Is Modi’s India Moving From Democracy To Dictatorship?
By Parul Verma
31 December, 2015
In a political system that filters and denies the existence of basic human rights of speech, movement, biological functions ( eating/sexuality ),there lay a common man's fear that becomes their psychological weapon and order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear of annihilation, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of loss of property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of fear itself....It is not easy for a common man who is conditioned by fear to free himself from the enervating miasma of fear. This fear precisely becomes the psychological tool of a dictator to mass govern the population.How does a dictator induces this fear without the conscious understanding of a common man is not difficult to understand, rather is difficult to acknowledge. Little by little the basic rights of the common man is subtracted without his knowledge and by the time he realise the procedure of this subtraction, the entire geographical area becomes the slave of the skewed dictator.
I have always maintained a position as how crucial it is to understand the psychological means via which the oppression becomes feasible. The amount of violations of a common man's rights in a country is always an inverse function of the amount of complaints about its citizen's rights violations heard from the same country. The greater the number of complaints being aired, the better protected are human rights in that country. But the moment the censorship of the concern voice begins ( as being witnessed among the Indian intellectuals ), know that the tyranny of the dictator is at play.
Hence, understanding the current Indian political scenario using politically correct statements would be a form of linguistic fascism. Hence questioning the recent communal broadcasting, intellectual censorship, politicizing of the religion , through a critical prism is much needed.
Butchering of the minorities ( religious-political tools of dictatorship )
Since the rise of the Modi government, the promotion of the right-wing Hindutva ideologies have escalated. The landslide use of power to promote the Hindutva religious ideologies by BJP(ruling Hindu national party) is plaguing the nation, at the cost of oppressing anything and everything that do not comply with their religious ideologies. The power play of the privileged religious ideologues over others is becoming a common phenomenon across India. Hindu religion being abused by the Hindutva to dictate its political power by paralyzing the minorities. The unconscious attempt of Hinduizing India has seeped the conscious and is very well being implemented.
“The population of Muslims and Christians is growing day by day. To rein in this, Centre will have to impose emergency, and Muslims and Christians will have to be forced to undergo sterilisation so that they can’t increase their numbers.”– All-India Hindu Mahasabha vice-president Sadhvi Deva Thakur
“It is my dream that we would create a Hindustan of the Hindus. Maharashtrians or Punjabis alone cannot fight against Islam. That is why, I appeal to all Hindus to break the linguistic wall around them and come together so that we can bring Islam in this country down to its knees.”– Former Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray
India has witnessed the rise of communal tension incidents up by 24% and related deaths by 65%, since Modi’s rise of power in 2014. The latest data ,by the Union home ministry reflects the reporting of 287 communal incidents alone in 2015 (reflected data till May 31st 2015). Most of the victims were Muslims and Christians.On the 9th of october ,2015 a petrol bomb was hurled inside the truck while three people were asleep. Although the driver, Rameez Bhat, managed to escape, Zahid Ahmed and ShowkatAhmed suffered severe burns and were admitted to the hospital. A violent Hindu mob attacked the truck on the suspicion of them smuggling cattles and slaughtering of the cows.. Another incident on the same day, 9th of October 2015 in Agra witnessed the same story. Rafeeq and Habib, were severely beaten by a violent mob on allegations of slaughtering a cow. The UP police filed an FIR against the two Muslim men against the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The post-mortem, however reflected a different story. The cow had indeed died of natural causes as was originally put forth by the owner.The recent communal murder on 28 September 2015 in Dadri (Uttar Pradesh ),a 50-year-old man Mohammad Akhlaq, was beaten to death and his 22-year-old son severely injured, got much media attention. The aggressive Hindu mob attacked the family with swords and bricks after rumours spread via the announcement from a local temple about the family storing and consuming beef.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, a total of 3365 communal incidents occurred in the country from 2011 to October, 2015. This is an average of 58 incidents a month. Eight states Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan & Uttar Pradesh account for 85% of all the incidents. These states were ruled by various parties at different points in time in these 5 years.
The mentioned eight states( by the Ministry of Home Affairs) with highest number of communal violence, out of which four states ( Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh) is under the BJP term of power. Even though the graph below indicates the decrease in number of communal violence in Rajasthan, it is important to note that Rajasthan was under Congress till 2013, after which BJP took over and the sharp escalation of communal violence was witnessed in 2014. A detailed report on the same can be viewed on the following link.
[ source: India had 58 communal incidents per month in the last 5 years & 85% of these incidents occurred in just 8 states by RAKESH DUBBUDU]
Now one might question, What exactly is India's beef with the beef? Is it really about the beef to begin with or the crass execution of the demonstration of THE power ? As the curtain unveils itself, it becomes visible how the religion( cow as a piousHindu animal) is being (mis)used by the Hindutva to endorse its skewed political power and religious ideologies ( political- religious tools of dictatorship ). Argument supporting the rise of Hindu nationalism and the preveiligised laws towards a particular religion is what’s at play, placing ‘others’ ( non- Hindus) at the lowest denominator. Cow has become a scapegoat to oppress anything and everything that does not comply or follow the ideologies of a ruling party ( a classical symptom of a Dictatorship regime ).Another question one might raise is of the Hindu Vedic ancient description of Cow as a holy animal.Now, the religious justification of the law supporting criminalisation of cow slaughter by the Hindutva community does not align with the historical and archaeological facts . Irony penetrates in the status symbol of the cow, of then and now, once researched extensively. The ancient Vedic literature suggested that the Gopatha Brahman describes 21 types of yajñas (sacrifices), the most important of which included animal sacrifice. The offering varied depending on which god was being propitiated Gods such as Indra had a special preference for bull's meat while sacrifices to Agni were of both bull's and cow's. Vedic traditions suggest that the Maruts and the Asvins were also offered cows. The Asvamedha and the Rajasuya yajñas all included animal sacrifice in large numbers. In Asvamedha for instance, more than 600 animals were killed, and its end was celebrated with the sacrifice of 21 cows. The archaeological excavations reflects ample of empirical evidence for the same.Excavation at Lal quila,district bulandshehar—[source:-Indian Archaeology 1969-70 A Review] conducted by the Archaeological Research Laboratory at Oxford, indicate a mean date of 1880 B.C found animal bones in large numbers. The cut-marks, present on many of them, suggest that the meat was the staple diet. Evidence of some grains(cereal), suggested agriculture as a subsidiary occupation, was also available [source:-beef eating in ancient India : Sanjeev sabhlok]
Following the communal attacks by the right wing violent Hindu mob on the muslims ,an article in RSS organ Panchajanya said “ the Vedas order killing of anyone who slaughter a cow. Cow slaughter is a big issue for Hindu community. For many of us it is a question of life and death.”
The status of the cow as an religious animal has been reformed into the political symbol via which the privileged religious ideologies( ruling party in power) is being endorsed. The political cow is being misused for the crass exertion of the political power of the skewed ideologues ( Political-Religious tools of dictatorship ). Cow , infact has become a scapegoat to oppress anything and everything that does not comply or follow the ideologies of a ruling party ( A classical symptom of dictatorship where Dictatorships and totalitarianism generally employ political propaganda to decrease the influence of proponents of alternative governing systems, as is the nature of nationalism of any governing system).
What needs to be questioned is power of the impunity. What is plaguing the nation is the power to abuse and the abuse of the power without the fear of its consequences( another symptomatic condition of a Dictatorship regime). The implementation of endorsing one privileged religion over another is an act of religious bigotry. If the condition is not intervened with just policies that operates with the zero-tolerance towards any civilian exgravating the communal riots, India shall foresee a tragic future.
Parul Verma (An activist, student and a writer). Her work has been published in Counterpunch ,Global Research,Kashmir Monitor, Last word, Intifada Palestine, countercurrents, shared by David Icke etc. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org for any feedback or queries.