BJP's Emergency Cry

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is apparently in a distressed situation, and has fallen back on the old theme of the Emergency of 1975. The imposition of the Emergency was a ghastly deed, but in the successive poll campaigns ever since the 1990s, the BJP never raised this issue. Atal Bihari Vajpayee is not known to have made it a point in his political speeches. It is not that the RSS and present day BJP leaders were the only victims of the Emergency. Naxalites, much before the Emergency, were subjected to mass arrests and cold-blooded killings, and after the imposition of the Emergency, they were all banned. Two Naxalite prisoners, Bhumaiya and Kesta Goud, were hanged in Andhra Pradesh. Many opposition leaders, and Mr Jayprakash Narayan were imprisoned. It may be recalled that Mr Vajpayee, unable to bear impriosonment, wrote to Indira Gandhi pleading for kindness on the latter's part, and was allowed the opportunity to remain in parole for the greater part of the period. Another point to note is that the then RSS chief, Balasaheb Deoras, wrote several times to Indira Gandhi pleading for mercy, but could not obtain any favour. No important Naxalite leader, however, is known to have resorted to such methods for securing his release. Likening Indira Gandhi to Hitler is hypocritical, because M S Golwalkar, the guru of Modi, Shah et al was an admirer of the Nazi style of nation building. In British India, the RSS, in fact, provided the singular example of deprecating the anti-British movement while admiring German Nazism at the same time.

An outfit with such a record is trying to revive the memories of the Emergency, which was no doubt a fascist measure supported by one section of the big business led by the Birlas. This is really funny.

Right now, successive electoral setbacks and growing discontent on various issues have put the Modi-Shah combine in serious trouble. Intensification of repression on dalits and religious minorities, and killing of rationalists may gladden the hearts of some, who are almost pathologically communal, dalit-hater and obscurantist. But the country as a whole has not succumbed to this madness, and voices of protest are rising. Pitting one community against another is also not of much help. The economy is weakened by measures like demonetisation and GST, and farmers are on the war path, braving police firing. Hence an anti-Pak war hysteria in the name of nationalism is urgently needed, particularly after the ignominous retreat at Doclam, and in order to attack the supposedly main electoral rival, the Congress, the memories of the Emergency have to be revived. The stark fact is that people are living in a state of undeclared emergency in which the media are controlled by pro-Modi corporates. Indira Gandhi in the face of the nationwide movement led by JP and finally after that historic judgment of the Allahabad High Court, became nervous. Modi has become jittery after clearly realising that his tubthumping no longer yields expected dividends. Harried by growing social unrest at home and increasing isolation in international arena the Modis are trying to woo America rather shamelessly.

How far this will succeed after the latest US-Iran-India tangle and India's need for Iran's oil at concessional rates remains to be seen. They are allowing the corporates to plunder the resources of the country. One may undertake a survey about the colossal amounts of loans taken by the Adanis, Ambanis and other corporate groups from public sector banks that remain unpaid and how the new FRDI bill designed to serve them. This is only natural, because these corporate groups have spent billions of rupees to enthrone Modi in power. But trying to serve them brazenly is not so easy and there is opposition everywhere in varying degrees, despite many wicked practices of non-Modi power-crazy politicians. Hence in order to return to power, Modi and his colleagues feel compelled to talk of the Emergency and to unleash a fresh wave of war hysteria.

Vol. 51, No.1, Jul 8 - 14, 2018