By Sushil Kutty
It ain’t over till the central investigative agencies including the Delhi Police do not stop coming in the way of opposition parties demanding a probe into the enrichment of one man close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the expense of India and its people, a certain industrialist native to Gujarat which is from where Narendra Modi also hails from.
The central investigative agencies are handy tools for the Modi government and they do a great job helping the Bharatiya Janata Party get its hands on the proceeds of politics that the party couldn’t lay its hands on in straightforward elections. With the 2023 calendar packed with assembly elections, there will be more attempts to thwart an already dead democracy.
But demands that the government must come clean on Adani-Hindenburg have been met with disdain and a dead democracy. The unholy nexus between the government and the Adani Group isn’t hidden but the government would rather that chaos prevailed, considering that there’s no better way to play dead!
Adani-Hindenburg l’affairewas already centre-stage when the Modi government got an alibi in the “democracy is dead” London remarks of Gandhi scion Rahul Gandhi to play innocent. Now, Gandhi is facing flak for suggesting rather obliquely that the West was making a mistake closing its eyes to the slaughter of democracy in India, often deemed as the apotheosis of democracy.
India’s fractured Opposition has found an issue though there are those in the Opposition who will insist Rahul Gandhi had stumbled on one. March 15, 2023, a march by opposition parties to the Enforcement Directorate’s office to ask for a probe into Adani-Hindenburg came up against Delhi Police barricades. This amidst noises that the Opposition remained divided.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Nationalist Congress Party’s Sharad Pawar wouldn’t tag along; maybe wary of being tagged with Rahul Gandhi, alleged “traitor”. This, when the “Modi-Adani” nexus has the potential to rock the political sphere and turn into, perhaps, a potent election issue for the 2024 general elections, which in turn will be, perhaps, the final but last chance to consign the ‘Cult of Modi’ in the dustbin of history. A “final but last chance” because we all live on hope, and the belief that “even this will pass”!
That is from the ‘Gita’. But, like the Americans say, “Nothing’s over till the fat lady sings…”, or “till ‘He’ leaves the building”. The fact is, as far as democracy in India is concerned, it will take a long, long time before the fat lady sings, if at all. And democracy is destined to remain dead because the “He” of our times is in no hurry to leave the building anytime soon.
Except maybe to attend the wedding of an editor-in-chief’s son! The ”even this will pass” will be only a thought. Democracy in India will remain comatose and dead for as long as mainstream media are directed and run by fat-cat journalists with direct access to the highest echelons of power.
Pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma at the wedding of the son of an “editor-in-chief” last week did not raise eyebrows, forget media ruckus. That is the “vibrant democracy” that marks India after nine years of Modi in the driver’s seat. But call the media out and there will be a barrage of denials and “malicious”, “baseless”, “India under attack” comments.
And who can deny the cynicism that pervades these days of allegedly heady democracy? To the extent, how many Indians truly believe that the Supreme Court-empowered six-member committee to investigate Adani-Hindenburg will come out with the whole truth, and not a wishy-washy clean chit? The fact that the Adani Group is all gaga tells a story.
If democracy is “dead”, how can it come alive? A few opposition parties have expressed relief at the Supreme Court order, but the real test for the Modi government will only be a joint parliamentary committee probe. Till then democracy in India will remain “dead”, assassinated, murdered, strangulated and hung from the rafters. And the fat lady will never sing. (IPA Service)