By Rahul Maganti:
Being famously known among my friend circle as a vocal critic of Modi, I was referred to this article by a very close friend of mine who is a rational Modi supporter, and is definitely not a Modi fan-boy, unlike many others. “These are exactly my reasons why I support Modi,” his message read. I had read the article earlier, but the impulse to write a rebuttal was so strong at that moment that I asked YKA to provide me a platform, which they readily accepted.
The author argues that ‘sheÂ hasn’tÂ voted for Modi, but 171,637,684 fellow countrymen and women did.’Â In other words, 31% of the electorate voted for Modi and the remaining 69% haven’t voted for him. If we consider the NDA as a whole, the people who opposed it stand at 61% as against 39% who voted for them. She further argues, ‘what followed is a history in the making,’ which I agree with. Yes, a history of 90 years of sectarian, conservative RSS being played on to a democratic and secular 66 year old Independent country. A history which was undoing the ‘Idea of India’ and the ‘Indian Republic’ which embodies the essence of secularism, tolerance, diversity, freedom, liberal values, and human rights. The Modi-fied history which would mean a complete wipe-out of the diversity of the country with its religious minorities being forcedly brought under an umbrella name of ‘Hindu’ according to the majoritarian whims and fancies. I can give hundred such empirical examples to prove my point, from Nathuam Godse and Mohan Bhagwat to Yogi Adityanath and Amit Shah.
The RSS, formed in 1925, under the aegis of the then Hindu Kings in Nagpur, was formed with the idea of ‘Uniting Hindu’s and vouches for complete segregation of Hindu’s and Muslims to make Bharat a Hindu Rashtra’, has a very notorious history. They derived their inspiration from Nazism and Fascism, and openly idolized Hitler, who was responsible for the German Holocaust. They haven’t fought against the British Colonialism either and have many a times been hand in glove with the British Authorities while the members of Congress, the Communists and many other revolutionaries laid their lives for the independence of the country. In 1948, Nathuram Godse, a member of a RSS Shakha, killed Mahatma Gandhi, who was vouching for Hindu-Muslim unity. The early stages of RSS marked intolerance towards minorities and against those who vouched for the diversity of the country and the rights of the ethnic and religious minorities. Even after independence, the RSS cozied up to Indira Gandhi during the emergency and has been responsible for communal violence across the country. A new chapter in independent India began on December 6th, 1992 when Babri Masjid was demolished by angry Hindu’s led by LK Advani, which destroyed the secular fabric of the country. Kandhamal, Gujarat, Muzaffarnagar, etc. I can give you countless examples where RSS/BJP played the communal card. To support Modi and the BJP/RSS without having a thorough understanding of what their history is and what they meant to the Indian demography right from when they were born to this very day, by listening to their rhetoric which is completely disjointed with what the ground reality, is being at best hypocritical and at worst, naÃ¯ve.
The author talks about ‘Talking the talk’ and ‘Walking the walk’. I wish to know whether the author has listened to Modi’s Independence Day speech. If we look at it in isolation, it was a good speech. However, what were his minions Amit Shah and Yogi Adityanath doing while Modi was speaking about a 10 year moratorium on Communal riots on the ramparts of the Red Fort? Delivering hate speeches and espousing communal tension to win by-elections in Uttar Pradesh! When what is said is glaringly different from what is being done on his name by the members of his own party, it is blatant hypocrisy, which is where the author fails, by consciously ignoring the data which doesn’t suit her fallacious statement. The author rightly finds a good orator in him, which I don’t disagree with. But, haven’t we seen good orators and doers in the past? Don’t we haveÂ good orators now? What Mr. Modi is doing is just speaking plain rhetoric which is diametrically opposite of what he represents, and the Independence Day speech is the best example. He had spoken against FDI in defense when he was on a campaign trail and he’s the one who went ahead with the same. He has criticized the Congress Govt. on the hike in Railway fare, which he himself has hiked by more than 14%. He has been bending over the back to satisfy the imperialistic giants like the US and the UK, thus sacrificing India’s sovereignty and thereby subordinating our foreign policy to them. The Modi regime has also become a serious threat for human rights and freedom of expression where violations galore and has been a hall mark of religious repression, which the author even fails to mention in the article, which clearly mentions only one side of the story and completely neglects the other. While the economic and the foreign policies largely remained unchanged from the previous UPA-2 Govt., Modi is selling dreams of developed India which would only be achieved by change in the policy trajectory as against just hope and good oratory skills he has in his stable.
The author further argues that ‘he is motivating the youth to take ownership’. She hasn’t been specific as to which policy she has been referring to, but the first one I could think of is the ‘Make in India’ call by Mr. Modi. This call, for me, is a sheer hypocrisy when the same Govt. which invites Indians to invest in India’s manufacturing sector disinvests the Public Sector companies and also invites huge FDI from big economies like China and Japan. These are self-contradictory, as has been understood from the experience of Gold-Spot, which was a cool-drink company in the pre-liberalization era which was devastated when foreign giants like Coke and Pepsi took over the market after their entry into India. Before inviting NRI’s to invest in India, let Mr. Modi stop the disinvestment of Public Sector companies. And, then let him invest in building public infrastructure without favoring the Corporates like Ambani and Adani, who have funded his election campaign.
The author argues that, ‘Modi has grabbed the world by the eye-balls and no one is complaining’, which I find true and let me tell you why. Modi has grabbed the world by the eye-balls because of the sheer number of seats he and his party were given by the people and not because of himself. Because of his Hindutva image and his alleged involvement in 2002 riots. Because of his conservative mindset and his bigoted and sectarian views. Even then, two out of every three Indians were not happy with him in May 2014, andÂ that reflects inÂ the recent flop show in the By-elections. People are not complaining because of fear. Because of the usurping of power to unleash violence on the people having politically opposite views. Because of the glaring violation of human rights and freedom of speech by the BJP/RSS/ABVP and their minions. They are not complaining not because they don’t want to, but because they can’t. Because they are forced not to. Wait for the moment and they will rise up to the occasion with the weapon of a ballot paper. A similar argument of ‘Shining India’ was taken up during the 2004 election in the Rath Yatra by LK Advani, which the Indian voters proved is a farce by coming out in large numbers and voting against the NDA Govt. A similar fate would follow suit if Mr. Modi continues in the same way, of which initial symptoms have already been seen.