chief Raj Thackeray is not clear and whether he needed to be shot is also controversial. The way this issue was dealt with shows how Indian politicians try to please regional power brokers even at the cost of nationalism.
If we go back in history to the point of our nation’s birth, it is full of hateful bloodshed that was unfortunate and puts India to shame. The riots during the partition were horrible as people of both sides were killed. Millions were displaced from their lands and thrown into poverty. The whole issue of partition is a shameful event in our nation’s history.
The ethnic cleansing in Kashmir in 1989 and 1990, when Hindu Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave Kashmir is another low point in our nation’s history. More than 300 people were killed in religious violence and a lot of Kashmiri Hindus had to flee from Kashmir, leaving behind their land and home. The issue of Kashmir is related to the partition and it has not been dealt maturely by both India and Pakistan and to this day continues to cause tensions and problems.
While Kashmiri Muslims were to be blamed for the ethnic cleansing, since then India has done some pretty bad things in Kashmir. The presence of the army and the way Kashmiris have been treated in the name of fighting terrorism is a shameful thing for India. This came to light in the Afzal Guru case. The way the law was bended to prosecute and then execute Afzal Guru in a hurry raises questions about the misuse of power by the government.
The Delhi Gang Rape case of 2012 brought to the fore once again the issue of feminism in India. The way our women are treated is appalling and in many ways it is worse than most Islamic nations as well. The inherent patriarchy and misogyny became obvious by the type of comments leading politicians and religious gurus gave in the aftermath of the event. The fact that despite a lot of public rage nothing has changed in terms of safety for women in India is a cause of great shame for India.
The commonwealth games of 2010 held in New Delhi were a great opportunity to show India’s progress and make Delhi a truly international city. Every time such international events take place in any city, the host city is transformed and the nation earns a lot of revenue. But in our case, everyone involved with the project was busy skimming off money to fill their own pockets. The quality of facilities put a black mark in our reputation and also showed how India is a very corrupt country.
The attacks of 26 November 2008 in Mumbai are a shameful day for our nation because of the way this terrorist attack was handled. The fact that a bunch of terrorists could load up on guns and just row into Mumbai from Pakistan, exposed the lack of border patrolling in our seas. The time it took for the task force to reach Mumbai, the unpreparedness of the police, the prehistoric weapons given to the police, the way our journalists relayed important information without any idea of their social responsibility etc. all point to how backwards we still our as a nation.
The Sikh riots of 1984 were another black mark in our history. Despite the fact that the Sikhs had a separatist agenda, the whole situation could and should have been dealt in a better way. The emergency and the subsequent riots and encounters of Sikh leaders is something that India shouldn’t be proud of.
The whole debate about the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya shows how India isn’t as secular as it pretends to be. Whatever be the debate about the location of the mosque, it should be dealt without violence and in a mature way. This whole controversy has led to a lot of communal violence all over India. The way the demolition of the mosque was led by right wing nationalist leaders is shameful.
The Gujarat riots of 2002 were related to the Ayodhya debate and were triggered by the Godhra train burning which was carrying activists returning from Ayodhya. The violence lasted for over 3 months. Thousands of people were killed and many more injured. These communal riots were also backed by religious and political leaders and in many places it came down to mass genocide aided by the government. Probably the most shameful part of our brief history.