Hypocrisy Unlimited

Gone are the days of protest meetings and rallies. Taking advantage of Corona crisis and Lock Down imposed frequently without much thought behind it, the Modi government is hell bent on suppressing any voice of dissent, mild or strong. What the saffronites are doing at Ayodhya to build the Ram Temple is a serious matter but what they are doing to crush freedom of speech in every corner of the country is more serious and dangerous as well. In connection with Bhima-Koregaon episode, they have been systematically harassing intellectuals with independent opinion. Vara Vara Rao and other human rights fighters of international repute are behind bars for no crime. In this ‘biggest showpiece of democracy’ it is difficult to support any democratic movement. In truth, it is hypocrisy unlimited. The much-talked about Bhima-Koregaon rally was an exercise of democratic rights by the dalits—the most oppressed section of Indian society. Now the notorious National Investigation Agency (NIA) has launched a renewed witch-hunt against social activists. They have summoned Partha Sarathi Roy, a renowned scientist and democrat, and two others, namely K Satyanarayana, a noted Dalit scholar and activist and his brother K V Kumranath' a senior journalist. Perhaps Satanarayana's only offence is that he happens to be son-in-law of Vara Vara Rao has been summoned for interrogation in connection with Bhima-Koregaon case. Human Rights bodies across the country have taken to streets to condemn Modi’s heinous policy of terrorising independent thinkers. Those who are being targeted over the Bhima-Koregaon issue are all democrats and liberals, not attached to any political party. They don’t even belong to traditional left parties. This government of saffron fascism won’t tolerate any democratic discourse. Saffron Fascism means war—war against rationality and people who fight for the just cause of the oppressed.

Lock Down, rather unplanned lock down, has tremendous impact on the economy. Small enterprises are almost finished. The Modis do not bother about the small, they think big—they think how to bail out the Ambanis, Adanis and their “Fortune’ cxlub of billionaires. Workers, daily wage earners are suffering most. And the plight of migrant workers defies description. Many died due to exhaustion in their long journey to reach home on foot. Almost all migrant workers are now jobless. They don’t know when they will get back their normal life. They are out of employment and they will remain so for long because nobody knows when Corona will go away from the face of the earth. Corona is the killer but joblessness is the most dangerous killer, ruining family after family. Half-hearted measure against Corona is simply aggravating the agony of the poor. Corona has opened doors for unscrupulous nursing homes and some doctors who are at worst mercenaries under the apron of medical service.

In the absence of any meaningful opposition by the Opposition parties the government looks too desperate to allow human rights crusaders and social movement organisers exercise their constitutional rights. It’s fascism in the guise of parliamentary democracy. It can’t be fought simply by periodically issuing press statements. As for the main Opposition party—Indian National Congress— the less said the better It’s a house divided. It can’t fight Modi.s Bharatiya Janata party and its ideologue—RSS—in a situation of directionless governance. What Rahul Gandhi is saying from time to time, hopefully, to remain alive in political race, about Modi’s surrender of Indian territory to China in Ladakh lacks substance. It is the bitter legacy left by history.

Everywhere border disputes are setteled diplomatically, with the strategy of ‘give and take’. Neither the Chinese nor the Indians are interested in it. No doubt sometimes China’s arrogance borders on aggressive stance. But Beijing too accuses New Delhi of same aggressive postures along LAC--Line of Actual Control. Surprisingly, India’s media persons carefully avoid China’s version of Ladakh stand-off.

All things considered , Modi’s India is crumbling on every front. As a result his crisis managers are becoming restless while shifting public attention to secondary issues. The victims are, however, democrats and liberals like Partha Sarathi Roy and others who refuse to kowtow to Modi’s ruthless campaign against human rights activists.

Vol. 53, No. 12, sep 20 - 26, 2020