8 Years of Modi Raj

As Narendra Modi comple-ted his eight years tenure (May 30 2022), there are claims and counter claims about the performance of his regime. Modi acolytes are very happy that during Modi’s rule India has made great leaps in all areas of development. Various leaders from Amit Shah and others have praised the achievements of last eight years. Many others have also written to highlight the schemes for housing, vaccination, women taking the wheel (Smiriti Irani), Ujwala Gas Yojana, the Jan Dhan bank accounts etc. For all practical purposes this is a period for ‘Great Leap Backwards’.

While the opponents of the Government rightly highlight that there have been massive setbacks due to demonetisation, the sudden Covid-19 lockdown led to mass migrations under adverse situations and the lockdown also revealed the inadequacy of health services. There is a record rise in unemployment, the farmer’s plight has worsened and people see the rising prices of essential commodities. The rupee is falling. The Modi brigade claims that there were no incidents of communal violence, but reality shows not only the increasing acts of violence peaking in the Delhi violence of 2020, but also the growing discord between two major religious communities.

The ‘hate other’ (i.e. Muslims and Christians) has become the new normal for the frontal outfits of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Modi’s achievements are being shown in the form of building of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Kashi Corridor and revival of communal issues around Mathura, Taj Mahal, Jama Masjid and Baba Budan Giri in Karnataka. Globally India has slipped down on different indices: democracy, freedom of religion, freedom of press, hunger and happiness to name a few.

There are many aspects of the decline in the freedoms, freedom of expression being one of them. Many intellectuals and activists are being incarcerated while those making Hate speeches (Yati Narsinghanand, Suresh Chavanhke and company are roaming with big baggage of Hate, confident of the fact that they are safe and secure despite giving the call of murdering, launching genocide against the hapless minority. The interesting part of the whole phenomenon is that a ‘social construct’ is being made where the victim community is being projected as the culprits. How a 90 percent disabled person like Sai Baba threatens India’s security defies any logic. The saffronites don’t think in terms of rationality, they are too irrational to be taken seriously by the civilised world.

They now frequently quote Gandhi to justify their deeds or mis-deeds. In truth they are in a mission to appropriate Gandhi, Patel and Ambedkar. It’s a matter of time that they will talk eloquently about Bhagat Singh! But the central theme of Gandhi in his marathon efforts was Hindu- Muslim unity. This became a serious matter of concern in later period of his life. Starting from association with Khilafat movement to his travails in Bengal, particularly Noakhali and later in Delhi this was the main direction of his commitment to build an India based on its diversity and pluralism, Hindu-Muslim unity being the core of his concern. It was this which underlined his fast unto death in Delhi.

Currently hate spreading is becoming worse by the day. Modi himself leads the pack by giving the dog whistles of Hate, ‘if there was Aurangzeb, Shivaji also emerged’. Those down below and around his ideology-politics do take it further through Dharam Sansads and social media. They enjoy social impunity.

The three-day Dharam Sansad held in Haridwar in December 2021 was just one example. In this event the speeches bordered on perversion with a call for genocide in presence of prominent BJP leaders. To cap it all Modi kept a total silence on this. It is no wonder that with such an atmosphere of insecurity among minorities; on one side the Muslim communal elements get a boost but majority of them writhe in pain and insecurity. Gregory Stenton, the President of Genocide Watch says that India is already on 8th spot, in the scale of ten, of genocide. What would have been the response of Gandhi on this scenario? Just using his name as a shield cannot hide the painful realities of the society.


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Vol 54, No. 52, Jun 26 - Jul 2, 2022