It is Election Season

For the first time Congress is talking somewhat assertively about demonetisation. On the eve of second anniversary of demonetisation Congress president Rahul Gandhi looked aggressive enough as he dubbed demonetisation as the most ill-conceived and poorly executed economic policy with "innocent intent". In reality 'it was a carefully crafted criminal-financial scam'. No opposition political party--not even main opposition Congress—had ever seriously tried to build sustained anti-demonetisation campaign against Modi's notorious surgical strike on the economy. Note ban impacted every single person, regardless of age, gender, religion, occupation or creed. Demonetisation is the most barbaric tragedy in the lives of Indians. It destroyed millions of lives and ruined thousands of small and medium businesses, the main providers of job in the unorganised sector. Two years later scars and wounds of demonetisation are more visible. After demonetisation Narendra Modi sought only 50 days to set things right. After two years people continue to ask when things will be right. In truth demonetisation was the scam of the decade to convert black money into white. At least time is not a great healer in this case. Meanwhile the Jaitleys continue to derive comfort from 'comfortable' GDP which in reality makes little sense to people in the street. The unprecedented disaster that demonetisation unleashed on the Indian economy and society is now evident across the length and breadth of the country. While addressing an audience at the University of California in Barkley on November 9 former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan admitted in no uncertain terms that for four years, 2012 to 2016, India was growing at a faster pace before it was hit by two major headwinds—Demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Monetary crisis has snowballed to such an extent that the government looks desperate to transfer Rs one lakh crore from the Reserve Bank's reserves to tide over the fiscal deficit. But bureaucrats are divided as the recent developments in RBI show. The point at issue is how to refuel bankrupt nationalised banks. The entire economic management is in total disarray. Ex-facie what appears as Modi's whimsical move is in reality a calculated plan to loot public money and allow the corporates to do whatever they like in a situation of lesseiz faire.

Despite murmur over note ban here and there nobody talks of note ban related deaths any more. No amount of apology can mend it. Demonetisation apart, Aadhaar is yet another conspiracy that cost several innocent lives. Strangely enough, Aadhaar is not on the agenda of any political party, left or right, not to speak of Congress. After all originally it was their brain child. The Modi government is forcefully executing Aadhaar by the back door, notwithstanding some restrictions imposed by the supreme court on its implementation. By fanatically sticking to Aadhaar Modi has virtually compromised on sovereignty and national self-respect. He will go down in history as the most trusted apologist of American multinationals.

Having failed to defend the indefensible—demonetisation and all those anti-people policies Modi and his partners in anti-national crime are raking up the issue of maoist bogey and 'Congress support to urban maoists' in poll-bound Chattisgarh. He however didn't take trouble to highlight how many maoists were killed during the Congress rule. Even Arundhati Ray who won Booker Prize in 1997 for her novel 'God of Small Things', was harassed for writing a piece on Maoists in a magazine. And Congress home minister was Chidambaram at that time.

The hard fact is that any dissenter in Modi's India can be branded as urban maoist (or naxalite) as the recent happenings in relation to arrest of number of intellectuals show. Perhaps it is the easiest way to divert public attention and cover up failures. Possibly Congress spokesman Raj Babbar's statement that 'maoists are revolutionaries' uttered in a different context tempted Modi and his lieutenants to discover a covert understanding between Congress and Maoists. Congress was equally ruthless like the Modi regime to crush maoist movement. As Modi's Party—Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—is on the backfoot in Chattisgarh they need something to talk about in electioneering. So their wild imagination discovers links between Congress and Maoists. Elections to the 90- member Chattisgarh Assembly will be held in two phases on 12 November and 20 November. No doubt every seat in Chattisgarh counts for the forthcoming parliamentary polls in early 2019 because, for all practical purposes BJP is now a party of the north. While addressing an election rally in Chattisgarh Modi again dished out his gospel of development and shed crocodile tears for the tribals. If some tribal hamlets are beneficiaries in some parts of Chattisgarh it is because tribals have shown guts to defy the proverbially apathetic administration under the leadership of maoists. If they are investing in infrastructure in Chattisgarh it is because of the presence of maoists. The other day maverick Subramanium Swamy, BJP Rajya Sabha MP, urged the Modi government to deploy army to eliminate maoists once and for all. Para-military is not enough, countless false encounters are not enough. They need a full-fledged war against their own people. The army is not for external threat, the army is required to quell internal insurgency. For one thing ruling dispensation or opposition they cannot avoid maoists even in electoral politics, albeit maoists have given call to boycott elections.


Vol. 51, No.20, Nov 18 - 24, 2018