• Antara Basu


“If you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to ask for a glass of milk. When you give him the milk, he'll probably ask you for a straw. When he's finished, he'll ask you for a napkin.”

The pride we have sewn in words of the anthem in our hearts, the pride we have embroidered in patterns of peacock feathers, the pride we have dyed in the saffron of our souls, the white of our minds and green of our hands. Yet, the pride we’ve lost in translation.

I. A morning bulletin which does not mourn the sexual assault that tainted the fabric of individual dignity and respect, once again the night before. Afternoon posts that pop up in our Instagram feeds wailing about Dowry’s next homicide. An evening broadcast that doesn’t bleed in the throes of communal violence.

II. Cow vigilantes who track down not people suspected of eating beef but people running Conversion Therapy and Deaddiction Centres. No more candle marches for our nations Anjana Hareesh’s, Avinshu Patel’s but them fighting on the forefront with an army of us behind.

III. Students that don’t have to skip mental health awareness seminars for completing assignments when all they could do yesterday was get through the night. But students who are given the space to fail, and not just essay projects on writing about themes like,The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

IV. The chance to identify with media, literature, and art for all colors, genders, body types, disabilities, and people. A chance to look at people who look like us and not photoshopped Barbie’s and Ken’s that make us question self-worth, just as another callous remark of, “You should lose weight” pierces our confidence.

V. Licypriya Kangujam’s, Ridhima Pandey’s, and many more in school, while survival takes a back seat to sustainability. Plantation drives, clean air campaigns, and Swachh Bharat slogans replaced by the silent success of policy framework. “Exciting possibility of life found on Venus” replaced by replenishing the possibility of life on Earth.

VI. Divisions that divide us for the IPL, lines that we draw for pineapple on pizza’s, or whether Hermione should have ended up with Harry or Ron. Not segregation of temples, wells, and roads rearing their ugly heads through the cracks in the foundation of caste discrimination.

VII. Outrage at rising crime statistics, Dalit atrocities, increasingly callous rape threats, and futile hatred. And an end to the outrage at ‘destroying Indian culture’ through women exercising in athletic wear, or consenting adults in consensual relationships.

VIII. Waking up to the sweet croons of justice as outlined in the constitution upheld by independent law and judiciary, and not social media trials with Instagram the judge, Twitter the jury and the trolls; executioners poised with French guillotines.

IX. A Bollywood that creates a name in the global entertainment industry for astounding conceptualization, cinematography, and depth of a story. A boycott for a Bollywood that seeps in blatant colorism, racism, sexualization, cacophonies with lyrics that’d put the trash to shame even in 2020.

X. A news media that strives for the purpose of journalism, truth, information, and democracy. Media platforms that act, not like gossip columns written by a 13-year-old. But those that cover real issues plaguing the country, rather than foregoing their duty to scrutinize relations between Bollywood and drugs.

And finally, Change, and Respect for our Voice.