I pity all those who think that democracy in India is working properly today. They are either unaware of the reality or blinded by their ideological constraints that have put them in a perpetual state of denial. Journalism today has hit its nadir with a new term ‘lynching’ gaining the currency. A rumor of cow slaughter is enough to kill anyone and justify the same. Since cow protection is a favorite subject of BJP and most of the states are governed by the party, the police – responsible to maintain law and order situation in states – are reluctant to act against lynch mobs. Lynching has now become an omnipresent phenomenon.
The communal bias in the ranks of police is an open secret. The Srikrishna Commission, which investigated the Mumbai riots, in its report indicted the police force of its communal preferences. Now shocking figures have emerged – two hundred people have been killed by lynch mobs. The more glaring misgiving is that the police did not register a report even after a popular news channel NDTV aired a sting operation of lynching. Today, the government can't bear an unfavorable opinion by a journalist.
If we take a look at the constitutions that were enacted across the world after World War II, it is only the constitution of India that held its grounds and functioned smoothly. The rest of the countries have replaced or reformed their constitutions after some experimentation. The strength of Indian constitution is in that it takes everyone along with it. When Indira Gandhi lost her grip over power in 1975, she imposed emergency. Its outcome was to put every opponent in jail, impose censorship on press, which dealt a serious blow to democracy. Now Narendra Modi is trying with full conviction to get embroiled in that dubious agenda.
Whenever our democracy and constitution staggered, it was saved by the court, at times by the media, and sometimes by the public. But what is happening now is worse than all that happened in the last four and a half years. A news journalist exposed prime minister’s live interaction with the farmers of Chhattisgarh. In that interaction the prime minister inquired about increasing in the farm income of a farmer who replied that her income has been doubled. To know the reality the correspondent went to the village and asked the famer if it was true that her income had doubled. She told the journalist that it was impossible to get her income doubled in her two-acre land. The correspondent asked her then why she said so. The farmer replied that an officer dictated her to say what she had said. The news channel ran that story.
Punya Prasun Bajpai was asked to show whatever he likes without naming Modi. However, if he asked the farmer about her income, how can she name Rahul Gandhi? Bajpai left ABP news. This is a dangerous trend and resembles “fascism”. However, I do not consider social media to be a responsible platform, but from the next day the news channel became Amit Bhai Pranam on it. Last week, Harishankar Vyas in his column wrote that Indira Gandhi too had one such man, named Yashpal Kapoor, who was involved in such kind of work. But Indira-ji was prudent enough not to make him the party president. Today, senior leaders like Advani-ji and Murli Manohar Joshi-ji have to stand, when Amit Shah enters the room. I said this before and I am saying that again – Modi-ji has inflicted maximum damage to BJP and the RSS. Today the RSS has to agree with the government.
I am against capitalism. I know the power of capitalism. If you have capital, you have all the luxuries: bungalows, motors, food and drink. But I know the limitations of capitalism. A capitalist can provide all kind of luxuries but cannot wipe the tears of the poor. After a limit, the capital does not have any meaning. Nowhere in the world can one find a country as diverse as India. Narendra Modi got an opportunity as prime minister to promote and celebrate that diversity, but he missed that chance. There are millions of people in India who eat cow meat every day. They will not say in Meghalaya or Goa at the time of elections don’t eat cow meat, because you are power hungry. They have shown in the last four and a half years how people's fortunes can be put at stake by using money collected by misusing power. The Congress is helpless in front of them.
It is said that 23 lakh volunteers are being created across India to manage polling booths. But BJP doesn’t have 23 lakh loyal volunteers. They will be arranged with the help of money power. In the same way the governments were formed in Goa and in Manipur. This is the tradition of the Congress. The Congress should be happy that BJP is adopting its ideas. But it is unable to copy those initiatives of Congress that deserve merit. As prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru repeatedly apologized to the Lok Sabha whenever angry members pointed out his mistakes. The incumbent prime minister does not come to the Lok Sabha, let alone apologize.
If the opposition leader hugged him, he gets baffled. Why so? Is he untouchable or count him as one? In fact, the constitution has been created by Congressmen; it does not match the mood of the RSS. This constitution is diametrically opposite to the world view of RSS and BJP.
BJP longs to bring Dalits to its fold. First of all Dalits would not have been so indifferent to them, had they been good to them. Anyway, better late than never! I am a staunch believer of the constitution. It is a balanced document that is being undone now. You played with the people’s fate in four and a half years. Amit Shah tweeted that BJP will win 360 seats this time. That means the issue of the EVM has been settled. You got 282 seats when Modi's personal popularity was at the peak. Now when he no longer is popular, you have to come down from that position. Even if BJP gets 283 seats, the election process will draw attention.