Modi’s India

Radhakanta Barik

I agree with Guardian view of Modi's politics which can be summerised in one sentence: “Modi’s India is a reflection of its progenitor: culturally arid, intellectually vacant, emotionally bruised, vain, bitter, boastful, permanently aggrieved and implacably malevolent”. On the date of election result came out I was  walking in the streets of Dwaraka the sub city of Delhi explains what is going to be the election result. This is a middle class city where people live in their cooperative housing complex or DDA complex. They have taken leave from the offices and listening to the television as one moves in the colony at ten AM a noisiest scene is there as everybody’s television is on. Furthermore the lonely streets of Dwaraka remind me the Sundays of Delhi while Mahabharat was getting screened in Doordarshan. Middle class wants to celebrate today going to sweet stalls where sweets are made by looking at the lotus flower. The florists of Dwaraka from Calcutta with whom I keep in touch. They say that they have a demand for buying lotus flower for which he has imported from the West Bengal. Middle class is interested in false bravado of Modi. There are many Ms working today. M for Modi, M for money, M for EVM or M for muscle power M for media, Combination of all these M have created a new force in trigonometry of politics. Brought Hindutva to rise with the help of Pukham and Balakot. This brings an end of road which gives victory to Modi rather than the BJP.

 Yogendra Yadav, the leading political analyst is facing problems in conceptualization of Indian politics. He became a media person being a psephologist and predicted in 2004 for the BJP 350 seats. I was there in Baroda where the university guest house was packed with people to listen to him and his prediction specifically for the BJP. This did not work for which he got disappointed and turned into a political analyst. This brings a question regarding his comment: “The Congress must die”. This does not happen in the history of political parties which have ideology, organizational structure, political programme. The Congress as a multi caste multi community and multi class party is going to survive as a section of each caste or community or class will support the party. It has ideology which is democratic socialism which provides the life line to the party. It has a party structure from district to province to center. The party has got a young leader who is the only leader apart from Left is taking the bull by horns. He made frontal attack on the RSS and Modi. This brings the truth that false nationalism of the BJP may give them a victory but they lack political imagination to manage a multi caste, multi class and multi religious society. They lack economic imagination to take care of problems of masses be farmers or youths or workers. The Congress knows how to manage the nation in international plane. "Pitted against Modi's communicative onslaught Rahul Gandhi carried little appeal." (Indian express May 22,19) On the contrary Rahul Gandhi is able to challenge well but false nationalism has taken over the mob which has defeated the Congress Party not Gandhi. I as a Marxist critic writing this to a friend of mine Yogendra Yadav.

After the exit poll survey conducted by the channels three days before which needs to be placed in the context of Indian public? Today I found that the officers of SBI celebrated over the news by sitting together and telling ' Kya Modi sahab ka chehara dekhai pada raha raha? “What a great appearance of Modi today' This was the question by some one of the ten officials. One replied to them 'Pura nal hai' (his cheeks look reddish). That exit poll news has given Pyrrhic victory. These are employees are facing the uncertainty of their next month salary and SBI experienced high amount of Non Performance of Assets. Most of the rich friends like Modi Chowki have taken a heavy borrowing and without payment they have run away. The bankruptcy law may be applied over their bank if Modi comes. But this middle class are already in celebrating mood. This class between Rs 30000 to a Lakh are ready to support Modi who does not have any economic policy. The Hindu right wing in Meerut has threatened some Muslim neighbors to leave the locality if Modi wins. Industrialists are nervous which indicate their behaviour as Ambani has withdrawn the defamation case against Herald House. CBI has withdrawn disproportionate property case against Yadavs of UP. A scary scene has developed over the exit poll survey. The election result is worse than the election prediction on the basis of exit polls.

The Election Commission through its actions losing its moral authority over Indian voters. In last three months it has been acting in favour of those are in power. It is a constitutional body with an immense legal power for conducting the general election in a smooth and effective manner. It has the Regulatory power to handle many other institutions such as state police and civil administration in a coordinated manner. Its mandate is getting questioned as decisions are not taken in a unanimous manner. The laws for managing the used EVMs and unused EVMs are the same. It should not get tampered at all. Yesterday the way unused EVMs have been taken in private cars create doubts in public regarding the bureaucratic administration of managing the post-election scenario before the election result is getting announced. Then a day will come that people of India will distrust the actions of the Election Commission.

For the first time in the Jagannath land there was a group of people started marching on the road while shouting "Je Jai Sri Ram boliba nahi, se a desh me rahi pariba nahi." In Odiya vocabulary, there is no such word 'Sri Ram'. Yesterday I was talking to a friend from Odanga where there is a temple Raghunathji. This is an old Ram temple built by the local king. One finds that there is no word Sri Ram. People use Ram Mandir or Rama Mandir. In Bhubaneswar there is a Ram Mandir built by Marwaris from Rajasthan. People say that Ram mandir nobody says in Odisha "Jai Sri Ram'. This is the cultural difference and distinctness of Odisha society. Today is the day for celebration of cultural diversity which needs to be recognized by everybody. In every society there is a different cultural tradition and it needs to be respected. Every twenty KM language changes and culture changes which is a reminder to the Hindutva forces that their attempt of homogenization will not work in India. Their project of homogenization has created an all Indian middle class highly technocratic in nature without any social and political outlook. They are the great supporters of the Hindutva project based on Jai Sri Ram. They are imposing the Gujarati model where Sri Ram and money making combined beautifully. 

An average Gujarati knows how to make money every move by harming others interests if possible. Recently going from Baroda to Kutch I found a trader family was going for doing some puja. While returning I saw them in the same bogey and sitting in front of me. He requested me to leave my berth by which his friend's family can be accommodated there. I left my berth without knowing the implication of it that it is up to Ahmadabad. He did not tell me the whole story. I was sleeping in the berth and found somebody came at the station of Ahmadabad and told me to vacate it. He claimed that this berth was allotted to him from Ahmadabad to Baroda. I got off in the middle of night and sat. The family whom I know and got down with me at Baroda without feeling sorry for creating inconvenience. This explains their characteristics as a community. They have moved to Africa in 14th century and to other parts of the world as traders. They made money by doing trading. For them making money and practicing religious festivals go together. They financed Modi and Advani while the rath move in Gujarat to Ayodhya. They financed the Akhardham temple in river bed of Yamuna which got an approval during Vajpayee's time. Modi got nominated by five Gujarati industrialists as the leader of the BJP with the backing of the RSS. Each move they make money and power. They supported him in 2014. Their control over media has been used in those days and today for the election campaign of 2019. They allowed their channels to speak in unison on the exit polls and predicted 300 for BJP. This has boosted the Sensex surges 14000 points. Gujaratis are bulls sitting in Bombay Stock exchange market. They wanted to make money which they have done already before the 23rd May. What an interesting business which cannot be understood by the Harvard scholars. Furthermore they want to confuse the opposition.

As the electronic media played a havoc with the Indian voters in 2014 general election and it has done so in the 2019. As most of the channels belong to one family including NDTV then one cannot expect any neutral treatment from them as the family who owns the majority of electronic channels also the main financer of the BJP. This brings the death of truth in media today. The moment election got over they started doing their exit poll survey and their prediction. They maintain a control over the way prediction is going to happen. This helps them to make speculative money in the Stock Exchange Market as these industrialists are the major players in the market. To satisfy the sata market they have also oriented their political predictions. The whole thing looks like a well-orchestrated designed programme to satisfy one industrial family and one leader and one political party and one so called cultural organisation.

Modi is not Napoleon who has returned from the holy place of Kedarnath as happened in the spring of 1814, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of Elba off. Monarchy returned back and return of Napoleon changed the balance of forces against the Monarchy. Modi has returned back after the puja and hoping that people would change their mind would support him in the 7th phase of voting of the general election. Voting percentage has increased in this phase People's anger has increased with the temperature of main land. Modi's one day stay in a coolest place with hitter and telephone provided by the District administration violating the code of conduct and environmental law of Himalayan zone as it is an ecological sensitive zone. He hoodwinked the public by making religion as a grand spectacle by wearing a saffron dress. He is no way French hero Napoleon.

There is a badi pala (duet pala) tradition in Odisha which is recognized as a folk theatre. Minimum two parties or more can play in the duet and while staging the play the palawala uses a literary style with the support of music and instruments and use of mimicry for telling the story. While telling the story to the audience he or she raises the question to the opponent and it is the moral responsibility of the other party to reply. This gives a maximum pleasure to audience and they compare the two or more artists and tell who is the best. it is being done in a democratic manner. Indian election politics of 2019 looks like a Badi Pala but without following the rules of the game told above. For instance there are many players in the field competing for getting the best position but very often the players do not answer to his or her opponent. They reduce it to the farce. For instance, in a badi pala one player staged the pala regarding the battle between Arjun and Nagarjun from Mahabharata. Mostly they bring stories from the epic. In the battle Arjun gets furious because his mother and parents get defamed by his opponent Nagarjun. Here in poll fray for the first time Modi using the parents of his main opponent Rahul Gandhi. He is like Arjun getting furious but in a gentle manner telling that he would not bring the stories of Modi's parents to the electoral politics. Modi and Shah always cite Mahabharata and Ramayana without following the rules of the game regarding the battle. It is very much disturbing for political scientists that first time after the 1951 general election the Prime Minister Modi does not follow the basic principles of poll game and as the Members of Election Commission are siding with him he is able to tell anything regarding Gandhi's parents and even his sister. This is immorality in Indian politics if takes the moral standard fixed in ancient texts but he thinks politics and love have no ethics and anything helps him to win is called morality. Be the Pukham, Ballakot, Ghush kar Maronge and false canards about Rajeev Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.

Why do BJP take up case of Pragya Thakur as MP candidate in Bhopal? This is the centre of India. If she wins tomorrow then they will say that people are accepting her as the leader. She is supposed to go to the court every week as the trial is going on the charges of terrorism. Then she has given a statement that killer of Gandhi Godse is a patriot and this is not a peripheral observation. The RSS and Modi want that the periphery must come to the centre. Then they can play their cards on the march to the Hindu Rastra in a planned manner. If they win tomorrow and then they will say that they have a mandate to change the Indian Constitution specifically Art 25 to 29 which provide rights to religious groups and atheists. Their election manifesto under Vajpayee carries this that this section should go and the Preamble will change according to their political design. That secularism and socialism should go. It looks like a great political move by Modi and the RSS. Only way that Indian people must stop these people going ahead by defeating them. This is the way Fascism grew in Germany as Hitler won the election and decided to ban the election. Mixture of communalism and Corporate houses is called fascism in Germany and in India.

They have won a landslide victory. They understood the language of war. Modi has come to power he will face rebel from backwards, Dalits and working class and farmers. Each small or big community has a god or goddess. This is a continent with million faiths and sharing the same space. The Hindutva forces have politicized the religion and questioned the Hinduism as a religion with a web of million faiths.

“The Sea of Faith
Was once too, at the full and round earth’s shore.
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating to the breath
Of the night wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world. ( Mathew Arnold)

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

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May 24, 2019

Prof Radhakanta Barik

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