When a whole nation confronts a pandemic, it is not only a political norm but also common courtesy to forget all differences and join hands with one another. Our land and its people, have been witness to such wholesome precedents on more occasions than one. What is to be done beyond this courtesy is primarily for each group to join the common platform setting aside their political viewspoints and convictions, and proactively share the tasks dictated by the situation. But what can be done when the government, that is duty bound to perform its brief and hold the society as one, become exponents of 'one's own politics'?
This thought is triggered by certain acts and approaches of the BJP government that rules the Centre in these times of corona. When the country appears set to enter the third, and most crucial and dangerous, phase of the spread of the pandemic of Covid-19, it appears as though the Modi government is less concerned about steps to break its transmission than about propagating the sangh parivar ideology which inspires the government. The Centre, which tries to fulfil its obligations about people's health and security through a few gimmicks, obviously is not ready to set aside, even temporarily its ani-human agenda like the citizenship law at this juncture.
One of the events that went unnoticed and undebated, in the midst of Covid-19 scare, is the affidavit filed by the Centre in the Supreme Court relaed to the petitions against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The Modi regime has made it clear beyond doubt that it has vowed to go forward with the legislation which was passed in parliament using its current brute majority. And this when the law is widely viewed as capable of wrecking the very soul of the concept of India and has attracted exensive criticisms even at international levels. The Centre's stand is that CAA is entirely constitutional and no one can question the central government's sovereignty to make laws. Not stopping there, it has also stated in the affidavit that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is essential to separate citizens and non-citizens. T
his affidavit contradicts the statement made by prime minister Narendr Modi and home minister Amit Shah in parliament in the background of the intensifying anti-CAA protests and hundreds of Shaheen bagh model protest tents coming up across the country. Although the government had declared that NRC would be implemented across the country, it may be recalled that both had gone back on their position. But now it transpires that such statements were all deceptive tactics to pacify the protesters. What the government affidavit declared in the court, has already been displayed through deed by the sangh parivar workers outside the court. The attacks made by them in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh, which could be described as the nerve centre of the anti-CAA stir of the country, and in Jamia Millia University, have to be viewed as an extension of the Centre's stand in the court. If the frenzied Hindutva mobs stomped violently into the Shaheen protest tent – which was being run in total compliance with the preventive precautions demanded by the Covid-19 vigil, on the very Sunday which the prime minister had asked to have a 'Janata Curfew', that is something beyond mere coincidence, and sends out out other messages as well.
When the majority of the people remained confined to home in scare due to the virus infection, the government was not concerned about giving them safety or give them solace, but on the other hand was in a hurry to further the cause of its agenda. The government has not declared any specific economic package to offer relief or defence against Covid-19, which has plunged the people – already reeling under the financial impact of the virus spread - to a darker abyss. The prime minister also exhorted the people to shut everything and sit at home. Although such a 'lcck down' was demanded by the situation, the 'Janata Curfew' without any mechanism to meet the basic needs of the people, can be seen as mere optics. That was in evidence when the people entered the street soon afer the curfew hours and called out slogans. Even earlier, right from the outset, insteasd of facing this pandemic in a scientific approach, the ruling circles were indulging in pranks like 'cow urine treatment' for the affliction. Thus, what went on under the leadership of leaders including Modi, was nothing but a propagation of the 'ancient Bharatiya Hindutva science' under the cover of Corona virus treatment. Even the Ayushand Health and Family Welfare ministries have been used for this. It is worth noting that this 'propagation of science' has been happening when some optimistic reports of vaccine tests against the corona virus have been coming from other countries including Germany. And strangely enough, such 'science propagandists' are not bound by any curfew either. Neither the yoga demonstration of Baba Ramdev, nor the Ram navami Mela touted to have the participation of thousans, did not look like being subject to any restrictions. Therefore, what this Corona phase demands is a double defene against the politics of sangh parivar.