By Krishna Jha
In India, for the first time, the extreme rightist forces have been elected to power with promises to serve the people’s cause. The shift represents a new stage in the old garb. Democracy has been perishing slowly in the hands of autocracy. ‘Divide and rule’ has been the wake up call to communalism, and that nourishes majoritarianism, an enemy from within, destroying all the institutions that help evolve the democratic ethos. Finance capital has been rooting itself under many wraps.
These wraps are meant to divide the society, openly, brutally. Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is one example that promotes one section of the society at the cost of the other. The target is not to serve the majority but to rule with ease pushing the minority to the wall, sometime leaning on obsolete, like caste and community, and at other, destroying the pillars of democracy, like efforts to amend the federal character of the Constitution. Among the recent instances of such overtures, there is NRC itself in Assam conducted to identify who has the right to be Indian citizen, and in the process nineteen lakh people got excluded. It is true that foreigners tribunal is there to make appeal but time given is only within 120 days. Then comes the transfer of the chief justice of Chennai high court with the strength of 75 judges, to Nagaland court which has only three judges. Some believe that she was transferred since she had upheld the lower court’s decision on Bilkis Bano case, a year back. She has resigned from her post.
There are also attempts to take away the powers from the hands of the states, and forcing them to surrender. Abrogation of 370 is one example of that. And hence, it is not a simple change of political power.
The extreme Right has always opposed basic progressive policies. It is also them who never participated in the freedom struggle. In reality they have always been with those who have and exploit those have not. History is witness to that.
RSS has always believed in survival of the fittest to rationalize their suppression of the helpless, making them insecure. Tabrez in Jharkhand was lynched and had a split head when he was taken to police, not hospital. He died after three days, soaked in blood, unattended. The charge against those accused has shifted now from murder to unintended murder saying he died of heart attack, as the forensic reports claimed.
We are a republic, but perhaps not of entire people as exclusion has started. Our democracy is losing its universality. The electoral system is getting restricted. Where each one had voting right, irrespective of caste, creed, gender and economic status, now instead many of them are kept in detention centres.
Our Constitution stands for unity in diversity, they insist on one nation, one rule. Dalits, women, and also minorities are not in their agenda, though our Constitution itself, declared equality to all its citizens. The caste and communal biases have played into even the budget announced now. The fees for the SC/STs, for education, has been hiked three times, unlike for the other sections.
Then there is the promised Big Bang reforms within hundred days of coming to power. The bills like triple Talaq, Amendment to Labour laws, draft education policy and finally the most destructive step of Citizenship (Amendment) bill are all passed in great hurry, without enough time for proper debate. Masses are already reeling under the effects of demonetization, GST and other assaults on the economy from the previous term of Modi rule. In this quarter of the year, the GDP has registered merely five percent growth, which is lowest in last 25 quarters.
The slowdown of the economy visible in all sectors. For example, in the automobiles sector, by August, the plunge in auto sales has been lowest since 1997-98 despite assurances by the government for revival.
This is the steepest fall in overall vehicle sales in the country since the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) started recording wholesale vehicle sales data in 1997-98.
The government is quietly engaged in these assaults. Economy stands facing its peril, there are no measures taken up to revive it. RBI had to spare one lakh seventy six thousand crore for the government. Ten banks have been merged together, energy sector is already in turmoil. It is finance capital showing through even the wraps. (IPA Service)