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9 Internal Issues The Govt. Wants You To Forget By Focusing On War With Pakistan

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By Nijam Gara:

The widespread advertisement of ‘surgical strikes‘ on terrorist camps in Pakistan across the border by the Indian government is unprecedented. While these strikes were in retaliation to the brutal massacre of 20 Indian soldiers in Uri (along the India-Pakistan border), the full impact and fall-out of these propagandised ‘surgical strikes’ will only manifest with time. Many Indians might prefer to get ‘high’ on the goriness of war prodded on by rabble-rousers in the mainstream media and politics but history stands testimony to the vagaries of war. From Ashoka to Alexander the Great, from Hitler to George W Bush, there is only one certain outcome of war – destruction of millions of lives and usurping of aspirations. Level-headed leaders, particularly in recent times, have stuck to diplomacy to avoid mass casualties and economic downward spiral.

Why then did Narendra Modi, the elected Prime Minister of India, choose to advertise the military strikes in such a brazen manner in stark contrast to previous governments that reportedly also carried cross-border retaliations? The answer does not lie solely in any complex geopolitical equation that involves the US-Pakistan relations, etc. but in our domestic sociopolitical scenario itself.

The goal of the current dispensation is to enamor the disproportionately vocal, visible, Indian middle-class voter with the purported success of these strikes and summarily shift its gaze away from the mass movements, damp squibs and misplaced priorities that have severely dented the larger-than-life NaMo image in the past two and a half years. The NaMo brigade precisely wants Indians to forget about the following nine issues by immersing in jingoistic waters and obsessing with external terror threats while ignoring domestic realities:

1. “Acche Din”

The promise of “acche din” turned out to be a flat-out lie. This catchphrase had become such a haunting ghost to the central government that the spin-doctor Nitin Gadkari disowned the phrase itself and blamed it as a baggage of former PM Manmohan Singh and not that of the contrastingly vocal NaMo. The average Indian that had chosen to ignore the hollowness of the ‘Gujarat model‘ and placed complete faith in the media mascot NaMo to rid them of their sufferings, of late, have come to realise that they have been duped with no perceptible change in their lives despite a change in guard at the Centre, more than two years ago. It is this realisation that the government wants to banish with the spectre of war. A classic replay from the rule book of an authoritarian leader.

2. Black Money Promise

They want Indian voters to be content with the soundbytes on war on primetime television rather than demanding the INR 15 lakh that they were promised straight in to their bank accounts from the overseas stashes of black money hoarders by the ‘Robinhood NaMo’.

3. Inflation

The Central Government would rather prefer that the great Indian middle class continue to silently buy lentils at inflated prices while allegations against some corporate bigwigs in unduly profiting by monopolising the lentil trade fly thick and fast. The war cries will only make such a task much easier. It will help keep the artificially propped up ‘clean’ image of the government alive.

4. “Saffron Terror”

The saffron terror unleashed by cow hooligans on the streets of India, from Dadri to Una has claimed the lives and dignities of labouring Dalits and Muslims. This, in turn, has led to a never-before witnessed unity among the most suppressed sections of this land. Dalits and Muslims, the two most economically disadvantaged groups in the country, make up disproportionately more numbers among prisoners and among those on the death row. With Jignesh Mewani’s march to Una, these sections have been galvanised like never before, particularly in the state of Gujarat, the bedrock of Hindutva and the bastion of saffron politics that pitchforked Modi on to the national stage. No wonder then that Mewani has been arrested multiple times in the last few weeks on frivolous charges. With the mantra of surgical strikes, the government wants to checkmate these peoples’ movements.

5. The Rohith Vemula Issue

On the campus front, the fire ignited by Rohith Vemula’s suicide note has engulfed the universities nationwide and is still blazing nine months after his death. Although the government has tried to malign Rohith, his caste credentials, his friends and his family members even after his death, his compatriots have kept the fight alive despite several odds. Dalit organisations, particularly student groups have rallied like never before in this battle. The government is hoping for the valor of the army to vaporiae this raging fire rather than prosecuting its ministers that exhorted the Vice Chancellor Apparao Podile in driving him to death.

6. Silence The ‘Anti-National’ Brigade

The government wants to shoot atop the shoulders of the army jawans and silence once and for all the ‘anti-national’ left-wing student protests that erupted in JNU and refused to die down for months. They have now found the textbook definition of a nationalist act to teach to the ‘anti-national’ Kanhaiyas that raise such ‘mundane’ issues as farmer suicides, poverty, class struggles, etc.

7. Tribal Issues

One of the biggest stumbling blocks in the grand capitalist plan of this government (and its predecessors too) has been the tribal population and their claims on lands that they have inhabited for eons. What better weapon than jingoism to divert whatever little media attention that activists such as Soni Sori have garnered in highlighting the plight of tribals massacred in the name of development and counter-insurgency?

8. Kashmir Issue

As scores of Indian citizens die on the streets of Kashmir and hundreds are blinded by pellet guns and millions face uncertain futures, the inept Central government that let curfew prevail for more than twi months now, has found a gem of an armor in striking the external enemy, overtly advertising the cavalier act and thus shifting the focus from the festering failure called Kashmir. As inhabitants of ground zero, Kashmiris are the ones that will lose the most while the rest of the patriots fervently demand war from the comfort of their bedrooms. And this sentiment was echoed by none other than CM Mehbooba Mufti, the coalition partner of the saffron rulers.

9. Upcoming Elections In Uttar Pradesh

Last but not the least, the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh weigh heavily on the minds of persistent electioneers Modi and Shah. They have personally seen the impact of Dalit-Muslim unity against the saffron party when Shah had to cancel his Agra Dalit ‘outreach’ meeting. A defeat in UP assembly elections is the last thing that they want at this juncture. There is no other ploy as effective than whipping up nationalist frenzy in the name of external terror threats in gaining sweet electoral victory. And they only had to look back at Kargil and Vajpayee to learn that.

While it is anybody’s guess what would happen in a war between neighbors that share more than 3000 km of land border, on the domestic front, ignoring these raging issues that have been the hallmarks of this government in the last several months and celebrating such transient victories called ‘surgical strikes’ will be an irreparable damage to democracy. In this critical juncture, the nation will be best served by some soul-searching in building an inclusive state that will tackle these issues rather than capitalising on a ‘war on terror’, a strategy that has failed much bigger powers in recent times.

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  1. Pratyush Vashisht

    I agree with most of the points mentioned by you but I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree on points one and two. First of all, I try to follow politics not actively but I’m well informed. Also, I’m not a fan of any particular person but whoever does well for our country.

    When you say you’re not able to see achhe din and it was a false promise by Mr. Narendra Modi, I’d like to ask what do you expect achhe din. What were your dreams when NaMo took an oath for the post of the PM of India. He’s not Dumbledore who’ll wave a wand and everything will be smoothened out easily. When our country took so many years to come to the present form, naturally it’ll take a lot of time to see a substantial change in the positive direction too.

    Now on the black money issue, I can partially agree with you here. Whatever has happened on this issue hasn’t been the quickest of reforms by NaMo but when in the past have you seen 65k crore black money being surrendered to the govt?

    This is just a start and you’re overlooking the other changes that the BJP govt has brought.

    1. Gaurav Saxena

      What the heck is NaMo?

    2. Nijam Gara

      If you agree with the other 7 issues, then you have answered your question. How are these ‘Acche din’ when inflation, saffron terror and other 5 issues above are happening unabated? Dumbledores are for the fantasy world , we need real leaders for the real world.

      INR 15 lakh promise was made my PM himself. If you are saying his promises were just gimmicks then let him say that himself.

      If this is just a start as you say, the end is going to be much more horrible. Beware India then!

  2. Surendera M. Bhanot

    You forgot to mention :

    01. Amit Shah was badly embroiled as the abettor of 4 suicides of the Bansal family and media was ripe with the copies of the suicide notes and the accusation!! This has to be cut and stopped and media has to be managed!! This was achieved, while the patriotic Card was being played!!

    02. In Raffle Deal, the Ambanis were made part of the deal. The deal was to be signed and naturally, the media has to be briefed. The Ambani angle of Rs 33000 Crore booty has to be kept under carpet!!

    03. Now this patriotic Card is being played in the UP as big banners has sprang up in UP to sentimentally and emotionally influence the minds of the voters.

    04. The upcoming taking over of RBI Governorship by Urjit Patel, a crony of the Ambanis.

    1. Viswanath L

      Adding to the list, one of the most important things that is not getting the attention it deserves:

      05. The outright U-turn on Aadhaar, which is systematically putting every citizen on a dog leash. Not surprisingly, lot of people are dancing as if Aadhaar is a “herb for all cures” (quoting Modi’s own words from 2013). These are probably the same people who are unable to contain themselves when Modi’s juvenile ministers are gloating over the “surgical strikes”.

  3. Akash Shrivastava

    This is really bizzare to see that when pakistani troops and terrorists groups was attacking then these critics have started calling Modi 56-inches Jumla and all. I believe they were in firm confidence that just like our history this govt. also fell upon the same trap with pakistan. But this time dispensation was successfully able to made the consensus across international community and thrashed PAK in diplomacy at every level. When URI happened then they used to put logic that now its enough, Modi should keep aside every thing and now he must respond to Pak in its language. Whole indian sentiments reached in loud & clear voice that Pak must be responded. In this case too, these people kept on saying that what ever Our PM replied in strong words to Pak in his statements and most importanty in his Kozhikhade Speech would also like so called Jumla and rhetoric. After insuniating the environment that this Modi PM can only show his muscular power in speech which is not new when he did in actions then now this logic started coming that Ohh, war is bad, media hype and all. They did not acknowledge the fact that this is the very media through which indian sentiments reached to the govt. of the day that now Pak must be responded. When their sentiments have reached to satisfaction then obviously as and Indian citizen we must celebrate and again this very media would also engage in showing this enthusiasm. But now the problem is these people could not able to digest this as well. Modi was not the one who went to marketing his effort as a PM what he should do as per the emotions of Martyr family, indians he did. Now the rattle critics have started to put their hollow logics in the national issue as well. This is the irony of india.

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