It is a dangerous game Modi government is playing, breeding violence, social disharmony and economic disaster. Is this what they intend to ‘Make in India’?
What can be more ‘anti-national’ than manufacturing hatred along different lines, every day?
Communists, opposition, minorities, Dalits, the poor, workers, farmers and students: who is next?
The fires raging in Haryana are only the latest in a series of ominous episodes witnessed in India since Modi government took office. This government seems to be making a habit of first fanning discord for petty political gains, and then going silent after it completely loses control over the situation.
If the killing of rationalists, Gobind Pansare and MM Kalburgi, and the lynching of Akhlaq at Dadri were dismissed as isolated incidents, the mobs on rampage in Gujarat last year, the prolonged caste trouble in Rajasthan, the unrest in Punjab, the burning of a train in Andhra recently and the current situation in Haryana send troubling signals.
The political executive, with all the power centralised in the PMO, has in addition, been only immersed in devising acronyms, managing self-projection, organising events and tamashas, and shooting off on foreign travel.
And when he is in India, as the most recent happenings in Jawaharlal Nehru University show, his government has decided to use, abuse, and misuse the state machinery to only further its own devious political ends. Police and other agencies are being used to hunt down those who are opposed to this government’s ideological fountainhead, the RSS. In the national capital itself, the police shamelessly places disproportionate and fake charges upon people this government has marked out for their political views. Kanhaiya Kumar is just the latest example of this outrageous overreach of the government.
There is no attention to governance in the country or to maintenance of social order. On things that matter, the government and the head of government are visible only by their absence. Senior union ministers and BJP MPs meanwhile keep the social temperature in our large and diverse country high with heinous statements and provocative remarks that go unchecked and uncommented upon by an otherwise most voluble Prime Minister. The PR machinery just stages and manages events, as the PM maintains silence on all burning issues of the day.
The economy is in doldrums, with no signs of a bounce. The government’s response has been to relabel some old schemes while rural distress, farmer suicides, slackening domestic demand, falling industrial growth, a rapidly diminishing Rupee, falling exports are visible to everyone else.
All this when the crude oil prices are one-third of when Modi government came to power, a benefit which has been completely frittered away. However much the figures are fudged, Modi government cannot hide the harsh reality of everyday lives of common Indians.
With no jobs to offer or prospects of turning any of its hyperbole promises into reality, this government is now rapidly entering into the next stage of fanning social discord along religious, caste and other sectarian lines. More than that, once it has started the fire, it is clueless with no mechanism or plan to defuse the situation.
The scene at Patiala House court last week encapsulates the situation elsewhere: Sangh parivar mobs run amok in a court, police is a bystander, and the head of government is missing in action.
It is a dangerous game Modi government is playing, breeding violence, social disharmony and economic disaster. Is this what they intend to ‘Make in India’? What can be more ‘anti-national’ than manufacturing hatred along different lines, every day? Communists, opposition, minorities, Dalits, the poor, labourers, farmers and students: who is next?
Siram Yechury is the general secretary of Communist Part of India-Marxist