Looking Modi’s politics from a State capital

Radhakanta Barik

On the day of International day of democracy we must relook India’s position in international body. India got Independence with a large number of nations after the Second World War which brought the end of British Empire. India opted for a democracy whereas most of the nations could not sustain democratic regimes as many of them collapsed. Only three countries are democratic whereas others collapsed. We as a deliberative democracy have suffered a jolt after Modi’s second term whereas most of the legislations have been introduced in the parliament at the last moment. Furthermore the Freedom of press has got eroded with the muzzling of the press and manipulation of the electronic media. Insecurity of journalists and academia has increased as the government is intolerant in allowing them to discuss freely. The way in one part of country has been kept under the military rule explains our callous approach to democracy. People of Kashmir are suffering from lack of communication among each other which is the basic right of everybody. Cultural pluralism and multi religious society were the backbone of the Indian democracy but the way citizenship bill has got introduced which affects our civil contract with the state.

 Stirring emotions of people by Modi's slogans are not happening now. For the first time people are not interested to listen to him including his man ki bat. His back room boys are planning to create something spectacular such as announcement of the Ram Mandir or attacking Pakistan but this item may be reserved for 2024 general election. As a magician from Bombay he is unable to create magical influence over public. Bombay is creating problems as economy is meltdown there. Modi is for the first time facing a dilemma search of new magical words for which he is engaged with some spiritual leaders. Modi has allowed his followers and ministers to speak without any limitation. This is happening in the Modi regime that any small fry in the pan can create a noise.

 After Pratap Sarangi became the minister of Modi cabinet has told that history of Odisha needs to be rewritten. The Marathi rule in Odisha according to historians is worst then it needs to be written as golden as the RSS chief comes from there. His hand is there in killing in Stein's children needs to be rewritten that Sarangi and other Bajarangdali convicted by the court are in jail except him for more than a decade needs to be rewritten that they are innocent people. He has involved in many crimes for which trials are going which he attended last week in Bhubaneswar need to be withdrawn by Modi government as Odisha government is not doing so.

 Modi's election speech is louder and his voice turns into milder as the BJP's origin lies in corrupt practices. The party collected more than 1000 crores without disclosing the sources of these finances. His speech talks of fighting corruption have turned into deaf ears of Indian public. It's like Kansa fighting against Krishna by killing children born to his father. Knowing well truth or Krishna cannot be hidden. It will come to the light one day. Prime minister Modi talks less now after the economy's slide down. His less less words are loaded in a communal political tone. His two words 'cow' and OM are used in Mathura to rouse communal tone. Cow politics in North India have created cow vigilantes and many innocent people have lost their lives because they belong to minorities or dalits. It has destroyed livestock economy even in Odisha where his voice is less audible. A section of dalits who eat beef are scared to eat here. They used to sell the skin of dead cows are being scared to do so. Fear and loss are being created everywhere. OM is a divisive word to mobilize a section of Hindus to attack the other. Modi by using these two words encouraging the RSS supporters for getting ready for another backslash.

 Odisha had a pure Hindu rule that is Maratha rule as described by P M Acharya the historian as the worst exploitive period. Fakir Mohan Senapati in his autobiography explains the Bargi rule as the worst rule. As the BJP is trying to back to Odisha which is going to be another Maratha rule as they control the RSS and Modi hails from Gujarat are going to be worst rule with the backing of Marwaris illegal trade activity. We should be careful of our economic potentials which they want to exploit after Hindutva rule.

 Economic advisor to Prime Minister Dr Roy wrote an article describing the economic scenario in India leading to underworld crimes like in Colombia. Those who are loosing the jobs may join the underworld. During the second World War the economic situation was depressing which led to unemployment and crimes. There is an Odiya story written by Anadi Kar published in Utkal Sahitya 'Muktira Parash' gives a picture related to crimes and its relationship with economic depression. In UP politics criminality and communalism have blended together which has reduced the state into a lawless one. As the Modi and Yogi who represent the state do not believe in rule of law because of their partisan behavior. Yogi who faced criminal cases against him has withdrawn those cases against him. He has withdrawn the cases against their leaders involved in riots in Muzaffarnagar despite district administration has opposed it. Most of their leaders involved in serious crimes such as murder and rapes who are defended by the government. Only those cases have got shifted to Delhi the victims are getting justice. The state has experienced a large number of riots where 3 to 5 have been killed which they claim are not communal riots. Politics of UP is going to shape the North India as these states having a high population growth and combined with economic stagnation is sitting on volcano. They are exporting criminals to other states specifically Odisha and Bengal. In Odisha serious criminal cases have been committed by those criminals.

In ancient Indian thinking there are six enemies of a good person: the most important of these is greed or lova which ruins an individual. The second one is moha or attachment to power. These two enemies are ruining the political leaders of the BJP. They are unable to look beyond and unable to discuss the issues affecting our economy and politics. NRC is a divisive strategy of the BJP while economy is ruined by their poor management and lack of integrity. As F G Bailey the leading anthropologist made a study of politicians in India and came to a conclusion that a politician makes money for himself, for his community and for the society at large. But politicians of Hindutva brand make money for themselves. From Mohan Bhagwat to many ministers of Central cabinet do business for themselves. This brings out truth that they are not concerned of society and economy which have got destroyed. The economic slide down is the result of their selfish design. This makes them to bring a divisive strategy of NRC.

 RSS suffers from the spiritual illiteracy which got exposed in the speech of its chief Mohan Bhagwat. in his speech refereed to Hindus as a lonely lion and the other was the wild dog. But dogs are a part of faithful animal who traveled with Yudhishthira while he walked to heaven whereas other brothers left him. The lion is a symbol of protector of a religious place that is the reason why the sculpture of a lion is there in front of the temple. All animals according to Hinduism have life and a close to spiritualism. For instance, in the philosophy of Dasaabataar the tortoise has a symbolic importance as an abataar. Moreover in Odisha there is a festival 'chitau Amabashya' where we worship a shell and other water animals by offering a cake. He spoke where Vivekanand spoke in Chicago about the spiritualism which fascinated the whole world. The whole world must have laughed at Bhagwat's speech given in the same place. Let us fight for saving pluralistic traditions of Hinduism from the spiritual illiteracy of the RSS.

After moving in the city of Bhubaneswar for a fortnight and listening to adda in the street corner one realized that Hindutva as an ideology has not acquired hegemony in public discourse. One feels the hegemony of Hindutva in Delhi in parks and street corner. The use of lotus flower in their everyday life. Here people use rose as a symbol of giving something. Yes the odiya media plays in favor of hindutva as they twist facts to suit the Hindutva. The way news from Puri temple town gets twisted as if Maths are the Jagannath temple. The largest circulated papers Samaj Or Sambad are twisting facts to suit Hindutva. Its high time liberals must stand up against the agents of Hindutva. They must speak loudly wherever they are present be it adda in the street corner or conference or write something in the media which can protect Odisha from threats from Hindutva. Despite some leading writers are writing for Hindutva like two days before Prativa Ray writing in the Samaj but most of them discredited because of the chameleon behavior changing to get some benefits from Modi.

Politics in India has reduced to a theatre where the main character is supposed to speak loudly without any aesthetics. Aesthetics in India has created nine rasas and each rasa has a place in a play but today the main character uses only one rasa that's horror which gives him votes that in 2019 general election he used the rasa of horror in a disproportionate manner and collected votes. His image of Pakistan in a diabolical sense helped him to win the two third majority. Today he has taken another step in the same direction that Pakistan creating problems in Kashmir for which he has removed Art 370 and kept their people in a jail. Assembly elections in three states will produce the result in favour of the BJP. It seems that prior to next election the whole country will be turned into a jail and the BJP will win the general election. Indian politics is turning into a horror story.

 Modi learns in an expensive way. It is not clear how much personal investment he did for his education but at the cost of state expenses as Prime Minister he has learned. A huge investment went for sending Chandraayan 2 to moon which could have managed our primary schools or giving relief to indebted farmers but he admits for the first time that failure in this scientific adventure will help in science. He went for demonetisation which ravaged our informal economy which resulted in deaths of hundred people and made a loss to Indian economy by 2 percentage but he has not learned anything from such a historic blunder.

 Hitler had a clear instruction to his sports persons in Munich Olympics that they belonged to Aryan race and they had to win over the American black players. This instruction made them crazy and had a false nationalism. Whenever anybody blinded with nationalism could not perform to his or her capacity. Jessie Owens found a German player could not perform in long jump. Owens a humanist and lover of sports went to his opponent German player and made him to cool down. In the final he and Owens performed well but Owens got gold and German counterpart got a medal. Today our space scientists are being blinded with nationalism against Pakistan for which their spacecraft could not reach the moon. Modi could have prided with false jingoism. Our scientists must learn from Owens that scientific adventurism is the product of humanism not nationalism.

There is an impression of JNU that everyone is a political activist. There are three types among JNU. One I met her teaching in Bhubaneswar from Rajasthan did her MA in medieval history but has no opinion on the leading historian Romila Thapar. She is a highly apolitical. There is a second type who keeps track of political events but do not involve in politics, perhaps they are the majority in JNU. Third type who is a highly political but having ideological moorings from left, Ambedkarite to Hindutva wadi but then attack on JNU by the Modi government is misplaced as the majority belongs to the first type whom I met today. The present government does not have any education policy except the RSS policy that attack everyone except those belong to them. Attacking Romila Thapar reflects their myopic view of political rule. They are scared of data generated by the government and they have abolished many functioning departments ex crime records are getting manipulated and unemployment data and economic growth are being manipulated. It looks as if Modi - Shah are ruling over India without ruling over Indian people. Ruling is also an ethical question.

 This has led them to destroy our economy and education, art and culture. As a teacher in Public Administration I feel shocked by seeing the resignation of Young IAS officer from services. Indian civil service gets evolved during the British rule and adopted into constitutional democracy by giving special protection under Art 311. Being a society based on castes and religion they are supposed to play a neutral role in protecting rights of ordinary citizen. Today after Hindutva came to power who don't believe in rule of law. The political masters today want that civil service needs to behave in a partisan manner in favor of their cadres against the Muslims and Dalits. This is unethical and illegal practice which has been practiced by the political executive. The BJP ruled states where administrative rules are violated in a blatant manner. These young officials are not ready to obey these dictates from the political masters. They feel suffocated in the present regime where democracy is shrinking. It's rules of game which need to be defended at any cost. These officials feel suffocated in Modi- Shah regime and they feel to resign from the jobs than serving the immoral and illegal orders.

 Yesterday, I was standing in a photostat shop where a young man carrying a lot of materials came to the shop by telling 'Jai Shri Ram' and made copies of these materials without paying any thing. After he left, the shopkeeper told that those who use jai Shri Ram in the land of Jagannath are basically blackmailers. They use this strategy to terrorise the opponents. After 2019 general election in the parliament the slogan was raised in countering Indian Constitution and terrorising the political opponents. This is the worst phase of Hindutva where criminality combined with terrorism are being used to crush dissent. Dissent is the essence of democracy. Are we marching towards end of History according to Fukuwama. That he argued against Socialism but today fascism has grown all over the world to bring the end of democracy.

 Why do teachers feel worried today? As teaching community requires Art 19 of Indian Constitution to perform in class rooms. Today freedom of expression has got eroded progressively. He or she respects their students without discrimination on the basis of caste, gender or race or religion, a teacher performs only by showing respect to each student but Art 14 has got eroded. A teacher makes a contract with his or her students for teaching because it is a product of social contract theory over which preamble of Indian Constitution is based, 'we the people of India' has got eroded by dividing people into castes, communities or religious groups. We cannot perform as teachers in class rooms without our commitment to our secular and democratic Constitution as we experiment democracy every day by holding a dialogue with students. Today in India, teachers feel suffocated because of a political environment created by ruling party as we cannot hold free and fearless discussion with the budding intellectuals of our new generation. Modi government has no respect for teachers as they have only respect for traders who do business make money and share with the party. In the present regime Saraswati's position has gone down in the hierarchy as they believe in recreation of social hierarchy. Teachers are the producers of knowledge who get disrespected by Hindutva as they don't believe in production of new knowledge. For them science and knowledge are being frozen in boxes of ancient time. That's the end of knowledge production. Such a ruling elite who do not respect teachers are ruling as they believe in humiliation of teachers without offering them permanent jobs.

Today Rishis are disrespected by Hindutva only pimps and prostitutes are respected by them. I stand by my suffering teachers who are struggling for their self-respect. Slowly economy is taking over politics under Modi- Shah rule as people in Odisha brands the present regime. Hindutva a balloon is getting burst under its pressures. By arresting Chidambaram has not helped their political style fashioned in rural landlord's ways. Landlords do not control masses, they starting to question the legitimacy of Modi rule. Once mismanagement of a stable prosperous economy by Modi's demonetisation policy which resulted in overall economy's decline. It's creating a high rate of unemployment. GST has further eroded the confidence of investors. The public sector has been getting privatised for some ulterior interests. Except some Gujarati industries others are openly protesting against Modi's rule. It looks the present majority may not be able to usher in stability. But it has created distrust and disenchantment all around which may explode at any moment. Politics of street is going to take over political order under Parliamentary democracy.

The BJP has been ruling for some years now. They were a part of Janata Party with two critical portfolios. They ruled as the supporters of VP Singh government. Vajpayee government ruled six years. Modi government has completed its first term. Modi is ruling his second term. Now they can't complain against Indian people that they have not got a chance to rule. But ruling is not being done with the state force, but it is a moral and ethical question. Here the BJP has lacked moral and ethical values which the Congress Party had. They had moral support from Indian public which the BJP lacked. This reflects in their administrative behavior by using CBI and ED against their political opponents which reflects the behavior of a local land Lord against his rivals. They have been attacking the academia and intelligentsia.

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Sep 19, 2019

Prof. Radhakanta Barik [email protected]

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