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Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi feeding cows during a visit to the Garwaghat Ashram in Varanasi on Monday. PTI Photo / Twitter(PTI3_6_2017_000227B)

Narendra Modi government is completing three years of its rule tomorrow. It’s time to take stock of the government and the governance.

Though three years in a span of seventy years of Independent India is not much, there are some important issues that should be discussed which may provide guidelines for the future.

Rise of The Right

Since the first change of guard in 1977 after about three decades of Congress rule, the opposition, especially rightist Hindutva forces began to gain ground in national politics. After Indira and Rajiv Gandhi rule, the influence increased and by the turn of this century, they even assumed power for a brief term before the UPA wrested for another decade of scandal ridden rule.

Meanwhile, the Hindutva forces consolidated with the weakening of Congress and the inability of mass mobilisation from the left.  The brief taste of power earlier gave the Hindutva strategists enough ammunition to ‘ divide ‘ people on the lines of caste and religion and ‘ unite’ the Hindutva forces to come to power. Still Narendra Modi led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could garner only 31% of votes in the 2014 elections. It  is an indication of clever ‘ machinations’ of parliamentary electoral system. Besides the communal factor, people’s disillusionment with Congress ( and other UPA members) also played a crucial role.

Present Rule

Thus, the right- wing came to power with a ‘ negative’ vote behind it. Though there were communal elements  during congress rule,  it was a rare opportunity for the Hindutva forces. So, they wanted to seize upon the opportunity and assert control on the political system.
The government started to steadily implementing it’s Hindutva agenda. One of the prominent hurdle to handle was the education sector. The social polarisation reflected in growing dissent. The lynching of Dalits and Muslims by fanatics were questioned by intellectuals in colleges, human rights activists, NGOs and journalists. To stop the growing criticism, the government started to saffronise universities, colleges and educational institutions. The functioning NGOs were severely curtailed by imposing severe restrictions This process continued vigorously till widespread protests grew. Historic movement like award ‘ Wapsi’ and the electoral debacle in Bihar made the ruling party rethink strategy.

Appropriation

To  sustain power, the rulers began to project influential Dalit leaders. Modi began to applaud Ambedkar on each and every occasion and identify with his ideals’ selectively’ leaving controversial anti – Hindu ideas of Ambedkar. Muslims were divided by raising the issue of Triple Talaq. This ‘ selective and  opportunistic division ‘ helped them in UP elections

Corporate role

Corporates, business tycoons, landlords and rich have not only financed political parties, but also ‘ influenced’ elections in many ways. They cleverly take sides sensing ‘ mood’ of the people. They support Congress when people are against communalism and support BJP when anti- incumbency is high and the people are averse to Congress. Their ultimate aim is to permit the expansion of their property, amass wealth, write off NPAs and reduce taxes. Whichever government supports them, they fund the party. They are the de-facto rulers of the nation.

Future fears

There may be another couple of years (or even less since preparations show that general elections may be held even earlier) left for the regime. Most of the damage has been initiated in these three years. The Hindutva forces have spread far and wide including in lesser known places like Kerala and west Bengal. Institution after institution is being handed over to RSS sympathisers and  dissent is being crushed. Steps for surveillance are being carried on a war-footing. Welfare schemes are being curtailed and facilities for the rich in all aspects increased.
The fascist tendencies are on the rise and political persecutions are becoming rampant. These were also present in previous Congress rule but now, the pace has increased enormously.

Action for future

It is clear that the problems of poor remained same in all the regimes – whether Congress or BJP. Even a brief Janata Party rule or National Front rule could not alleviate poverty.. Hence, mainstream parties have , by and large, failed though national front government under V. P. Singh initiated big reforms like the implementation of the Mandal Commission report.

What to do?

With failures of all parties, the pertinent question is : which is lesser evil? The rightist Brahminical party spreading communalism and fascism is trying for another term for total Hindu – isation of secular India. It has big corporates and the rich ( who mostly are brahmins and banias) on it’s side. Hence, it has money, mafia, media and guns on it’s side. Congress, as with all other parties, has leadership crisis .

Therefore, alternative politics should take control. As Gadar said, the political power must come out of control of the ten ( or less) percent of upper- castes. The dalits, Muslims, other backward castes and intellectuals who support the transfer of power from upper- castes ( irrespective of their caste or religion) and women should challenge the mainstream parties and assume control. Then only, the dreams if Ambedkar would be fulfilled.

Sheshu Babu is a writer from anywhere and everywhere and who want to foster the whole world

This article is first in a series evaluating three years of Narendra Modi government. Your articles can be submitted to editor@countercurrents.org

 

  • Farooque Chowdhury

    Thanks, SB, for a good initiation of the planned series. I like to thank you, first, for clear expression, for sentences and statements that carry meaning, for a position that is clear to an ordinary reader like me. It’s upto reader, to agree or not, but the position of an author should be well expressed to the reader. A reader needs an articulate statement if the reader likes to know, understand and agree or disagree with the analysis/comment, etc. A few articles in Countercurrents now-a-days are carrying useless and meaningless sentences and statements although those appear very scholarly at first sight but totally meaningless and confusing. I don’t know what value those carry other than deceiving ordinary reader like me. I don’t know what the benefit the author gets with uselss sounds other than self-satisfaction!

    Looking forward for the entire series, SB, with the hope of learning.

  • Sally Dugman

    Thank you for expressing an overview, Sheshu. What a mess! It seems as bad as politics in my country, USA.Glad to see you writing essays!!!

  • As a contributing writer to Countercurrents, I would like to personally thank you, Sheshu Babu, for not only taking the time to read each and every article posted here, but also commenting on them. That is so very generous of you.

    Excellent start to this series, and, I second Sally Dugman’s emotion re the political situation in India being as crazy as it is here in the US. Looking forward to reading more of your writings.