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Homechevron_rightOpinionchevron_rightEditorialchevron_rightEight years of falling...

Eight years of falling indices of the country

Eight years of falling indices of the country

The NDA government of Narendra Modi, which took office with the promise of 'good days are coming' has completed eight years, which translates into about 3,000 days. It is no small feat to be in power in a democracy for that long which is reason enough for the BJP and the Sangh parivar to celebrate it. They have started that too, with the BJP' national leadership having planned a two-week long celebration. Normally for such an occasion, what should be heard are claims about achievements of the government during eight years. And the media should have come out with a progress report showing areas where 'good days' have materialised. But what comes out from all over the country are pathetic images of crores of people caught in a predicament amid inflation, unemployment and rising prices. There is no report needed to conclude that this is a government that has given not happy times, but stagnation in development and political unrest. This is the experience of every Indian. And there is no prospect of the coming two years giving us a different picture. Undoubtedly the government apparently has no goal other than hurtling forward with a Hindutva agenda suppressing everything else behind the cover provided by its brutal majority in parliament. Even the slogans of the celebration are not about development, but public declarations surrounding this agenda.

It was in September 2013 that the BJP's central leadership put up Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate. Close on the heels of that started the campaign to project him as a development hero. PR agencies and the sangh parivar's cyber groups worked overtime on this project. And those campaigns were enough to oust the UPA government which by that time was caught in the corruption charges including the 2G spectrum auction. That was how Modi eventually took oath in the presence of a weak opposition. The sight of Modi's emotional appearance and tears in the corridor of parliament had made at least some believe at the beginning that there would come a rule free of corruption and with a thrust for development. But it did not take long for that notion to be corrected in the very first days of the government. Soon it transpired that the agenda before them was not a fight against corruption or for development, but merely the Hindutva agenda of the sangh parivar. And whatever plans were implemented in the name of development turned out to be major blunders.

The abolition of the Planning Commission, which had given shape and energy for the development policies of independent India, and its replacement by Niti Aayog, the enforcement of note-ban, and the introduction of a new commercial tax regime in the name of GST, had all created setbacks for the country, as everybody came to feel. Because of this policy, the country witnessed the worst rate of unemployment of the last four and a half decades. Then followed major economic crisis and inflation and price rises. And on top of it with the abrupt lockdown introduced due to Covid, signs started appearing of food shortage and starvation too. Over the last eight years, not only the economic development indices, but indices of democracy have also gone down drastically. Several international agencies have vouched that over the last eight years India became a country with curtailed freedoms of religion and media. But none of these criticisms has deterred the regime from its divisive agenda.

Programmes that were covertly implemented during its first term have been moving more explicitly and faster in the second term. Declarations which had been heard earlier as slogans became reality one after another. A Ram temple is coming up in the spot where once stood the Babri Masjid; places of worship in Kashi and Mathura which Hindutva leaders had declared soon after the Babri demolition they would capture, now seem to be moving in the same path as that of Ayodhya. The shrill calls and slogans raised by frenzied politics of Hindutva are now being heard from many other parts of the country as well. What more, even the bill for a uniform civil code has come to the parliament. The country has been reduced to a regime led by fanatic mobs. Even festivals are now the platform of mob attacks for these frenetic crowd. All this is a clear move to alienate the minorities of the country by building fences based on religion, to make them second class citizens and to expel them. In the days to come, this thrust of the Hindutva are only likely to strengthen. The speeches and slogans from the forums of the eighth anniversary of the Modi regime are pointers to this. The cardinal question is who will resist these shrieks and how. It is also worth serious thought whether our mainstream secular political parties are capable of playing this role.

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TAGS:eight years of BJP ruleModi's ascendancy in 20138th anniversary with divisive agendalower ranking in democracy indices
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