By Arun Srivastava
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been trying to build his empire on the foundation of Nehru bashing, he has been outdoing the Emergency of Indira Gandhi by creating a more crude and ruthless Emergency like situation.
Nehru bashing has not at all been a new element for the Indian politics. Even while Jawaharlal Nehru was the prime minister some opposition leaders, particularly from the socialist parties indulged in Nehru bashing. But there has been one major difference between the harangue of those days and the present invective. In those days even leaders like Ram Manohar Lohia never used any indecent word as is being resorted today. They never used bashing as an abuse against him.
As everything is fair in love and war, Modi and his party colleagues do not hesitate in hitting below the belt. Modi is aware of the fact that he cannot entice the urban middle class voters without maligning Nehru and his family. For winning them he ought to feed them with two ideas; Nehru proffered corruption and Indira Gandhi subverted the Constitution. Personally he does not have any alternate idea or ideology to offer to the middle class.
His latest move to correlate the Citizenship Amendment Act with that of Nehru becoming the prime minister is the classic example of his distorting the history. A couple of days back he while deflating the criticism of CAA, he said; “Someone had to become Prime Minister so a line was drawn in India and the country was divided.” A closer look at his accusation against Nehru would make it explicit that he was trying to project Nehru as an anti-national.
Had it not been the implication he would not have accused him of grabbing the power. He was obviously referring to Sardar Patel and to get political mileage out of his allegation it was essential that Patel should be projected as a nationalist leader.
His targeting Nehru has wider implication. Nehru represents the secular and progressive ideas. Nehruvian philosophy is a widely known idealism. For making his own independent [place in the contemporary political history of India as well as in the hearts and minds of the middle class voters it was indispensable for him to abuse Nehru. This is the only way through which he can project him as the alternative idea and creator of modern India.
But sad for Modi this mode of politics has also certain problems. It is a known fact that RSS and its Swadeshi forum do not have any alternate economic or political-economy philosophy. A look at their past machinations would reveal that they have been experimenting with many ideas and important amongst them has been their desire to adopt Gandhian economic philosophy. They even at one stage played with the idea of cobbling together the ideas of Nehru and Gandhi.
Modi cannot have a viable and concrete economic policy. He cannot have an economic policy for Hindus. Any such policy should have to be inclusive. During his last six years of stay in power, many of his economist friends quit and deserted him. It would be interesting to have a peed into the reasons for their parting of ways. They abhorred his idea of an economic policy which suits the Hindus and his corporate friends.
Modi often alleges that Nehru did not meet Bhagat Singh in jail. This is utterly a false accusation. The fact of the matter is Nehru had actually met Bhagat Singh twice in jail.
Modi claims to be the “Pradhan Sevak” of the country. But the fact is he has borrowed this from India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. At the Nehru Memorial Museum in Teen Murti Bhavan in New Delhi, there is a plaque in which Pandit Nehru’s quote is prominently embossed: “Is desh ki janta hame Pradhan Mantri na kahe, pratham sevak kahe.” Modi has merely changed pratham sevak to pradhan sevak;
It is an irony that Modi keeps on abusing Nehru and Indira Gandhi, but still copies them. Coinciding remembrance of Emergency Modi accused the social and political activists of spreading misinformation that the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will destroy the moral fabric of the constitution. Modi on Thursday came down heavily on them saying that the Congress should have saved the Constitution in 1975, when Indira Gandhi had imposed Emergency.
His accusation is really obnoxious. In a single stroke he obliterated the great sacrifices made by the social and political activities of those times in order to project himself as the sole protector of the interest of the people. How could Modi deny that he has unleashed the worst nature of violation of fundamental rights. Any one daring to raise voice is victimised.
The UN Human Rights Council described Modi government’s action as ‘Chilling message to India’s vibrant civil society that criticism of government policies will not be tolerated’. Experts from the UNHRC have demanded immediate release of 11 people, including six students, arrested for taking part in protests against the new citizenship matrix.
The statement said: “These defenders, many of them students, appear to have been arrested simply because they exercised their right to denounce and protest against the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act)”.
The worst that has happened is Modi government has incapacitated the Constitutional institution, which had not happened during Indira’s regime. Else the country would have been completely ruined and would not had sprung up. A large number of persons, writer, intellectuals and social activists are languishing in the jails. The Modi government has compromised “every institution of democracy — the investigating agency (CBI), Parliament, judiciary, media, RBI, Election Commission. All pillars of democracy have developed cracks.
Indira Gandhi declared emergency suddenly one midnight. But now we are having undeclared emergency. Modi has shown to the global fraternity that you can create an emergency in this county without necessarily declaring emergency. There is a government but the fact remains that only two people are running the party and the government together. Rest don’t matter. Modi for all plausible reason has been ripping apart the constitutional provisions on fundamental rights. The relationship between the citizen and the state has been completely changed. (IPA Service)