Can the repealing of the contentious farm laws prove significant for those farmers who have been sitting all this while, at the borders surrounding the capital? Did prime minister Narendra Modi arrive at this decision after his party’s jaw dropping defeat in the recently concluded bypolls in Himachal Pradesh?
He is a leader with acute distaste for rolling back policies and legislations: demonetisation, GST (Goods and Services Tax), NRC (National Register of Citizens), CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) etc. These examples vividly illustrate how consensus can be politically purchased, picked and placed.
As for Modi’s audience, they have admiration and adoration for the ascendant. A symbolic, hyper-nationalistic sense of supremacy and sovereignty, has widely inspired and encouraged a large chunk of people into believing in the sanctity of a nationhood that is more moral, than plural.
The toxicity of masculine majoritarianism has divided the population into categories: of class, caste and community, for the betterment of a politics, that convincingly runs on agendas and propaganda.
Hindutva is nothing but an attempt to forge a homogenised vision and version of people’s shared values, beliefs and co-existence. To my mind, it is with this impunity that the Modi government has imagined that the framing and passing of laws isn’t about welfare, but more about taking on its adversaries.
Thus, the assembly elections, that are coming up in five states, are more of an opportunity for the party to rub its shoulders with those who have been at the receiving end of its short-sighted programmes and schemes—which has made the poor poorer, and vulnerable, when it comes to accessing basic resources and rights.
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From the Ujjwala scheme to Jan Dhan, they were all about reverberating a political command, communication and capital. They were about managing perceptions and propaganda, that could place PM Modi ahead of his rivals.
Still, those left behind are aimlessly hopping from pillar to post for redressal, but to no avail. They have been lured and are fascinated by a farce, which is basically all about being the fittest of the fit. They need to assert, agitate, organise and empower themselves, consciously and collectively.
Also, the response of farmers’ unions and their representatives is crucial to look out for, in the coming days, with the centre hellbent on advertising and campaigning its under-achievements ambitiously, cleverly and confidently.
Remember, time tells who can hold their ground and who will end up resigning themselves to their fate. Interestingly, the reaction of the BJP’s followers and supporters, to Modi ji’s announcement, may make for a political broadcast of his ratings, that will be for us to assess and evaluate. The buck stops here!