Unmasking Modi For What He Is
Dr. John Mohan Razu
BJP is desperate to capture power in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. As India’s polity is changing, we are in the midst of a very critical time. And yet is a defining moment. It is apparent that we are amidst trajectories of novel formation.
Political landscape is bound to change. Elections in India’s parliamentary democracy have always given rise to new social and political rubrics that advances directed nuances. Failing to respond could lead to portents of dramatic political upheaval plunging the national secular polity and multi-cultural ethos into chaos. It could give rise to fascist tendencies.
“Modi factor” is a phenomenon and should be reckoned with. Modi is consciously and systematically building his fractured image. Although Modi has been elevated to the level of approvability and acceptability among sections of socially and economically advanced segments active in social media networks such as Twitter and Face book, his image amongst the minorities, the Dalits and the Tribals has not changed.
Indian populace vividly remember 2002 happenings in Gujarat under his leadership. Modi may be under the impression that the memory of masses is short-lived, but when it comes to planned and surgically executed termination of particular communities of humanity shall be remembered as long as humanity lives.
The State of Gujarat for the BJP and Modi’s adherents is like the Garden of Eden, but for others is like House of Horror.
Modi cannot absolve from the summary killings and iron-fisted repression over minorities. So, his hands are soaked with blood. History shall never forget and forgive him. This is why he is trying to camouflage his image by wearing many masks.
He is like a chameleon that changes its colour in accordance to the circumstances. Gujarat 2002 will be remembered. It is the blot that has erased the plural image of our nation’s secular fabric.
The neo-middle class of Gujarat have benefitted hugely from the policies and programs of Modi. And this entrepreneurial caste from Gujarat that are scattered across the country showering praises for Modi. They are Modi’s image builders helping Modi to change masks as the situation demands to conceal his true character. Wolf could probably an appropriate metaphor.
Modi’s development model is unique that replicates Manu’s blueprint. Gujarat does not posit any composite and integral development model, rather gradation of enclaves and demarcated settlements for the minorities, Dalits, and the Tribals.
The type of development paradigm Modi is talking about has two sides: 1) for the rich and “high-castes” and the other, for the minorities, Dalits and Tribals.
These two sides of development cannot meet because they are polar opposites. Under Modi’s development paradigm the communities are regimented and notified.
Modi and his supporters keep blowing whistles as if his development mantra achieved its aims and objects. As envisaged and expected, communities are segmented, regimented and notified in these enclaves.
It is important to note that Gujarat stands way behind human development indices. So, Modi’s conception of development is untenable to multi-religio-cultural canvass of Indian society since HDI talks about inclusive and wholistic development of all people, and not select amnesia.
The visual and print media backed by saffron brigade is hyped with Modi’s rhetoric of development. People from certain sections of the country are somehow forced to believe.
Obviously Modi’s notion of development is exclusionary; premised on promoting particular communities to enjoy the fruits of development thereby alienating and depriving the Dalits, Tribals, minorities, and vulnerable communities. Modi’s model of development for the others is like the “Valley of the Dry Bones”.
Those who have been the victims of development models of Modi are like the dry bones living in the enclaves and margins.
History reminds us that ethnic cleansing, torture and extra-judicial killing have been part of racist, casteist and fascist agenda. In history we come across power mongered leaders who devised and executed plans by purging the non-Aryans and other identities from the face of this earth.
Known for hard core Hindutva frame, Gujarat became a state of volatility. Communal frenzy was at peak and tensions between the communities reached alarming proportions. Those who were responsible orchestrated communal riots in aggressive forms. Those vying for the top leadership of this country should have the credentials to be bi-partisan. Modi is yet prove that he is above partisan politics.
People want change and yearn for good governance. If the vacuum is not filled with alternative counter-political option, there is every possibility of potentially dangerous social formation taking place across the country.
The need of the hour is an emergence of an alternative political force or counter political-force with new political culture and ethos. History has taught us many lessons. In our political history the void has been filled with alternative people’s movements.
Take for example, JP movement, uprising during VP Singh time and movement such as Dalit, women, peasant and others. Certainly these uprisings have emerged as alternatives to fill the void and thus altered the course of history.
The strategy of BJP and its political programs are clear. Brahmanic Hinduism has the capacity and tenacity to appropriate all forms of indigenous religious traditions, cultural practice, traditions and usages under its broader umbrella of Hinduism.
BJP and its cultural outfits are systematically spreading its net to devour the Dalits and the Tribals. Their immediate and long-term political agenda is to rope-in the Dalits and the Tribals into its fold. This is why RSS and its bandwagon employ diverse means and methods against the Dalits and Tribals. Its agenda is to destroy their economic base and exterminate their resolve and resilience.
Hindutuva forces use clear cut binaries: “We, the pure, You, the Other”, “We, the Touchables, and You, the Untouchables”.
Through divisive means BJP and its agencies woo particularly the Dalit Christians and Tribal Christians by usurping them that they should come back to their “original religion”.
Some of the BJP ruled states banned cow slaughter. For the Dalits, Tribals and the labouring work force beef is an important balancing factor of their health which contains proteins and fat. For them beef is economically viable and affordable.
Even when BJP was in power in Karnataka till 2013 the government tried their best to legislate ban on cow slaughter and sale of beef. Saffronising and hinduising India from plural canvass is indeed BJP’s political project.
Rewriting Indian history and establishing Ram Rajya are their ultimate dream. Modi shrewdly moving the coins by impressing the electorates especially the Dalits, Tribals, minorities and other sceptics by invoking new images and new rhetoric.
Discerning the political map and sings of times are of utmost importance for the world’s largest democracy. For a democracy to work and function it is important for each and every citizens to exercise their rights responsibly.
It is at this juncture that it is important to invoke as B.R. Ambedkar forth rightly observed that “Beware of Parliamentary Democracy, it is not the best product as it appears to be. Democracy is like a machine whose movements are slow and there is no swift action.”
In the name of democracy the whole functioning could come to grinding halt or in place of it a dictator or a fascist could take over. Our brand of democracy known as parliamentary is dependent on the elected representatives.
BJP via Modi is embedded on exclusivist ideology and this trend is reified and reinforced by Brahmanic Hinduism. The state of Gujarat has been ghettoized under the leadership of Modi. Modi’s vision for Gujarat for the dominant identities seems to have realised, but the other identities in the process have been excluded and disenfranchised.
If this is the true face Modi, can he be a suitable candidate for the top leadership position of our country?
Already India is being fragmented on the basis of caste, colour, creed, region, language, and so on. The landscape posits instability and gradually sinking into chaos and anarchy. Covert and overt forms of violence and violations are taking place. In such a volatile context does Modi represent the pan-Indian character of secular fabric of India?
Divisive forces under the garb of pseudo nationalism have evolved diverse mechanisms keep promoting religious fanaticism and cultural nationalism. We are witnessing currently gradual evolving of fascism. The terrains do manifest and thus represent fascist trends. The social and economic divides, religio-cultural polarisation, and political anathema are on the increase.
India is entering into a new era of dictatorship. If allowed to succeed it will be horrendous thus leading to catastrophic and alarming proportions. Constitutional democracy and representative democracy shall gradually wane giving rise to all forms of usurpation of power eroding peoples’ rights and constitutional prerogatives.
If we fail in our attempt to elect “... it can be said in general terms that the discontent against Parliamentary Democracy is due to the realization that it has failed to assure the masses the right to liberty, prosperity or pursuit of happiness.”
Democracy is another name of equality, fraternity, dignity, common humanity, so on and so forth. If these values are not realised then democracy is farce and thus a mockery.
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