Modiji’s Political Bulldozer Picks up Speed
Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
This is the bulldozer era. The bulldozer era of Indian politics. The way a bulldozer only stops its work once it completes the demolition of a building. In the same way, Indian democracy and the Indian Constitution are being bulldozed under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.
The grand celebration of the ‘Mother of Democracy’ is targeting democracy itself. The speed of this ‘bulldozer raj’ is very fast. It is eager to trample everything in a short time. It doesn’t leave time for the Opposition parties to prepare and properly respond to the ongoing attacks. Such a strategy is usually used in wars where the enemy is bombarded so much that they are unable to do anything, their counter-offensive is broken, which means that all their strategy of defence and offence fail.
In 2023, the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre, its mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and other extremist Hindutva organisations have joined forces to impose their agenda in this way.
The issues of Uniform Civil Code (UCC) or One Nation-One Election are not new. So, is the ongoing debate of India vs Bharat. The attempts to change the Criminal Procedure Code to ‘Hindutvawadi Samhita’ should also be seen in this light.
These are not new issues that have emerged out of nowhere. The RSS-BJP have for long been laying the political ground for these. These issues have been gradually served to the masses. The issue of One Nation-One Election was a part BJP’s election manifesto in 2014. Even UCC is an old weapon that has been used to propagate hatred against minority groups.
The way these issues have been brought to the fore in the middle of 2023 makes it clear that the Modi government has geared up to demolish the foundations of democracy and enter a Sengol Era-Monarchical regime before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. In these times, the hegemony of Hindi and Sanskrit is being instituted shamefully, by strangling the country’s linguistic diversity.
When we closely examine the attempts of establishing Hindi as a national language and giving Sanskritised names to most schemes (From Vande Bharat trains to Ujjwala Yojana, Pradhanmantri Vaya Vandana Yojana, Jal Jeevan Mission, Pradhanmantri Samman Nidhi, Agnipath, Agniveer, Pradhanmantri Poshan Shakti Nirman Abhiyan, Pradhanmantri Shram Yogi Maan Dhan, Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan, Ayushman Bharat, Sukanya Samridhhi Yojana etc), it reveals a long preparation in this regard.
The difference is that now there is anxiety in the BJP-RSS over the Opposition’s unity, which has led to an increase in the bulldozers’ speed. After the Monsoon session of Parliament ended in August, polarisation along these issues has become more and more pronounced.
The way in which the Bharat vs India debate is being promoted and Bharat is being established right before the G20 summit, speaks a lot about the speed of the Modi government’s ‘Bulldozer Raj’. Writing ‘President of Bharat’ on G20 dinner invitations and writing ‘Prime Minister of Bharat’ in Modi’s introduction in the ASEAN meeting held in Indonesia, are tell-tale signs that a decision in this regard has already been taken at the highest level.
This is the end of the era of constitutional democracy, and the beginning of the Sengol era. Here, the regime gives in to the wishes of the supreme leader. A bunch of people is ready to lap up this agenda, sugarcoat it and present it to the people -- be it cricketer Virendra Sehwag or groups of social media influencers displaying pictures of Ambedkar-Periyar -- who clearly write that Modi has been constitutionally elected to the government, so why would he try to demolish the Constitution. This way, mayhem is being quickly spread across the country.
On one hand, a state’s Chief Minister begins a campaign against the Editors’ Guild of India, while on the other hand, the country’s Home Minister has taken up a campaign against a state government.
The bulldozer on the ground only moves in one direction, to demolish the slums. But the political bulldozer is busy moving to demolish countless constitutional, lawful and rational thoughts.
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar clearly remarked about G20 that it is a “global era” and this should be propagated everywhere. Taunting previous governments, he proclaimed how well the Modi government had used this event. Now, when this statement is read in the light of the country’s former Vice President Venkaiah Naidu’s interview to the news agency PTI, in which he talks about One Nation-One Election, we can see that the game of building a narrative is being played on many levels. Venkaiah Naidu has cleared the air behind One Nation-One Election by saying that holding elections again and again was a “roadblock” in the country’s progress, as it burdened the country’s economy again and again. It creates a diversion for government officials. The government cannot take big decisions because of elections. The intention is clear, the government doesn’t want to go among the people again and again, it wants the freedom to make big decisions…essentially excluding the public from democracy.
This politics is setting the political bulldozer’s agenda. People’s issues are absent from it. Bharat is being accorded a false pride and is being pitted against India. Even though the Constitution clearly uses Bharat and India as synonymous words. This not only reveals the anxiety induced by the Opposition’s INDIA bloc in the ruling dispensation, but also brings to the fore its assault on the federal structure of Indian democracy, which we identify in the Constitution from the line ‘We the People’….
(Translated from Hindi)
The writer is a senior journalist. The views are personal.
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