“April the cruelest Month" in life of Indian Democracy

Radhakanta Barik

Modi's Guru Advani was silent for a period of five years. After he was forced by Modi- Shah not to contest from Ahmadabad from this constituency he has been winning for last six times. He has written a blog which has created a sensation and getting discussed among channels and print media. That he questioned Modi's intention of branding the political opponents as anti-national. His observation has come in late as the BJP and the RSS think that they monopolize the nationalism and anybody questions the behaviour of defence forces is anti national. Their nationalism is the blind support for defence forces.It has gone to the extent that Yogi is telling in a press conference that Indian army is Modi's army. It is supported by the General V K Singh who is a cabinet minister of Modi's government. That means V K Singh was the General of a private army and retired and does politics for the BJP. Modi has not questioned neither Yogi nor V K Singh. It is free for anybody within the BJP and they may brand Advani now as anti national as he questioned their leader Modi.

There is a report in a leading newspaper those politicians were associated with the Ram Mandir politics such as Advani, Joshi,Uma Bharati and many more have no place in the present day politics of the BJP. They have not given tickets in the coming general election. What can be the reasons behind their disappearance from the Saffron political sky? The underlying reason is this that the present day leaders of the BJP have taken over the politics of the Rath in a brutalised manner. Modi, Shah and Yogi all of them have been trained by these seniours who are guiding the present day politics  of the BJP. They worked for creating a political environment of distrust and disharmony among various groups and communities. After their departure these new bunch of leaders are working to create wars among these groups. Advani and Joshi must have sound sleep as their probationary have acquired skills to be the leaders today. They used to speak evil but these young leaders can speak evil and work out their evil design. They destroyed the Babri Masjid and these young leaders are ready to destroy any public institution such judiciary, parliament and executive. They can play with army, CAG and they can destroy the public institutions like the universities and IITs what not. The older generation leaders had proper qualification and products of the best universities and today's leaders do not have degrees. The older generation carried riots and used those for political campaigns and today's leaders are ready to dip their hands into blood anywhere and any place. They have grown in a proper guru -shisy tradition where the Guru Dronaacharya trained both Pandavs and Kaurabas but here the Guru is teaching in muscular politics where the use of arms and ammunition can be handled by the some other organisations. Advani, Joshi and Uma Bharati all three used to read and speak in English and Hindi. They can speak only in Hindi and can compel people to listen to them. They depended on some newspapers like Dainik Jagaran and India today all the newspapers and the whole electronic media except some are serving the BJP. Modi, Yogi and Khattar etc are the real inheritors of their older generation of leaders. Good bye to the old and no welcome to new.

2002 Gujarat produced a new brand of politics where language of hatred has turned into a normal political discourse. This happened with the incident of Godra which was a communal hot place during the colonial rule. The Hindutva forces knew the importance of Godra as it turned  a name into adjectives. The communal tone got prepared by Modi as the chief minister to destroy the language of Gandhi- Patel. This language consisting of words like Pakistan , Aurangzeb etc got coined by Modi. Anybody whom they do not like in politics they would brand them as Aurangzeb and pro Pakistan. Once Modi shifted to national stage his backroom boys advised him not to use these words in 2014 general election where he used the words like development and governance which are anathema to his normal language. In 2019 Modi has returned back to his old style.  There is an Odiya proverb that the tail of a dog cannot be straight it remains as usual. He is bringing the court judgment like the acquittals in the Samjhauta blasts into political discourse. He has selected the places like Wardha where Gandhi spent some years of his life in constructing his ideas related to Swaraj on the basis of voluntary donation of land to the poor. That there is no such concept like Hindu terror and it is creation of political opponents. He wants to bring the conversion of Aurangzeb and Pakistan into political discourse. At least one editorial in Indian Express says ' It is unbecoming of the Prime Minister.' Modi is not bothered of the print media as he has taken over the electronic media to appeal the voters. he election manifest is getting discussed among people. The Congress has brought back public interest in politics. As 2014 general election Shri Modi gave slogans like 15 lakh into every body's bank account. There would  be no black money and farmers would  get cost of production plus fifty percentage. There would  be 2 crore jobs every year. Five years passed no programme has got implemented. All these have proved to be like fake news getting circulated in Z tv channel. 

Yesterday the Congress manifesto has brought back public interest in politics and specifically election politics. Today while going by Riksawa at the border of Delhi and Gaziabad the riksawa puller is aware of the election manifesto. He is a migrant labour from Bihar. He is particular conscious of the fact that the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (Nyay). As he is aware of this fact as he says it is going to be K and Kh for him. He explained me that K stands for Karma or work which is going to be there and Kh or B plan will help him to come out of poverty. It is going to benefit him as they are discussing over the issues affecting them and but they will take the decision whom to vote soon. 
The BJP says manifesto of lies is going to work with the Indian public as they have seen lies in their eyes for five years.

In a discussion over the issue of the Congress Manifesto in a television channel a seniour journalist raised a point to be taken into consideration regarding the character of Spokesperson of the Congress Party and its difference with the spokesperson with the BJP. The former does not get irritated over the questions raised whereas the latter gets jerked while questioning by the journalist. It brings out the truth underlying our civilization that argumentation is the basis of our culture be it oral or written. It is done in a spiritual tradition which explains the character of Hinduism. That Sankaracharya while walking over the India confronted a dialogue with the intellectuals in the night stay. In one case like in Darabhanga before entering into Bengal he got a chance to debate with a Maithali intellectual and accepted his questions as he did not have answers. For searching answers he went back to Kerala and worked hard. Then came back for a dialogue with the concerned scholar. This was happening in Hinduism and also in modern thinking. Dialogue and doubt are the basis of knowledge production. Hindutva does not believe in both neither a discussion over the critical issues confronting Hinduism or society. This gets resulted in announcement of demonitisation by the Prime Minister Modi. He was nervous in talking to his own finance minister. The same thing happened in going for the Rafeal deal without talking to the Defence minister. In Hinduism there is no dialogue for some years that brings back the issue of superstitious belief over many issues including the issue of the Ram temple.Modi is ready to tell “Man Ki Bat’ as a brave soldier but he turned into timid one to face the Press Conference as he has not held any press conference for the last five years.

The high rate of unemployment in rural India which has resulted in the decline of marriages in rural Odisha. In our locality for last two years there has been hardly any marriage function held. People from far off places like me we visit our villages during the marriage seasons it creates a festive mood and we share their joys and happiness. Today young people cannot go for love marriage easily as they do not have jobs. This unemployment is chronic that one can feel it. One can remember a Bengali folk song in Shantiniketan sung by Bhupen Hazarika and the song is in a duet form between the young girl and young boy. When are you going to marry me? The answer is : this is the rainy season when we are busy in cultivation and we will marry some time afterwards. Then the monsoon gets over then September and October come then the girl demands that Monsoon is gone then are you going to marry me in this Autumn. Then the boy says that this is the puja months. Then the puja months get over then the girl asks a question when are you getting married as winter has come. Then the boy answers that winter is the harvesting time then we will marry in the coming Spring that is March and April. Then winter passes away the girl compels the boy to get married as spring has come and everywhere there is flowering season. Then boy says that the summer will be the right time. Spring passes away then the summer approaches the girl tells the boy in desperation: When we are getting married? Then the boy answers honestly that there is no employment How can I marry. This sort of chronic unemployment never gets experienced by rural people be they educated or semi educated or unskilled labour. The voice of the unemployed youths in both boys and girls should reach the Prime Minister Modi and prepares a plan of action for facing them. He should not talk of Kashmir or Pakistan but the unemployment, wage and income now for coming two months of general election.

Modi came today to Kalahandi of Odisha  and talked of his triranga Yatra from Kashmir to Kalahandi which did not create ripples in the hearts of audience. Kalahandi stands for a metaphor for poverty which has come out the poverty trap because of the central government under Rajeev Gandhi's KBK programme which gave a special allocation of resources for poverty alleviation. The abandonment of Rajiv's KBK plan by successive Governments needs explanation.

This special project KBK got abandoned by Modi and no new step in the direction of development of this region. There is no special allocation for development of education and health in this belt. Modi talked to hungry people of his Hindutva agenda which did not appeal. Two party workers took selfie of Modi. That brought end to his boring speech.

The Congress Party released its manifesto talking of NYAY under which every poor family would get Rs 12,000 which would benefit the poor people of Odisha. Moreover there is highest unemployment in Odisha which would benefit from the Congress Party's manifesto of employment and better education and health facilities in the government schools and hospitals. Modi's Tringa Yatra is a slogan to empty stomached people ' Bibhukhet nara ko a joke".

Today's Hindutva face and mouth is Modi who is speaking the language of Muslim League of 1950s of Pakistan. As the founder of Pakistan Jinnah spoke of a secular Pakistan then the right wing opposed the idea. He died soon after the formation of Pakistan. Then the communal elements became active in politics then they demanded the removal of Finance Minister who belonged to Ahmadiyya community as they belong to different sect of Islam. Modi is constructing Indian state in the lines of Pakistan in the early 1950s. Modi is speaking that there is no such Hindu terror. It means that any body belonging to Hindu community attacks the minority and Dalit cannot face trial under the law of the state. For him Rule of Law should have a slow death. Then Hindutva will encourage the Army to be active in politics. Modi has taken some steps in this direction as the present chief Rawat has been appointed by violating the seniority law in the Army. The RSS concept of nationalism is instrumental which is the army. General Rawat has every moral right to speak the political idioms. Occasionally he is coming out with a statement against Pakistan which is serving Modi. In recent attack at Pukhan three heads of the defence forces gave the press statement rather than Defence Minister. In Modi's time the Defence Minister has been marginalised. In the process all defence deals are being handled by Modi including the Rafael deal which gave Ambani more power in defence deals. Private industry specifically the Gujarati Marwaris are playing an active role in the present day. If one reads the book by General B M Kaul which explains the way marginalization of defence minister Krishna Menon has been done. But the defence generals were ambitious but they could not realise their dreams of ruling India as Nehru Krishn Menon have a better understanding of the civilian -defence relationship in a democracy.As Modi lacks understanding of the complex relationship between civilian- defence One fears that military is going to play an important role in Modi's political design. It seems that Pakistan political establishment created scope for the rise of Ayub Khan as a military ruler. Modi is doing so.

The election manifesto of the BJP described the period from 2004 -2014 as decade of decay. Modi came back to power in 2014 with thumping majority with the backing of industrialists from Gujarat and the electronic media. It is a deadly combination of money and media(M+M) both are very critical for influencing public opinion. The manifesto went on to explain: "India had a free fall on all fronts - governance, economy, diplomacy, foreign policy, border safety, etc. At the same time, corruption, scams and crime against women have reached unacceptable levels." Modi could not provide governance as for the first time within two hundred years of colonial rule plus post independent rule there was no such crimes against the minorities in the name of cow vigilantes. This was a blatant violation of human rights and constitutional rights. In terms of crimes against the minorities , dalits and women Modi government was worse than colonial administration. The crime records are not being kept now from 2016. Farmers committed suicides which has increased in his period that their products did not get due price as he promised to the farmers. Corruption in one deal that is Rafael deal where 30,000 crores are involved which is the highest in the post Independent India. There is a failure on the front of diplomacy as India's relation with neighboring countries has worsened today. Economy is down in terms of growth and India is suffering from the high unemployment in the last 45 years. Modi's slogan 'good governance' has failed and his government has failed on all fronts where UPA government has maintained better economic growth and employment generation activities. Farming crisis has turned into worse  today.  According to Modi, Manmohan Singh is the honest Prime Minister whereas Modi is the corrupt Prime Minister after Independence. His government lacked competent people which was branded as one and a half government like a NGO is being characterised by many as one the founder cum director of the NGO and a half an accountant to fudge the records.

Hundred artists involved in film making have come out in opposition Modi and Hindutva politics. They are from different parts of India speaking in unison in favour of democracy. It is wrong to presume that Indian film makers or actors are supporting Modi. It is wrong to presume as art and politics has a subtle and sensitive relation. For instance films in the early 1950s and 1960s speak loudly in favour of nation building activities. Raj Kapoor's Awara to Dilip kumar's Ganga Jammuna or Maboob Khan's Mother India brought out the best from our film makers in speaking for a construction of nation on the basis of a constitutional democracy. Guru Dutta's Pyasa has pleaded for freedom of an artist in a bazar economy. Most of the play back singers to lyricists were political who pleaded for social democracy in a constitutional manner. Declaring that a child does not have religion except he is a human being itself questions the religious basis of human being. Sunil Dutta speaking in class room in a dialogue with his small children who questioned him regarding the secularism while riots were going on. Hindi film world started declining in 1980s and 1990s in political terms except the films of Shyam Benegal. In regional films there were outstanding films makers like Satyajit Ray to Addoor Gopalkrishnan and Mrinal Sen made films based on social realism which speak of democratic politics.

Today Hindi film world are having actors, lyricists, film directors who stand for democracy. Guljar, Javed Akhtar Sobna Ajmi stood with progressive politics. But surely they do not go with Modi. It is wrong to presume the young film makers who made Gully Boys or October all talk of rights of slum people to young people to make love. 

There are people like Paresh Rawal to Anupam Kher openly side with the BJP. But there are many actors who are conscious of their right to artistic freedom like three Khans who refused to come to stand with the Prime Minister of Israel when Modi invited them expressing their position clearly. Indian film making is much more complex and creative who cannot but to stand on their foot and defend democracy vs fascism. It is wrong to presume the film actors, directors and musicians whose silence cannot be taken granted by the Hindutva forces specifically Modi

Today the hundreds of writers have come out openly to speak Indian voters not to vote for hatred which is a signal for the coming days as the April is the cruelest month according to TS Eliot. This is the feeling of writers and artists and poets and singers. They are speaking loudly today. Let us hope that their words enter into ears of our voters in the era of hypernationalism.

The electronic media is having a supply of news but no demand for the news as the Modi economics work today. There is a mid day news regarding Modi's desperation to cling to power. He has invited all the so called stalwarts of the BJP to Ahmadabad to address the rally. Modi over five years after winning the general election of 2014 created an inflated image for himself. The electronic media gave coverage to it by giving a wide coverage to the image building of Modi. While discussions started in the electronic media over the election scenarios the big picture of Modi was hanging behind the experts discussing the contours of the election politics. This continued till the last assembly elections to Rajathan, MP and Chhattisgarh started. As the seniour journalists told: "Yes there is a positive sign for the Congress Party but once Modi comes then the positive sign will disappear." Construction of inflated image of Modi reached the rural hinterland. According to some scholars the image of Modi reached the villages of Uttarkhanda through the electronic media. Prior to 2014 election voters were not aware of the presence of Modi as a political animal. Sudden arrival of a political animal with many legs and many hands, many heads and many tongues created a Modern Ravan with so many heads. This hydra headed person is looking for help to win the general election of 2019 with the help of his old party colleague explains his politics of desperation.

Language is power in our society. Gentle words are the products of the medieval Bhakti movement when many thinkers like Nanak, Kabir and Chaitany and Bhasav etc created a movement for speaking gentle words to your people. Memory of upper castes gets articulated in power against dalits, backwards, poor and women etc. It is interesting to note here that BJP has got this language as power as their leaders speak those words. Modi as their leader is speaking 'Ghar ke andar ghush kar marunga". This is language of power of feudal lords cum upper castes.In our childhood I have heard this from the feudal lord who exhibited his power by speaking out these words to a barber who refused to obey. Modi is the present day feudal lord who spoke this sentence against the dalits, minorities and women and poor.The second word 'sarab' which speaks of the mentality of the Hindutva politics. Sarab stands for alcoholism which is against the upper caste Hindus. They think the lower cases practice the drinking habits. This is used as a vulgar words for the upper castes. Modi by coining the word Sarab for the alliance of political parties SP+RLD+BSP = SARAB which is the drinking habits of poor and dalits. This SARAB is going to threaten Modi to make him out of power it is like the prohibition law getting enforced by his government while he was the chief minister. If you enter from the front gate of the restaurant or hotel, then you will be served with vegetarian food and if you enter from the back door you will be served with liquor and meat. They dominate UP politics which Modi Yogi hate. Today the SP BSP, RLD +Congress are  ready to make Modi to loose from his own constituency of Banaras. Thanks to these forces whom the Hindutva hate but they are the real strength of the present day democracy.

Prof Radhakanta Barik, retired as Professor, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi

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Apr 12, 2019

Prof Radhakanta Barik [email protected]

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