By Dr. Gyan Pathak
The contemporary Indian narrative of the times of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is full of confusing signals for the common men. On the one hand PM Narendra Modi and his government in all their appearance has been trying to be truthful, doing justice, and virtuous, while on the other the opposition accuses them of resorting to falsehood, doing injustice to the people of India, and dishonest.
Is there anything veiled under the appearance of truth, justice, and virtue? The answer has been suggested, by not less than Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, who seems to be convinced in her assertion, to be cowardice. “File a case against me and put me in jail too if you want, but the truth is that the prime minister of this country is a coward,” She said the other day. “He is an arrogant coward. He hides behind his power. But remember that there is a long tradition in our country that its people teach the arrogant king a lesson.”
Is he really a coward? Especially when he has been seen as posing to be the bravest and the strongest leader of the country, and crores of his supporters has been suggesting as such leading to a state of majority of Hindu mind in the country hypnotized, who are ready to do anything for their leader? They are hurt when PM Modi is criticized, in or outside the Parliament of India.
Supporter officials in the government and also supporters outside file cases against those who oppose and criticize him, and action taken against only to show that course of truth, justice, and virtue is being followed. Cases are vigorously pursued and judgements delivered by the court and the government promptly executes them. Though, in many cases his supporters committing crime are even prematurely taken out from jail while they have been serving sentences, cases of some are not pursued when they switch over in his support or even the matters are hushed up. Even in the Supreme Court of India, it has been submitted that among the cases against Member of Parliament, Legislative Assemblies and Legislative Councils of the States, 95 per cent are against opposition leaders. Everything is happening under the appearance of truth, justice, and virtue.
India is presently a secular democratic republic, at least constitutionally. How then efforts for establishing a Hindu Rashtra is not seen by these people as anti-constitutional? It has been recently questioned by an Akal Takht Jathedar, as to why those who demand a Hindu Rashtra are not facing similar action as is being taken against those who are demanding a Sikh Rashtra? Those who are working for Hindu Rashtra have long been alleging that Muslims have been trying to establish Muslim Rashtra again in the country. Moreover, Muslims have been all along alleging that they have always been wrongfully targeted by the Hindu Rashtra forces which PM Modi and his government deny. The Hindutva political forces allege opposition political parties of “minority appeasement” while they themselves following series of policies for “majority appeasement” to garner majority votes to grab and remain in power.
PM takes oath in the name of protecting the constitutional values before taking the reigns and hence is bound by his oath to protect all constitutional values, which includes the parliamentary democracy. How can then the PM can conceive an opposition free India, as it has been reflected in his “Congress Free India” statement. The very definition of democracy includes the opposition. The ruling establishment has been alleged of following no holds barred strategies to finish the opposition.
Communalization in the country is at its peak as it appears from the media reports, both national and international. Just as water flows from the top downwards, with change of rule different kinds of signals start flowing from the top. Has this communalization come from the top that we have been witnessing? Several media reports links the present communal situation to RSS and its political front the BJP. PM Modi has been alleged for it even since post-Godhra riots of 2002, when he was chief minister, in which hundreds of people lost their lives. Supreme Court of India given him clean chit, but of late a BBC documentary has shown him encouraging communalism by spewing venom against Muslims, which his government has immediately banned in India.
No doubt, on account of complete control over his government and his party, he has been strongest political leader in the country who does not have any threat of being convicted in any case whatsoever. His orders and hints are being vigorously pursued by his supporters and officials. He does anything he wants in terms of policies for the country or suppression of opposition leaders or supporting his corporate friends such as has been alleged in case of Adani or Ambani. He is unbridled ruler, and his government has been alleged of centralization of power through weakening the very federalism of the constitutionally Federal Republic of India, and every democratic institutions. These allegations are vigorously denied by the ruling establishment and their supporters. Even violation of the constitutional provisions is being legally and technically carried out in the country, of which Indians are witness to.
Hindutva and hyper nationalism have become refuse for the ruling establishment under PM Modi, his supporters and his party, which they invoke more often to defend themselves and their alleged misconducts. Right to speech is a fundamental right, but are not tolerated under his regime. Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the Congress, the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha, has been sentenced to undergo two years of imprisonment for criticizing PM Modi during an election campaign in 2019, which was not tolerated. One Modi in Gujarat, who is also a BJP leader, was hurt by the criticism and a judicial magistrate sentenced him. He was disqualified from the House and barred for eight years to contest any election. He was thus politically and legally removed from PM Modi’s ways and aspirations. Irony is that many committing serious crimes, including the Modi surnamed persons named by Rahul are still at large and Rahul, who raised fingers on, has been sentenced on defamation charge.
Opposition has been alleging that PM himself and his supporters have been using outrightly defamatory, insulting, and inappropriately communal words against opposition leaders and communities during election campaigns but proportionate actions were not taken against anyone.
The contemporary situation in India reminds of a famous work of Henry Sienkiewicz “Quo Vadis: a narrative of the time of Nero”. Nero was called a coward because he committed all sorts of crime, allowed as such to happen or he himself caused thus, while always striving for the appearance of truth, justice, and virtue. Nero became instrumental for the fall of Rome.
Though one cannot compare PM Modi to Nero, Quo Vadis, gives an insight about how a coward ruler can operate and inflict injustice to anyone who oppose him or who is at least perceived to be as such always with an appearance of truth, justice, and virtue. Priyanka Gandhi still calls him coward while for supporters he is a hero leading the nations to become superpower by 2047. In the meanwhile, poor and downtrodden in the country have been undergoing an existential crisis, and has to remain content whatever is thrown before them as help from PM Modi and his government. What the people are supposed to do? People, both ignorant and knowledgeable are trying to find an answer. (IPA Service)