Modi promised to revive farmers from their debts, to create 2 crore new jobs for the youth every year, to create a safe haven for women and to control the rising inflation.
When India chose to go with Narendra Modi as Prime Minister in the general elections of 2014, it was predominantly because of his amicable approach to masses, his charming oratory skills and above all, the never-ending promotion of his ‘Gujarat Model.’
Six years down the line, Modi doesn’t even recall his own promises. But what still makes him widely adored leader is that he is not even questioned about the promises that he made. There’s hardly any accountability.
He rarely gives interviews. The ones that he’s given, all of them look neatly scripted and difficult questions are avoided. He doesn’t believe in press conferences. Modi has made a large chunk of population believe that it’s okay for a PM of democratic country to not participate in a dialogue with people.
Modi only does Mann Ki Baat, his flagship radio show where officials are on their toes to not screw up. When they do screw up, there are moments like “Puducherry ko vanakkam” (greetings to Puducherry). Modi hates questions.
What transpires today in India is amalgamation of six-year-long propaganda drive through social media, mainstream TV broadcasting and the WhatsApp University. The second generation born after independence believes that everything that is forwarded on internet is true. The pattern here is highly obnoxious.
Your picture with a template carrying fake information about you, tagging you anti-national and what not, will be forwarded from groups of the BJP IT Cell. There’s no logo or the source on this picture. There’s no factual accuracy check. It’s just blatant propaganda.
So, when images of prominent journalists are shared through these groups calling them traitors and Islamist sympathisers, it results into immediate discrediting of their work against the establishment, even if it is a right thing to do. Journalists who actually report the problems of people are tagged anti-nationals because that benefits the government. This planned attack is done on anybody and everybody who dares to ask a question.
Modi’s term saw a worrisome slowdown in India’s economy. India’s economy is an international issue because a decade back it was assumed that India might outgrow China.
What transpired during Modi’s regime is just the opposite of what the international community expected. Modi is surrounded by yes-men. So, when an official on reputed posts tries to confront the PMO, it’s often observed that the official is either suspended, asked to resign or slapped with cases that will work as a silencing tool.
For example, Modi’s demonetisation of currency in 2016 came as a shocker. What followed the banning of existing currency notes was the shutting down of small businesses, a halt of cash flow in the industry and months-long struggle for the middle class and poor to withdraw their own hard earned money.
Raghuram Rajan, the then RBI governor resigned citing that demonetisation was an unplanned move and he strongly opposed it. Urjit Patel, who became the RBI governor later, also resigned citing personal issues. Reports suggested that Patel wasn’t in favour of granting a chunk of reserved RBI funds to the government.
Similarly, Ashok Lavassa who stayed adamant on sending notice to Modi for breaking model code of conduct in 2019 general elections, was slapped with an income tax department’s notice.
Modi and his followers hate intellectuals. Their constant criticism of historians, Nobel Laureates and the economists does go handy with the propaganda they want to address. They can easily tag these people as ‘anti-India.’
Threatening someone to go to Pakistan has now become a drawing room joke. Foreign press is often named as enemies of prosperity of India, whereas the questions asked are systematically ignored. People are brainwashed to believe that anybody who talks against the establishment is against the country.
It’s high time to accept that BJP thrives on communal tensions. The rise of the right wing party from 2 seats to 88 in the Lok Sabha came at the cost of demolition of the historic Babri Masjid and the nationwide riots that followed.
Prime Minister Modi rose to popularity after the 2002 riots in Gujarat when he was a CM. Such is the BJP’s stronghold on the issue of communalism that the Congress Party which boosts secularism, had to lay their armour down and accept the Ayodhya verdict. The Congress may have feared that if they opposed the verdict, Hindu voters might not vote for them again.
The constant decimating of institutions is a threat to India’s future. The police department which supposedly protects its citizens, now acts on the orders of politicians to beat up protesting students. In Uttar Pradesh, where Modi’s favourite monk-turned Politician Yogi Adityanath rules, protestors are beaten, women are manhandled, shots are fired on protestors and damage recovery notices are sent to random people for destruction of property during protests.
In one such case, the notice of compensation for damaging public property was sent to a man who had passed away six years back!
The Supreme Court, despite its criticism of siding with the ruling party, has criticised the UP government, calling its rule “jungle raj” (rule of the jungle). The CBI, ED and other prime institutions are used as political tools. BJP leaders announce the dates of elections even before the Election Commission does.
In the recent annual democracy index released by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), India fell down by 10 spots, its lowest since 2006. ‘Erosion of Civil Liberties’ is a reason why the world’s largest democracy falls in the category of a ‘Flawed Democracy.’
The recent anti-CAA protests have been the biggest resistance that Modi has faced since he came to power. But, the lack of dialogue and understanding is making the scenario worse. Every day, lakhs of people are gathering in different parts of the country.
But instead of having a dialogue with protestors, the Modi government is busy maligning them by calling them “tukde tukde gang” and anti-nationals.
What citizens of India have forgotten in the meantime are the promises Modi made in 2014 when he was fighting for the highest position. When unemployment is at a 45-year peak, the youth is incited to hate reputed universities and participate in a practice of hating on their fellow citizens.
The future of India seems bleak under the Modi regime. What we’ll have to see is whether it’s enough to either wake him up from his slumber or to defeat him in the next elections.