April 6 Rally

Nothing to Lose But Jobs

Raman Swamy

Jan Sarokar rally in New Delhi on April 6. A huge turnout at the Talkatora stadium was certain despite the scorching heat. But so was the probability that most of the media would ignore the event altogether.

The attention of the good people of India is currently fully riveted to the exciting and entertaining drama that is being enacted on the national stage. Every hour of every day in the election season there are surprising new twists and turns in the political stock exchange of electoral fortunes. Brilliant speeches are being made and it is important to listen to every witty dialogue and to retweet every pungent social media post.

In the midst of the non-stop high-profile election campaigning by the most charismatic leaders of the biggest political parties, nobody is interested in the complaints and cries of a bunch of those who have got left behind. The rally on April 6 was nothing more than a gathering of rural and urban workers in a requiem to mourn the death of jobs during the Modi regime. Nobody is bothered about their griping and groaning.

By comparison to the fire and fury of the electioneering, the rousing of communal passions, the whipping up of hyper-nationalism, the delicious descent into personal taunts and saucy name-calling, the speeches at the Jan Sarokar rally are bound to be boring and repetitive.

The sum and substance of the outpouring of grief and misery and feeble anger is this—More than one crore people have been thrown out of employment in 2018 alone. Factory workers are drifting back to their villages in thousands and lakhs in a massive reverse migration phenomenon never seen before. Jobless, penniless and forlorn they are aggravating the already hopeless situation in the rural areas where young men are moving about listlessly with nothing worthwhile to do and older men stare vacantly and listen to charpoy tales of the good old days and the ache din that never arrived.

So what's new? And who cares? In the march towards a new India, suffering and self-sacrifice is inevitable. Many men must starve so that others can thrive. It is the law of civilisation. Fools die. For countries to grow and prosper, human beings should be ready and willing to offer themselves as cannon fodder.

As the great leader said so wisely: Country first, Party second, Self third. He ought to have added: Losers last.

Both in times of War that is battle-cry. It is the nationalistic fervour of the unwashed masses that will ensure ultimate victory. Right now India is in the throes of a great war. Those who think that the present era is a time of Peace are either delusionary or desh-drohis. The nation is being attacked by frenzied fanatics from the West and the godless yellow race from the East. Within the country there are traitors posing as political leaders who are bent on weakening the unity of the country by sowing the seeds of doubt and distrust.

In such a dire situation when the destiny of the country is at stake, is it right for disgruntled farm workers and urban labourers to hold a rally in the heart of the nation's capital to highlight their own petty individual grievances? Obviously not. Should they go so far as to prepare a charge-sheet against the government for such bold reforms like note-bandi and GST? Another emphatic no.

That too, a government led by a leader who in just five years has rooted out corruption with an iron hand, instilled fear in the enemies with a series of surgical strikes and destroyed hostile satellites 300 miles up in the skies—a visionary whose sights are set on making India—within the next five or ten or thirty years—the richest and most powerful nation in the world? Never. That would be blasphemy.

In the backdrop of such a grand perspective, doesn't the mundane People's Manifesto that the Jan Sarokar rally is planning to release from the Talkatora stadium appear short-sighted and self-centred? Yes it surely does.

It is being claimed that more than 200 NGOs are behind the rally. In a country of 1.35 crore people, 200 is an insignificant number and even if all the kisans and majdoors on the membership list add up to a few lakhs that would still be a miniscule minority of grumblers and trouble-makers.

The fact that they are demanding higher minimum wages and employment guarantee schemes in urban as well as rural areas indicates their inability to see the bigger picture. Jobs and wages will only come when industries thrive. That will happen when foreign investments flow in like a tsunami. Investments will not come unless there is a strong leader who can ensure absolute security and total discipline.

This is why the Jan Sarokar rally is an exercise in vanity and treachery. Once the elections are over, once the model moral code of conduct is lifted, once the new government is re-installed with a bigger majority in parliament, such rallies should be banned altogether. The organisers and participants should be arrested under the sedition laws with retrospective as well as prospective effect. Meanwhile, the loyal, freedom-loving patriotic mainstream media should refrain from giving any coverage of the April 6 rally and all similar events in the past and future.

The battle cry at the Jan Sarokar rally might as well be: Workers of India, Unite! You have nothing to lose but your jobs (which you have lost already anyway)!

Vol. 51, No. 44, May 5 - 11, 2019