Future of Indian Democracy

Radhakanta Barik

The Congress party is undergoing a catharsis with the letter of 23 senior leaders to the Party President regarding the reorganisation of the party. Sonia Gandhi under her chairmanship held the marathon meeting which continued for 7 hours and decided to go for holding the Congress Session in coming months who can be members into the Working Committee and the decision of making the new Party President. It is interesting to find the debates among various factions within the party having diversity of opinions which is a healthy sign for any Organization like the Congress Party. Prof Paul Brass did a study on the Congress Party and found that factionalism strengthens the party as each faction represents new opinion and new social group which broadens the Congress Party.

Indian politics is taking a new turn. Voices of dissent and protests are getting articulated at every level. The manipulation of the Supreme Court in having a judgment on Ram Janmabhumi is not helping Modi. Modi speaking there as a day of liberation is taking a new form as people of India want to liberate them from Modi. Protest in the Supreme Court by Prasant Bhusan and protest against a book on communal riots which forced the major publisher to withdraw the book. Protest against the privatisation of the airports need to underlined. Public anger is getting articulated in a multiple form. Students workers farmers are angry but waiting the day Corona goes they will stand on the street. The opposition front is evolving one. There is a major change in the Congress Party where Rahul Gandhi by his own merit not by being son of Rajeev Gandhi or Sonia Gandhi is emerging as the leader of the Party. His alliance with the left and democratic forces is going to work wonders in the present day politics.

The Modi government went for Corporate tax cut in the last September where some industrialists opposed it. According to the RBI report which says that tax cut has not helped the economy to grow as no new investment has come up. Furthermore it added that it is the lack of demand which is the real issue behind the lack of new investment which Modi does not listen to. To add more to it that the private investment comes only with the public sector puts money. With the privatization of public sector going on at a high pace may threaten the economy to slide down.

The first term of Modi went to destroy economy without data provided by the RBI but after he came back to power and went to Ayodhya and declared as a day of liberation. Things have come out to mess. According to the RBI the frauds have increased in the Banks which has increased 159% by value during 2019-20. The list of hundred people has been brought out by the Bank officers association which shows that most of them are loyal to Modi or the BJP. His second term has proved that those who close to him are ready to commit frauds as told by Shakespeare "fair is foul and foul is fair’.

During the first phase of Modi's rule, consumption level of common people fell down as they did not have work, employment and income which resulted in the decline of economic growth. The RBI has given a statement after so many years that the consumption level has fallen down and it is going to be difficult to revive the economy. That is the reason all leading economists including the Nobel Laureates demanded that the state needs to put money into the hands of the people which can create a demand and then the economy can move. But Modi's trader's mentality affects the economy that a trader does not bother of growth but selling goods and services which has pushed Indian economy into a deep recess. Poor have lost in the time of Corona as they have no income to spend in the market. Their level of consumption has further declined which has affected the growth of the economy.

Nilanjan Sarkar's article on "Politics of Vishwas" argues that people do trust a single leader rather than performance over which they are voting today. They do not trust the opposition as they are disunited. They believe in centralisation of power in a single leader .This needs explanations as Modi has got just little above 30 percentages of votes which do not indicate that the majority of people believe in faith on a leader. He is being supported by the Industrialist class who pumped money in the name of election fund which amounts to about Rs.6000 crores. Today Modi has opened the PM Cares Fund under which money is flowing from the public sector. This is unaccountable money. The present regime is able to keep his persons in each place be CAG, Election commission and members of the Judiciary. This happened during the Hitler's time that the judiciary played a second fiddle to Hitler. Politics of Vsihwas is more of Goeblesian campaign managed by the electronic media and most of the print media. The centralisation of campaign machinery by the media owned by two families is the backbone of politics of vishwas. Then the role of EVM cannot be underplayed in 2019 general election. Here politics of Vishwas is another myth created some academicians like paid journalists.

Those are sitting in chairs are losing control over the economy. Those are in power sitting in the driver's place are not aware of those sitting in the car. They are not showing their urgency as the driver doesn't know what is his destination. The car's doors are open and monkeys are sitting inside and over the car. The driver is stuck up there. This is a picture of the present rulers who have got elected by people and these leaders are not aware with what purpose they have come to power. They are sitting in driver's seats and enjoying their power. This is regarding the Modi regime who's is not aware of his agenda of government. Economy is down to one percent of growth. Unemployment is the highest in the last forty five years. 2900 communal riots have happened in the last five years. Thousands of people belonged to minorities and dalits have died and injured. One day the driver decided to drive the car backward. He declared demonization which resulted in 2 percentage of growth down. In one day he decided to take the car to the hill top but doesn't have road to the hill top. The airforce people decided to take the car to the hilltop by using their forces. He removed Art 370 from the hill top without having knowledge of the public sentiment. He has declared emergency in Kashmir by putting their people under house arrest. He is unable to come down to the ground as he doesn't know the reverse gear. He is sitting on a hill and laughing at people who voted him to power.

The BJP and RSS are shouting at the top of their voice that Vajpayee was liberal and at the same time the RSS supporters attacked a young teacher in the central university of Bihar at Motihari, Sanjay Kumar had received his Ph D from JNU a critical scholar working in university as a sociologist wrote in his face book regarding Vajpayee the day he died. His observation is sociological as he referred to Champaran as a sociological category that Vajpayee's liberalism is a disrespect to Champaran. Champaran, is not a geographical place but social space which taught Gandhi how to fight the mighty British empire in a logical and intellectual manner. The representative of the empire was the District Collector who wanted to keep Gandhi in detention. Gandhi went on hunger strike against the illegal action of the district administration. The District administration constituted an inquiry committee into the grievances of the peasantry. This resulted in remission of rent. The district administration withdrew the case against Gandhi. Gandhi refused to pay fine which forced the judge to pay for him. This case has made an echo in recent case against Prasant Bhusan a lawyer in contempt case in the Supreme Court where he cited Gandhi in Champaran by telling that it will be contempt of conscience. Gandhi moved at the plight of rural poverty which resulted in removing his dress and wearing the dhoti up to knees. One sees the picture of Gandhi one can find the vivid description the scene.

 Moreover, Gandhi learnt the most sociological insight of Indian society by looking at two crowds at the Railway Station of Motihari that one crowd belonging to upper caste and another crowd belonging to Dalits. I have worked over the issue in a paper on Jagjivan Ram. A radical political leader worked with Gandhi. This paper got published in a journal from Mysore University. The lesson that Champaran taught to administrative authority cum political authority that one has to respect the rule of law. The District Collector is not above the rule of law. The Champaran brought reconciliation of classes and castes. That peaceful reconciliation and negotiation of diverse groups with the administration which resulted in making Gandhi a liberal thinker. Vajpayee needs to be placed in the context of liberal tradition created in Champaran. Vajpayee did not go with the laws of the state while negotiating the issue of Babri Masjid. Nor they allowed the District Collector of Faizbad to take steps in legal manner to face the crowd as the Collector of Champaran did. Moreover Champaran turned into a sociological category by bringing conflict of classes and castes of Bihar society into a re- conciliatory mood. I salute the young scholar Sanjay Kumar to raise such a critical point regarding showing the fascist nature of the RSS by comparing with Champaran. I condemn the attacks on him by the goonds belonging to the RSS.

The media is taking up the issue of Sushant Singh Rajput to divert the attention of people who struggling to earn their daily livelihoods. I think it is being designed to keep the Modi Bhaktas busy in discussing the issue while the case of Prasant Bhusan has taken a form of movement in India to protect the Supreme Court as a constitutional body. As I was hearing today the conversations among the bhaktas today and they came to the conclusion that Susthant Singh has been murdered twenty four hours before. The bhaktas started discussing in telephone for half an hour and then came to such ludicrous conclusion. The whole issue may not be of any interest for ordinary citizen but for the Bhaktas who must be kept busy as they may get disillusioned soon of Modi's magical power over them. Before they leave Modi they need to be fed with the juicy stories related to Rajput.

Why Does Modi take interest in holding election of the state assembly by November of this year at the time of Covid 19 while Lockdown is going on under the disaster act where people cannot meet and hold public meetings. It is clear that the Election Commission is ready to obey his order. Modi's friend Trump in America is interested in postponing the general election to the Presidency. Let us examine the legal position of holding the assembly election when the worst situations are prevailing. This can be postponed for six months at least because of the emergency situation. Many state assembly elections have not been held because of bad law and order situation. This is not American Presidency for which the election cannot be postponed. Modi has learnt a lesson from Jharkhand and Delhi where his campaigns did not produce the magical result as required. His fear of public is making him to hold the election during Covid 19 time.As the majority of people in Bihar are poor and illiterate, they think that they can be manipulated by the EVM which is a scary scene in India today. Modi's fear of the crowd has made him to hold the assembly election of Bihar during Covid 19 time.

Modi’s politics of irrationality and unreasonable actions remind us the Nehru as a persona of reason and rationality who gave the foundation of modern secular democracy and created public sector which are getting sold by Modi whose contribution is almost negative to Indian economy and to politics.

Prof Radhakanta Barik (retd), Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi

Back to Home Page

Aug 31, 2020

Prof. Radhakanta Barik

Your Comment if any