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Modi 2.0: dark clouds have engulfed the nation, writes Sitaram Yechury – analysis


Surreal is perhaps the only way to describe the Modi 2.0 government’s first anniversary marking. As government data detailing the destruction of the economy before the coronavirus and the consequent ruin of millions of lives over the past year were released, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi wrote to us all describing the year as ” a gold. ” chapter in the history of Indian democracy. “This ruin has been compounded by the coronavirus pandemic and the unplanned and abrupt unilateral blockade announced by the Prime Minister. This blockade has neither strengthened efforts to combat the pandemic nor provided any relief to beleaguered citizens The situation continues to worsen.

India seems to have entered a post-truth society. the oxford dictionary defines post-truth as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to personal emotions and beliefs.” The government’s propaganda and twist machine projects a surreal world divorced from the truth.

The first year of this government has been traumatic. In addition to all the other issues, such as the economic recession, the increase in people’s miseries, attacks on democratic rights and civil liberties, this year has been traumatic for the unique approach with which this government began to systematically undermine the secular, democratic and republican republican order. .

Among the attacks, the delivery of a verdict and not justice in the dispute of the site of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, the criminalization of the triple talaq of only Muslim men, not others’ for abandoning their wives, are two who come to the mind immediately.

Modi 2.0 began with an immediate assault on the Constitution with the repeal of Article 370. In one fell swoop, the state of Jammu and Kashmir became part of history and was forked into the Union territories. The promises made during the freedom movement and the Constitution have been betrayed. The way this was done was an affront to the constitutional scheme of things. By dissolving the elected assembly and failing to hold the elections alongside the 2019 general election, this government deliberately omitted the constitutional stipulation that the border of any state in India cannot be altered without the agreement of the assembly. Since the assembly did not exist, the Governor appointed by the Center was supposed to be the substitute, whose consent was naturally obtained. The entire exercise was carried out surreptitiously.

Then came the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), a blatant violation of the Constitution by stipulating religion as a criterion for citizenship. The Constitution stresses the equality of all citizens, regardless of their caste, creed, gender or any other attribute. CAA’s corollary was the National Population Registry on the basis of which the National Registry of Citizens would be prepared. This exercise was seen by many as the intensification of communal polarization that fuels the broader construction of attacking the Muslim minority. These two, along with many other assaults, are part of the effort to transform a secular, democratic and republican India into an intolerant theocratic and exclusive fascist state, which is the project of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological mentor of the Bharatiya Janata Festival . Citizenship is the fundamental requirement for any other right provided by the Constitution. Once people are stripped of their citizenship, they are automatically stripped of all their rights and freedoms in India.

These attacks on the Constitution were accompanied by the weakening of constitutional institutions. Both issues were challenged in the Supreme Court (SC) and continue there without being heard, considered or judged. The SC has chosen to consider issues such as early bail on journalists accused of aiding hate campaigns as more important than defending the Constitution. From the deepest recesses of my memory, growing images of courts emerge during the apartheid regime in South Africa, where criminals were acquitted and victims prosecuted. Retired South Carolina judge Gopala Gowda recently commented that the draconian experience of the infamous ADM Jabalpur case in which anyone deemed a political threat to the authorities could be detained without trial, during the emergency, is now over fashion.

The four fundamental pillars of the Constitution: secular democracy; Social justice; federalism; and economic self-sufficiency: they are taking a beating. The sharpening of community polarization and the weakening of secularism are accompanied by attacks against any expression of dissent. Draconian laws such as the Sedition Law, the Illicit Activities (Prevention) Law and the National Security Law are used. The stigma of social oppression has worsened.

There is an increasing centralization of all authority by the central government, bypassing elected state governments, denying federalism. A unitary state is required not only to centralize authority to facilitate the realization of the RSS project, but also to create a surveillance “security state”.

The grandiose announcement of the ~ 20 lakh crore financial package in the name of self-sufficiency is but a model for India’s self-sufficiency. Provides profit maximization for foreign and domestic companies. The net result will be a further widening of economic inequalities that have already reached alarming levels.

Such are the dark clouds that have engulfed the Indian Republic for the past year. The silver lining must be magnified by all of us together to outshine and consume these dark clouds.

Sitaram Yechury is Secretary General, CPI (M)

The opinions expressed are personal.

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