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Three Years of Modi Sarkar

Three Years of Modi Sarkar

Ram Puniyani

This May 26 Modi Sarkar completes three years in office. Various programs (Modi Fest) have been organized at various places and there are plans to celebrate them in different cities in the country. The theme and underlying message of these programs is that Modi government has done remarkable work and country is moving towards prosperity for all. Modi has been labeled as ‘Gaibon Ka masiha’ (Prophet for Poor) by his acolytes. Many a channels and commentators gave him excellent grade in various of his so called achievements. As such what has happened during last three years?

There is increase in centralization of power in the hands of Prime minister. Modi occupies the core and central place in the Government and it seems the cabinet system has been given a go bye. To begin with one does concede that this regime scores extremely high in image creation. It has been able to sell most damaging moves like demonitization as doing good for the country. On the ground while a large section of people are living in the illusions propagated by the Government, its publicity and promotion by subservient media, at ground the things are much worse in the cases of production, reduction in prices of daily commodities, in the number of jobs created and in matters of material betterment of average people. The health system care has taken a further beating, the suicide of farmers has gone up in numbers. The massive protest of peasants from Tamil Nadu has been underplayed like most of the protests in the country.

The fate of electoral promises is well reflected in non fulfillment of the promise of 15 lakhs of black money being deposited in accounts of all and in absolute failure of job creation. After using Ram Temple issue for polarization, now Holy Cow has been brought into the arena of politics, leading to many lynching’s and breaking the back of large sections Muslims economically, while many a dalits and some Hindus have also been hit by this move. The cow protection policies of the Government have emboldened the vigilantes and killings in the name of beef eating and cattle trade have gone up in number due to the attitude of this government. While the guilty of crime are let off the victims have been penalized on several grounds.

The social scene is dominated by the illusory promises and issues related to identity. One recalls that in previous UPA regime, while the propaganda was much less the major issues to be debated were related to right of the people to have food, education, health care and employment etc. Now a false bravado permeates the air along with the holy cow, the muscles are regularly flexed against Pakistan in particular. One surgical strike is what is supposed to be the achievement of the Government, while regular skirmishes are going on at border with serious casualties to the army men. The Kashmir policy has created a situation where not only the disgruntled boys but even girl students are coming on the street and throwing stones. The anguish of Kashmiri people remains unattended while the failure to establish dialogue is aggravating the situation.

In matters of political orientation Hindutva is the overarching concern in most of the fields. A bird’s eye view will tell us the most glaring intrusions of ideological nature are in the field of education. Not only the autonomy of Universities has been given a go by, the culture of erosion of academic freedom is dominating in the field of academia. The new slogan is to revive the ‘traditional faith’ as ‘knowledge’ and to treat the mythology as history and to accord the status of scientificity to the age old empirical knowledge. Here the traditional knowledge is cherry picked which is elite or Brahmanical the one, like promotion of Gita, Sansrit and ritualism.

The trend to promote patriotism is on the upswing. The previous MHRD Minister had promoted a suggestion to put a tall pole in each university and to hoist the tricolor on that. Now another worthy is promoting the ‘Patriotism wall’ with the portraits of 21 Param Veer Awardees on these walls. From among all sections of society who contribute to the well being of society, military has been given the exalted status as the savior of the country, the producers and other sections doing yeomen service to the nation have been put on the margins. In times of Lal Bahadur Shastri, the slogan was Jai Kisan, ‘Jai Jawan’ (Hail the farmer-hail the army jawan). Now the kisan part, the farmer has been dropped.

The overall democratic space has been stifled, large section of media is taking the line which bows to the ruling government and takes to task the opposition, criticizes those who raise questions against the policies of Government. Large section of media prefers to give up its role of being the watch dog of the Government as the fourth pillar of democracy. The trend of intolerance which began with murders of Dabholkar, Pansare Kalburgi is going strong. The hate peddlers are wearing the clothes of Gau Raskshaks (Cow protectors). The language of Cow Protection, which in a way has become a symbol of spewing hate against Muslims in particular with dalits added on.

One can perceive as to how the propaganda can create and illusion of well being. Still the dissatisfaction of the people is coming up in a strong way. During last three years one has witnessed major uprisings against polices of this government. While the mobilization of farmers had forced the Government to withdraw the land reforms bill the agitations built around Kanahiya Kumar, Ramjas college, Rohith Vemula and Una tell us that the retrograde orientation of this government is being challenged from the ground. While the patronage of this government Hindutva elements are becoming more assertive, these campaigns and movements give us all the hope for preservation of a plural liberal society based on values of Indian Constitution.

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