– Dr. Rahul Kumar, PhD-
The cult of Modi has already been made by the people of India through extravagant, turgid glorification & fawning praise of Modi. Above that, Indian Diaspora through sponsored events in the USA has given Rock Star welcome to Modi. No doubt, Modi is a fantastic orator, foppish, relentlessly self-important, monologue who can move the audience and stir the minds and hearts of the ecstatic crowd as he is recently done in the USA by saying ‘Everything is fine in India’ in different languages. Indian citizens must research the social & political background of those who chant Modi! Modi! among the Indian Diaspora.
Modi is also a master of lies abetted and aided by his political party & RSS propaganda. The image of Modi as a Hero, Father to 130 billion of people, the scourge of enemies, and the single-handed builder of India is made by the people of India. For making the cult of his personality, the role of corporate media houses and paid workers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevek Sangh (RSS), a right-wing, Hindu nationalist and paramilitary voluntary organization cannot be denied. RSS was banned in India thrice; first in 1948 when Nathu Ram Godse, RSS member assassinated Gandhi, the father of the nation; subsequently by the respective congress governments as a terrorist organization.
In contemporary times, RSS is the most powerful and financially sound organization in India. In the article, Mapping Faith-based development Activities in Contemporary Maharashtra Jodhka & Bora(2009), note that Hindu FBOs were the most ‘globally active’ & most likely to have several branches across the country. Hindu organization among the 133 organization studied, the wealthiest & largest were Hindu Organizations. Mohan Bhagwat, RSS chief is quite close to the foreign High Commissions/ Consulates than the Minister for External Affairs – Mr. Jai Shankar Prasad. RSS not only has been giving instructions to Modi government for regulating domestic affairs but also it is alleged by creditable academicians, writers, statesmen, politicians and institutions that the interference of the RSS in making or shaping foreign policy is enormous & significant. Frequent face to face meetings takes place at Nagpur RSS headquarters between Mohan Bhagwat and the Ambassadors of different countries. RSS has the means of intervention & influence in the day to day affairs of the Modi government.
I am reminded of Hitler`s Germany and Stalin`s Russia. Hitler of Germany was the offspring of the German slump & political civil war. Stalin of Russia rose to power after the death of Lenin with the onset of a cold war against a hostile West. Both murderous dictators received overwhelming blind loyalty from the people in their respective countries. There are common characteristic similarities between Hitler and Modi. A quote from the book “The Dictators – Hitler`s Germany, Stalin Russia’ by Richard Overy demonstrates that Hermann Rauschning remembered a conversation with Hitler on the secret of his success with the crowd: ‘The masses are like an animal that obeys its instincts. They do not reach conclusion by reasoning. At a mass meeting, thought is eliminated’. For Modi, 130 billion people of India are a crowd, animal, idiot who can be governed with ease. Wherever Modi goes and whatever Awards, Honorary degrees he achieves; will give credit to 130 billion of people. Modi proudly touches the sentimental cord of the people by saying that he is nothing. He is what today because of the love of 130 billion Indians. Hitler strategy was the same during his Chancellorship. While explaining the nature of the bond with the people Hitler told: ‘Our leadership does not consider the people as more objects of its activity; it lives in the people, feels with the people, & fights for the sake of the people’.
In the past, Modi/RSS had deliberately orchestrated social and political tensions in India to gain political power. The Pulwana attack in Kashmir by the Pakistani sponsors’ terrorists and subsequently surgical strike & release of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman by Pakistan administration. All these incidents turned as a bonus for Modi during his 2019 elections campaign. Modi drew unbridled sympathy from the sentimental Indians. If we go back to history, we come to know that after the gruesome assassination of Indira Gandhi on 31st October 1984 at her residence in New Delhi, Rajiv Gandhi, a reluctant politician, was made the Prime Minister of India out of sentiments not by political wisdom.
Under Modi, India`s social, economic & political structure turned apolcalype. Religious minorities in India are thrown into the coils of a poisonous python. This python is squeezing every Indian socially, economically. The cancer of the Caste System is not dying out. Degenerate, complicit, wily, rapist, specious, pudgy –faced, pear-shaped Brahmin priests with the help of corporate TV channels spread superstition and the stories of Hindu mythological characters 24×7 making India an un-scientific country. The majority of the Brahmins in India are anti-minorities. I was reading a book: Minorities in India by Rajender Pandey, a Professor of Sociology at IIT Kanpur. He writes, ‘Ethnicity posed challenges to the India society in the past & is threatening it at present’. It is the same academic Hindu class that ferments the forces of social & religious divisions among the people of India and thereby take advantages of t divisions to consolidate their power on economic resources of the country. The hate chiseled by the Hindu scriptures in the minds of the Brahmins of India against the religious minorities is inexpungible. Gandhi, Ambedkar, and many other political leaders across political spectrum launched social movements to eradicate untouchability but Modi and RSS have done nothing in the past six years of governance to eradicate untouchability. Rampant social segregation & human rights violations against the Dalits in the villages of India is a daily affair under NDA regime.
The story of India from 2014 to 2019 under Modi regime is quite disturbing. Modi proudly claims that his government has lifted 270 million people out of steep poverty but the reality is different. Some of the data shows a different picture of India. World Inequality report released in 2018 illustrates, 73 percent of wealth generated went to the richest 1 percent. The poorest 67 crore Indians comprising the poorest half of the population saw only 1 percent increase in their wealth. A joint study conducted by ASSOCHAM and EY in 2015 finds that 40% of Indian children are undernourished. UNICEF data shows that 47 percent tribal women suffer from chronic energy deficiency and 68 percent tribal women are anemic.
Shamika Ravi of Brookings India describes, ‘nearly 35 percent of Indian youth who possess graduate degrees & above are unemployed’. This is happening when the full- fledged Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship claims that requisite skill is being imparted to the youths as to cater to the requirement of various industries. Does Modi think that by providing a subsided gas cylinder to the poors in the villages is a poverty alleviation? Does Modi think that by making 99 percent youth Aadhar cardholder, a poverty alleviation? Does Modi think that by opening up bank accounts, a poverty alleviation? No, this is all hogwash.
Economically, India`s current is depressing. Modi is promising the moon to the people of India. Modi`s regime wants India` GDP to reach $5 trillion by 2024. The country suffers from low export growth. The income per head $2000 per year in India; Indonesia $ 3,900; China $ 9,800.
Let us research what is happening behind the curtains. Modi government has signed different big monetary loans to boost up infrastructure with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Government of India, the State Government of Chhattisgarh and the World Bank signed a USD 25.2 million loan agreement to support the State government in expenditure. The World Bank and the Government of India signed a USD 250 million agreement for the National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP). In 2018, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) committed a record $ 3.03 billion for 19 sovereign projects to help India develop infrastructure.
The balance sheet of India shows negative growth. Distraught and confused Nirmala Sitaraman, Finance Minister, the government of India claims that she has not heard about liquidity problem in the market. She is happy if the people of India take loans from private banks to run their life. Rising household indebtedness in India is certainly posing problems for the banking system. Schularick & Taylor(2012) show that high levels of household debt are not only good predictors of financial crises but also an important determinant of the intensity of the ensuing recession.
Dewan Housing Finance Corp Ltd (DHFL) Altico , an NBFC, Subash Chandra, Chairman Essel Group, the global media & entertainment industry, was recently seen giving lectures to students of economics, entrepreneurs, businessmen on ‘how to do business’ or ‘become an entrepreneur’. What has happened to his own company? How his theories have failed? The Auto industry has registered a deep slump in the sale hence many manufacturing units have thrown workers out of the factories. In Kashmir, the apple industry is facing tremendous pressure due to lockdown by the Modi government. The J&K state government has asked the workers from other states to leave the state and come back when normalcy is restored. 10,000 troops are deployed in the valley of Kashmir. The financial burden is heaping on the central government since the day of abrogation of 370 & 35A article.
Legal system in India under Modi has collapsed. According to a retired Supreme Court Judge, ‘India`s judicial system is beyond redemption’. In 1973, the 41st Law Commission, parliament made a provision for anticipatory bail for the first time. Under Modi constitutional mandate of liberty has been trampled. Neither Modi nor RSS has ever bothered about the undertrials who are languishing in the Indian jails. The media reports 67percent prisoners are under trials. According to National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG), the states which account for the highest pendency are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, & Gujarat. All these states are ruled by the BJP.
Politically, India is on sitting on the threshold of a volcano and awaiting to burst out. Modi has, no doubt, succeeded in subduing all the men around him. Everyone is a rode roughshod over his fanatical orge. Hitler said: ‘Our enemies are little worms’ so Modi is treating the opposition leaders in the same way. Political vendetta and political witch hunt, brutality & intimidation seems to be favorite choices of Modi to malign the opposition leaders. Modi cannot make One Team for India to grow by doing all this nonsensical organized, well- thought endeavors. Let us not forget that the nation can achieve social, economic & political liberation only by brotherhood and harmony. Political animosity would strengthen the anti-India forces. Covert and devious political maneuverings will boomerang sooner or later. Hitler and Stalin always believed in One Party rule with centralized power. Modi is treading on the same dream while abolishing all other political parties.
Let us keep in mind that India is neither Germany nor Russia. I end this essay by leaving a question to the people of India especially the Modi Bhagats, ‘can we count on Modi in this depressing social, economic & political situation?
Dr. Rahul Kumar, Ph.D. Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. India. He is an independent researcher and senior media columnist. He is working currently with the “The Asian Independent UK” newspaper as a Bureau Chief. His book on “Elderly Punjabis in Indian Diaspora” traces trajectories of Elderly Punjabi migration to the United Kingdom. He is a member of the Editorial Committee of Global Research Forum for Diaspora and Transnationalism (GRFDT) New Delhi. India. The views expressed by the author in this article are personal and does not necessarily reflect the official policy of the paper.