‘Desired Disaster’

Hypocrites, when they stand exposed, try every argument, however feeble that may be, in self-defence, although such arguments may fail to convince those to whom they are addressed. Arun Jaitley's shameless defence of the demonetisation and the hasty implementation of the GST have not naturally had many takers except the corporate tycoons  and a small section of people brainwashed by the media controlled by them. Of course, there are those who prefer to keep silence because of their ingrained Hindutva and their propensity to be fooled by official propaganda. Those who bore the brunt of demonetisation were workers and small traders of the unorganised sector and ordinary money-using public needing hard cash for their daily transactions. They can by no means feel gladdened by the empty talks made by Jaitley and his likes . Since 99% of the demonetised currencies returned to the banking system, talks about curbing the operations of black money turned ridiculous, and quite naturally so, because it was common knowledge that the 'black economy' operated mainly through financial assets other than hard cash and that there were institutions like the IT department and the ED for unearthing black money and unearned wealth. Even the boastful claim that India is the fastest growing economy in the world, a claim that is based on the world-wide obsession of seeing the growth of the GDP as the sole index of economic welfare, has received a rude shock because there can now be no denial of the fall in the growth rate, particularly of that of industrial output. No amount of statistical jugglery on the part of Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley and their whiz-kid advisers can nullify this fact. That the GST, at least its hasty implementation, has been harmful to small and medium entrepreneurs is a fact that even the RSS has been forced to admit.

The situation in the agrarian sector remains as dismal as before with farmers' suicides continuing with disconcerting regularity and revealing how agricultural policies are failing them. What is not less pathetic is the way farmers' aspirations are sought to be put down. The killings of Mandsaur in Western Madhya Pradesh in June, and the effort of the BJP government to defend its police force, are too fresh in memory. The latest example of police brutality in the same state is the tyranny unleashed on agitating farmers in Tikamgarh.

Despite the investment of billions of rupees by the government and the corporate lobby in building up the image of Modi and his lieutenants as well as in publicising his 'achievements', and despite the meticulously organised nationwide hate campaign, the edifice is, however, crumbling. The events at the University of Delhi provide one example. A latest example is the gathering of retired bureaucrats and veterans, civil as well as military, in order to chalk out ways to effectively confront the hate campaign. The hate campaign, the most despicable manifestation of majoritarianism, is the sine qua non for the continuation of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah's rule particularly in view of Narendra Modi's failure to fulfil any of his pre-poll promises, and this campaign has already taken many lives. Any move against this hate campaign is hence welcome and such moves, as time rolls by, are bound to grow in number and intensity. It is also suggestive that the crisis within the ruling party has come out in the open. The latest comments by Yaswant Sinha, the BJP veteran, on the astronomical rise in the turnover of a company owned by Amit Shah's son and on the permission given by the government to the additional solicitor general to fight Jay Amitbhai Shah's case even before the news was published in the online magazine The Wire, are revealing enough. More manifestations of a crisis of such sort will certainly be witnessed in the coming months, but one should not reckon too much on them for defeating the forces of corporate-baked fascism. After all, persons like Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and their likes, whatever their grievances against the Modi-Shah combine, are not going to give up their class outlooks.

Vol. 50, No.17, Oct 29 - Nov 4, 2017