It has been seven years since the onset of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government. In a democracy, it is not a small feat to be in power continuously for over 2500 days. In that sense, Modi and his team have much to be proud of. However, not even their supporters can claim much to celebrate beyond that. This is a government that has only provided developmental stagnancy and political uncertainty to the country. There is little chance of progress in the current situation in the upcoming three years either. Backed by a large majority in the parliament, the government has been reduced to a mob with the sole agenda of oppressing.
The change in governance that ensued in 2014 was the result of the Sangh Parivar propaganda of projecting Narendra Modi as the apostle of development. They bought out several national media for the same; a huge crowd gathered in the cyber world, including PR agencies. The corruption cases levelled against the Congress-led UPA government, coupled with their pro-imperialist stances, made the transition easier. It is in the presence of a thus weakened opposition that Narendra Modi swore into power. In the beginning, several believed that despite its communal nature, it would be a corruption-free, pro-development government. This faith was rectified in the initial days of governance.
Through each of his acts and policies, the prime minister is declaring that it is not the country's development but the Hindutva agenda that drives him. Those few development projects that did get implemented turned out to be disasters. The first of them was replacing the Planning commission, which had played a pivotal role in improving the country's basic infrastructure over the past six and a half decades, with the Niti Ayog. The advice and directives of Niti Ayog at each point of crises is pushing the country further into financial uncertainty. Demonetisation and GST merely hastened this. The country is witnessing the highest ever unemployment numbers in history. There is also a significant decline in domestic production. Many corners of the country is facing starvation. COVID and the unplanned lockdowns only hastened the inevitable; these crises existed before the pandemic. The present government did not have anything on their hands to counter this effectively. The same country that managed to resist the global financial crisis ten years ago is now falling into hunger and starvation.
We have dropped down not just in the development index but several other indices of democracy. International agencies have rated India as a country witnessing the worst decline in press and religious freedom. All voices except that of violent Hindutva are being silenced. Every passing day is a witness to this fascism. The nation has become one led by a government that resembles a hysterical mob. The nation is now a hotspot of lynch mobs, occupation, and internal displacement and forced migration. Most unfortunate is that democracy is giving way to these fascist tendencies. This growth of fascism, with a weaker than before opposition, has enabled them a second term in power.
Beyond development, it is slogans of violent Hindutva that is heard ringing across the country. This is why calls of religious and caste violence are still being heard even during this health emergency when holy rivers are afloat with bodies. This will only hasten the destruction of any remaining democracy. However, even in between all this, one cannot still say that all hope is lost. Whenever citizens' rights are trampled upon, the nation has heard resounding slogans of democracy. Citizenship protests, farmers' protests were such instances. They even brought the state to a defensive stance at a point. However, it is doubtful if mainstream political organisations responded in solidarity as much as they should have. They still have to learn to break free of traditional protests into the newer forms of struggle that we are witnessing today and only then, will the opposition be creatively able to build a united front against the fascists. It is this grand front that we should work for, and soon.