A massive victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) in 2019 Lok Sabha elections results have proved that Indian voters can be easily fooled. It also proves that rural, as well as urban voters, demonstrated no wisdom while exercising their ballot. In addition to that, the duo Modi -Shah enormously succeeded in twisting the historical facts in the election campaigns to win the hearts and minds of the people against the Nehru era.
Return of Vijay Mallya, Nariv Modi, and many more Brahmins who looted the banks and run away from the country; $ 7 billion insolvency of tycoon Anil Ambani`s Reliance Communications Ltd; Collapse of Jet Airways; mutual funds industry sank due to media mugal Subash Chandra, Zee Enterprises Ltd; MGNERA which lifted 14 crore Indian out of poverty devastated by Modi government, all such issues have gone in the wind. Is it not shameful for those who say the Modi government has done wonderful things in five years rule?
Sycophant Indian press also helped largely to turn the tide against the jumbo coalition of opposition parties. Some ghost as well as pro-BJP journalists, writers hired by the BJP or under the duress of the Modi-Shah regime penned down a large number of articles in the daily mainstream newspapers to tarnish the image of the leaders of the opposition parties.
Law enforcing agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorates(ED) left no stone unturned to dig out financial irregularities whatever was pending against the opposition leaders. For example, the house of a retired IAS officer Net Ram, a close aide of former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Mayawati was raided by the Income Tax department during 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Similarly, both sons and daughter and sons-in-law of the Lalu Prasad Yadav clan were brought under the radar of the income tax department due to financial irregularities. The message sent by the sycophant media persons to the common man that all opposition leaders are the most corrupt and the same people believed it religiously. The main objects of the law enforcing agencies were to terrify the opponents.
It is unfortunate that not a single media person from the print or the electronic media wrote about the income growth of Amit Shah`s son from 50,000 to 80,00,00, 000 in a year(The wire 8oct,2017). Similarly, assets of Varun Gandhi, son of Maneka Gandhi, rose to 625 %(The Hindu 18Mar,2019). Neither a single voter tried before casting their votes to find out how these sons & daughters belonging to the ruling party got so much money.
‘Make in India’ did not take off well under the Modi government since it has structural flaws. Rajiv Kumar, vice-chairman of NITI Ayog himself admitted that Modi`s idea of Make in India did not appeal to the investors to set up their manufacturing industry in India. “Easy of Doing Business” is nothing but a myth. Regressive rules and regulations in the government ministries and departments are in force suffocating the files of new investors. There is no doubt that the; Easy of Doing Business’ in India is only for the politicians, for their sons and for their daughters, or for the BJP workers who have frequent access to the concerned Minister or department. Traders, as well as small scale entrepreneurs, were crying foul of demonetization, GST, etc. What went wrong with their wisdom? How can they vote for the party which has devastated their livelihood? Beyond imagination!
Unemployment is rising to the sky. Amit Shah, former President of the BJP, “it is impossible to provide employment through jobs in a country with 125 crore people, he said (HT 31 May 2017). The Periodic Labour Force Survey(PLFS) of the National Sample Survey Office(NSSO), showed the unemployment rate in the country in FY 18 was at 5.3% in rural India and 7.8% in Urban India, resulting in an overall unemployment rate of 6.1%. The unemployment rate is the highest in 45 years. It is unfortunate that not a single educated youth tried to understand the cunning way of suppressing the data on unemployment by Modi-Shah in order to win 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Recently, the Indian Railways advertised 90,000 low-end jobs, for which there were 28 million applicants. For every job which was advertised there are usually a thousand applications, many of them having MA, MBA, MSc, engineering or even Ph.D. degree.
Education: 25% cut in the education budget by the Modi government between 2014-17 hit hard on the SCs, STs and OBCs students who were the recipient of Maulana Azad National Fellowship(MANF) and the Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship(RGNF). According to charter released in 2018 by the student union of TISS, the percentage of students from the OBC category has decreased from 22% in 2014-15 to 18% in 2016-17. This drop in figures shows the clear impact that depreciation in funds can have on a college. Modi government did not launch any financial scheme for the poor and needy students who are in need of financial support to pursue higher studies. During the 2019 Lok Sabha election campaign, even the leaders belonging to the minority communities such as Ram Vilas Paswan and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi never raise such issues. It shows that the minority caste leaders are not at all interested in the welfare of the SCs, STs, OBCs or the Muslims, the Christians, the Sikhs, the Buddhists.
Privatization of PSUs: According to Kumar, the Modi government will privatize 46 state-controlled companies in the coming months. The government is even mulling lifting the foreign direct investment cap on Air India, the loss-making state-owned flagship carrier, to make it easier to sell. Let us go back to history, Arun Shourie, Disinvestment Minister in the Vajpayee government won laurels in privatizing HPCL and BPCL, two Indian oil companies. Privatization means outsourcing of jobs to a private company. On the other hand, the elimination of Reservation Policy meant for the SCs /STs/OBCs so & so on. Studies done in the past demonstrate that privatization perpetuates socio-economic inequality and divide communities and social segregation. Privatization would also consolidate monopoly of industrial units in the elite class. It means they can hire and fire at the whims without any chance to seek justice. In the coming days, the BJP anti-minority party would unleash several policies that would aim to suffocate the members of the minority communities.
The agrarian crisis has worsened considerably. In 2017-18, the agricultural growth rate stood at 2.1%. Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Muhammed Khan, Supreme Court Lawyers in their article, ‘The BJP manifesto is full of glib promises’ remarked, PM Fasal Bima Yojana, the government has now agreed to make it voluntary. This is a confession that the scheme has failed miserably, with the only beneficiaries being private insurers. Therefore, when the BJP promises that it will double agricultural incomes yet again, it seems like a cruel joke by an unthinking monarch.
The blatant truth is that from 2014-2017 the BJP artfully spread communalism and propagated its religious ideology of Hindutva by raising issues like building Ram Mandir, cow protection, etc, Hate speeches, love jihad, Ghar wapsi, lynching for alleged cow slaughter were a regular feature in Indian democracy. All of a sudden, the BJP and its leaders from the center to the state level stopped all communal agenda. Having understood that the communal agenda would not run so the BJP carved out another strategy in the name of “ Balakot” trumpeting the Balakot air strike as a great victory. Bashing Pakistan was depicted in a subtle way as bashing Muslims.
Under Modi-Shah rule, the constitution is violated; freedom of the press is suppressed; institutions are destroyed; well-crafted disinformation is spread; a miasma of age-old medievalism rose; social cancer is spread killing the members of the minorities. The authoritarian monsters succeeded in any manner to deceive the vulnerable and distracted citizenry. The rich-poor divide has increased under Modi`s rule, with 7 Indians owing more wealth than the bottom half of India`s 130 crore. Window-dressing will not work for a long time.
A country like India cannot be safe in the hands of those who simply want to stay in power without bothering about the welfare of the people. Unemployed youths must demand financial compensation from the Modi government for wasting their precious five years of life for being kept them unemployed. Arun Jaitley, the former Finance Minister of India went on reducing bank interest rates from 9% to 7% on the Fixed Deposits resulting in scuttling the life of the older people.
The Modi government should be held responsible for the colossal failure in providing jobs to educated youths. The Modi government should be held responsible for 30,000 farmers’ suicides. Child nourishment increased between 2014-2109. A Global Hunger Index and other such bodies mentioned, with over 47% Indian children malnourished, the highest in the world. Parents who are unable to marry their children due to unemployment and a permanent source of income must hold Modi government responsible and demand for compensation.
Justice Markandey Katju rightly said, “India is a semi-feudal that BJP has won despite unemployment. This is due to the lower level of the intellectual development of most people in underdeveloped countries like India, because of which politicians can befool most people by gimmicks like ‘VIKAS’ and reactionary ideologies like Hindutva, despite the worsening socio-economic situation. Unless India becomes highly industrialized like western countries, political parties representing feudal forces such as religion and caste will flourish and dominate the scene, as BJP has done.
Who knows what the future of India will be? But it is certain that chaos and violence and religious conflict will increase in the coming years under the Modi government. The chances are there the country shall plunge into a Civil War.
Dr. Rahul Kumar, Ph.D. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, an independent researcher & a Senior media columnist.