As the next parliamentary election draws near, the RSS-BJP-Sangh Parivar are overactive in projecting the ‘spectacular progress’ of the country under Modi’s leadership during the last nine years. The entire propaganda machine of the ruling dispensation including the IT cell of the BJP which has already earned the title of being ‘notoriously infamous’ in spreading fake news and morphed pictures through social media to turn day into night has already swung into action. A full-page advertisement appeared in the mainstream print media on 30th May ’23 under the banner of ‘‘9 Seva, Sushan, Garib Kalyan Years’’ and ‘‘Building New India, ensuring welfare of the poor’’. The Government of India has also published a 156 pages colourful booklet with pictures of Modi, highlighting the ‘achievements’ of 9 years of Mr. Modi’s rule. It would appear as if the Indian people are living in conditions overflowing with unprecedented prosperity, joy, fulfilment and contentment. But the facts speak otherwise.
Boastful claims of PM Modi and the reality
On the 76th Independence Day, on 15 August 2022, PM Modi declared from the Red Fort the period from 2022 to 2047 i.e., the next 25 years as the ‘Amrit kaal’ (ambrosia) of India’s development. He gave a list of achievements of his government so far. But unfortunately, his boastful claims are not corroborated by facts. Rather, they are diametrically opposite. So, let us examine a number of his major claims and then provide the picture of corresponding reality.
Claim—When the BJP government took over in 2014, India was the 10th largest economy in the world. By 2030, it will be the 5th largest economy.
Reality—If India becomes the 5th largest economy, how would it benefit the poor, underprivileged and deprived millions? Already, extreme inequality in distribution of wealth is glaringly manifest. GDP or economic growth figures do not reveal the distribution pattern of wealth generated. Just 5 per cent of Indians own more than 60 per cent of the country’s wealth, while the bottom 50 per cent of the population possess only 3 per cent of the wealth. Industrialist Mukesh Ambani earns Rs 23,000 per second, or 1,987 crore a day. Monopolist Gautam Adani and family earn Rs 1,002 crore a day On the other hand, 68% of Indians still earn less than Rs 146 per day and about 30% earn less than Rs 83 per day. This data clearly indicates that the path towards becoming the 5th largest economy is marked by vulgar growth of wealth of only a handful of super rich and rising pauperization of the toiling millions. The country still has the world’s highest number of poor at 228.9 million. Wealth inequality has stripped 70 per cent of Indians from as basic a necessity as a healthy, consumable diet leading to the yearly deaths of 1.7 million owing to diseases resulting from a poor diet. The median wage of the country is just enough to provide for the most basic of sustenance and losing a week’s income would push them to the brink of starvation. This is the spectacle of a trillion rupees economy. One shudders to think what will be the future spectacle with this process going on unabatedly.
Claim—As many as 80 crore people are getting free food grains.
Reality—Availability of free ration to 80 crore people was introduced during Covid 19 and not before. The government is not bearing the cost (stated to be Rs 2 lakh crores) from its own pocket but out of the tax revenue (both direct and indirect) collected from toiling millions. However, the government declared in December last that five kilogram of ration per person per month is provided free to 80 crore odd beneficiaries covered under National Food Security Act (NFSA), will not be clubbed with the free ration scheme Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), which ended on 31December 2022 meaning only NFSA quota will be available.
Even after all these drum-beatings, 19 crore Indians go to bed hungry every night and India ranks 107th out of the 121 countries in Global Hunger Index 2022. Secondly, people were getting subsidized ration for decades. Free ration for one year is an election bait of the Modi government. It is pertinent to point out that this very government is mopping up thousands of crores from the common people by imposing GST on almost all the essential items, raising indirect tax and earning huge revenue of as high as Rs 32 lakh crores by over-taxation on fuel though there is around 35% fall in international crude price. Evidently, the government extracts much more from the people than what minimal cost it incurs for giving something ‘‘free’’, and that too for a limited period.
Claim—Over 3 crore families have received pucca houses. Over 3 crore urban and rural houses were constructed under PM Awas Yojana.
Reality—A total of 61.5 lakh all-weather ‘pucca’ houses, out of 1.22 crore houses sanctioned, have been constructed or delivered to beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban’s (PMAY-U) ‘Housing for All’ mission, till March 2022, according to what Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister informed the Lok Sabha on 21 July 2022. It shows only 50% were completed till March 2022. According to National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-21) 15% Urban and 52% of the Rural population still does not have Pucca houses in India. That sounds as if each family owns a pucca house in urban areas, but in what horrendous conditions, cramped into corners or sort of rooms in dilapidated ‘Pucca houses’ urban toiling people are forced to live squeezed together for bare survival, simply beggars description.
Claim—11.2 crore toilets built under ‘Swachh Bharat’ Mission (SBM).
Reality—The SBM-Urban and-Gramin (SBM-G) websites have been showcasing over 30% manufactured data, with over 12 lakh toilets ‘constructed’ between 2014 and 2020 that do not exist, and beneficiaries who have no knowledge of the toilets apparently built in their houses. With thousands of false physical verifications in rural areas, beneficiaries’ photographs have been found to be misrepresenting individual household toilets that only exist on paper. Over 3.2 lakh beneficiaries are not aware of the toilets constructed in their names through SBM-G. Not only that—data on several districts’ ODF (open defecation free) status has also been manufactured, with over 20 million people in rural areas still defecating in the open. Again, over 20% of the total community and public toilets in rural areas have no tap water connection, making them unusable.
Claim—12 crore households have got potable water connections.
Reality— It is estimated that about 67% of the population of India (about 92 crores) lives in villages/countryside, but the Jal Shakti Mission has planned to cater to only 19.22 crore people till 2024. What about the others? Only 38% of the total assessed households unable to reach the ‘‘functionality’’ levels in terms of meeting all three parameters of adequate quantity, fully regular supply and quality of water (potable).
In the cites, only 2% Indians reportedly get water fit for drinking in their taps and the relatively well-off manage by using expensive water filters. To get safe drinking water is still a dream for the majority of the people, in the largest democracy of the world. It is estimated that around 37.7 million Indians are affected by water-borne diseases and 1.5 million children die of diarrhea alone annually.
Claim—9.6 crore LPG connections provided under ‘Ujjwala Yojana’.
Reality— In the year 20-21, 90 lakh beneficiaries out of 8.9 core connections released ‘Ujjwala Yojana’ did not replace their empty cylinders, i.e. buy a refilled one. And over 1.08 crore beneficiaries replaced their empty cylinders only once because of the exorbitant rise in price of LPG cylinder (from Rs.410.5 on 1 March 2014 to Rs.1105.5 on 28 June 2023). According to National Family Health Surveys-5 (2019-21) 88.6% urban households and only 42.3% of rural households use LPG. Overall, only about 57.7% of the population use LPG/PNG as the primary cooking fuel. It means that about 42.3% of the people in India still use coal, wood and cow dung. This exposes the flagship scheme of Ujjwala Yojana.
Claim—7 new IIMs and 8 new IITs have been set up. PM Modi also said during his last US visit that every year one IIT and one IIM have been established.
Reality—Between 2014 and 2019, eight IITs had faced infrastructure challenges, had enrolled fewer students than the seats available, had inadequate faculty-to-student ratios, did not have enough representation of reserved categories in their student bodies and lagged in publishing research papers.
As on 15 December 2022 response in Parliament indicated that the IITs set up after 2014 have also been functioning from either transit or temporary campuses, even seven years after they were founded. Also in parliament, the education minister of state informed on 27 July last that no IIT or IIM has been opened in the last 5 years which clearly counters the claim of the PM made in the US. Because of inadequate infrastructure, only 6,224 students were admitted to the IITs in their years of operation, against a targeted intake of 18,880. Over 4,596 faculty positions are vacant in 23 IITs, the Ministry of Education informed the Rajya Sabha. The fee structure of IIMs range from Rs 11.75 lakh to 32 lakh for its Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) flagship course. However, the newer IIM fees for Master of Business Administration (MBA) through CAT (Common Admission Test) is under Rs 16 lakh. Then for whom are the IITs, and IIMs meant for—the super-affluent or the poor, who, on the contrary, are getting increasing squeezed out of education worth the name, or deprived more and more even if they are meritorious?
Claim—Number of medical colleges has increased from 387 to 693 in the last 9 years.
Reality—Increase in number of medical colleges per se does neither mean improvement in healthcare system nor production of more competent doctors or easy access to medical courses by impoverished students even if they are meritorious. Most of the medical colleges opened are either in private sector or in PPP (private Public Partnership) mode where cost of education is exorbitant. Fees in the Medical colleges range from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakhs. Allegations are abundant about asking for capitation fees for admission. The private medical colleges have been allegedly blocking the seats through the management quota and selling them at higher price, ranging from Rs 1 crore to Rs 2 crore. So, even an ordinary student might manage to get admitted by paying hefty capitation fee and one wonders what kind of doctor will be produced thereby.
Outbreak of Covid 19 glaringly showed how perilous the condition of the healthcare system is, and of medical colleges. Primary Health Centers (PHCs) and Community Health Centers (CHCs) which people can reach with difficulties are only for name’s sake as PHCs and CHCs are 88% and 87% below prescribed IPHS (Indian Public Health Standard) respectively. In government hospitals, there is one doctor per 10,926 persons. For a population of 1.3 billion, there are only 25,778 government hospitals and 7,13,986 beds. With allocation of just 1.15% of the GDP towards health, India now ranks 184th out of 191 in terms of percentage of GDP spent on healthcare, as per WHO.
Claim—Number of AIIMS has increased from 8 to 23 in the last 9 years.
Reality— Not a single AIIMS announced by PM Modi is ‘fully functional’ till date. There have been no adequate human resources, faculty members, resident doctors and nurses as well. According to the government’s admission in the Lok Sabha on 3 February 2023, the 16 AIIMS-like institutions are under ‘various stages of operationalization’ and only limited out-patient department (OPD) and in-patient department (IPD) services are available. Secondly, can common patients have access to AIIMS where charges, though less than private hospitals, is beyond their affordability?
Ayushman Bharat, a flagship scheme of Government of India, was launched with much fanfare as per recommendations of the National Health Policy 2017, to achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The Ayushman Bharat Yojana has now been renamed Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana or PM-JAY which aims at providing a health cover of Rs. 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. But coverage limit of Ayushman Bharat falls far short when it comes to major treatment procedures or for those with chronic ailments requiring multiple hospitalizations across a year. Contrary to the intended objective, findings from multiple research studies suggest that insurance schemes for the poor in India have failed to provide the much-needed relief, with Out of Pocket (OOP) figures higher for those using insurance schemes. The scheme is reportedly riddled with largescale corruption. In 45,846 claim cases, dates of discharge precede dates of admission. Claims have been preferred against names of deceased persons. Fraud percentage is 35%.
Poverty caused by expenditure on health has doubled in India in the past 15 years. Out-of-pocket health (OOP) expenditure as a percentage of household resources has also gone up substantially to a staggering 70 percent, the highest globally. The government is criminally negligent towards discharging the primary responsibility of providing that essential service to common Indian citizens. Primary and Secondary Health Centers which people can reach with difficulties are only for name’s sake as not even a single doctor mans these centers in 90% of the cases. Thus, denied access to much needed medical attention, the hapless poor die in countless numbers, unattended, unknown to the unsung, away from media glare
Claim—50 crore people are covered under Ayushman-Bharat for free treatment of Rs.5 lakh annually.
Reality—According to a survey, the biggest deficiency of the Ayushman Bharat scheme is that it only covers 31% of diseases. Many empanelled hospitals are allegedly indulging in the malpractice of making fraudulent insurance claims for which insurance companies are reportedly gearing up to take action against them. For example, The Lucknow unit of the UP Special Task Force recovered 18 ATM cards, multiple sets of fake identity cards, 96 seals of various doctors, 4,500 letter heads of various hospitals, among other things. Four people, including the alleged mastermind of a pan-NCR health insurance fraud valued at more than 2 crore, were arrested two years back from Noida.
Moreover, is an insurance scheme solution to the fragile healthcare system? Earlier also, there was Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) but the Primary Health Centers enrolled in the RSBY had no facility for admitting the patients. Then, with the privatization spree, most of the hospitals are now in the private sector where healthcare is sold as a commercial good. Does this mean that common people who by and large do not have access to even primary healthcare would now be able to go all the way at their own expense to find these empanelled private hospitals and find out whether they would at all qualify to receive medical attention against the insurance policy? Is it the reality that these highly expensive private hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat etc., provide due medical treatment to the penury-stricken common citizens? Absurd!
Of course, there will always be the lucky few who, helped or advised by some prominent, well-wishing individuals, and qualifying for treatment in such a hospital would actually succeed in obtaining it. But is that the position or the experience in general of the downtrodden people? Then why is this clamour about insurance? Because it is another convenient conduit to siphon out public money to fatten the purse of the private operators slowly grabbing the insurance sector.
Claim—Quality medicines available 50% to 90% cheaper at Jan Aushadhi Kendras, saving Rs.20,000 crore annually.
Reality—It has been observed that lack of awareness in the public about distribution of free medicines by state governments, lack of support for Jana Aushadhi Scheme (JAS), poor supply chain, and doctors not prescribing generic medicines are the major constraints faced by the JAS leading to its virtual failure. Moreover, there are cases of large-scale scam centring around this scheme. Most of the hospitals do not have stock of prescribed medicines under the scheme in their stipulated outlets. Now, drug industry executives convicted of producing medicines that have failed quality tests may evade jail by just paying a fine, said the government on 28 July last, explaining the Jan Vishwas Bill that seeks to decriminalize ‘‘minor offences’’ across industry sectors. Also, the government has now decided to show leniency to spurious drug manufacturers by limiting their punishment only to paying fine.
Claim—More than 97,000 start-ups enterprises have been created and made operative.
Reality—When existing industries are folding up in absence of a market, i.e., falling purchasing power of the people, how can new ventures succeed? In fact, start-ups are being highlighted to cover up mounting unemployment. And who can opt for start-up? Only those few privileged having acumen of business management and access to funding mechanisms. As per DPIIT about 88,395 start-ups are recognized out of which 58,000 tech start-ups were launched as on Jan ’23. Data shows that funding for Indian start-ups has declined 72% in the first half of 2023 as compared to last year. Funding squeeze has already led to layoffs/closures. 72,000 employees have been retrenched.
Claim—Provided 10% reservations for economically weaker sections and support to poor households.
Reality—If there is no creation of jobs, what is the point of securing reservation? Recent Reuter report also confirmed that economic growth ipso facto does not mean generation of jobs. In other words, such growth is jobless growth. Despite reservation, the condition of the backward and downtrodden masses have not improved but worsened during the last 76 years. Then why reservation? Because that is an easy ploy in the hands of the parties subservient to ruling bourgeois class to woo the underprivileged and backward segment, turn them into vote banks and more importantly sustain a permanent rift between the general category and reserved category of people over opportunity for employment.
In fact, high-pitched shrieks in favour of reservation for various segments of populace based on caste, ethnicity, religion and even gender in jobs, promotion and education has become a ceremonial affair in bourgeois polity today. Right now, the fratricidal violence ripping Manipur apart is also having its origin over granting scheduled caste identity to one hitherto known general category segment and thereby creating a fear among the existing tribal people that perhaps this categorization would, among other things, apportion a part of their job opportunity.
So, reservation has turned into a contrivance in the hands of the vested interest to foster disunity and fratricidal strife among common people.
Claim—More than 11 crore farmers receive Rs.6000 every year under PM KISAN,
Reality—Yes, Rs.6000 per annum are being doled out to farmers. But is it not a fact that the farmers have been burdened with a fabulous increase in the cost of seeds, fertilizers, insecticides, diesel and other agricultural inputs. For example, DAP fertilizer of 50 kg bag which cost Rs.1125 in May 2014 is now being sold at Rs.1572 per bag. In the year 2014-15, the price of diesel was Rs 50 per litre. Now, diesel costs Rs.89.62 per litre. Secondly, the farmers hardly get remunerative prices for their produce because of a corrupt and flawed procurement system dominated by unscrupulous middlemen and private operators in league with the crooked government administration.
Moreover, climate change is often wreaking havoc with growing crops. So, the farmers are often forced into distress sale, and ironically, under capitalist conditions, even more so if they all have a great bumper harvest! As per latest report, 15 farmers commit suicide in India per day. Nearly 4.75 lakh peasants have committed suicide till date. So, what else is this PM Kisan scheme other than a publicity stunt?
Claim—Over Rs.1.33 lakh crore settled in claims under PM Fasal Bima Yojana.
Reality—This crop insurance scheme) has been an abject failure because of flawed features, hazardous operational procedures, rampant corruption of the delivery mechanism and lack of will on the part of the government to help the peasants. Claim settlement ratio is reported to be 6.61%. There is nothing in this scheme to address the problem of tenant farmers who bear the risk of crop failure. The new crop insurance scheme also has nothing concrete for identification of cultivators and bringing them under crop insurance cover. On the contrary, it has been a boon to the insurance companies. In the five years since the scheme was launched, these companies received Rs 1,26,521 crore in premium payments and paid Rs 87,320 crore to farmers in loss claims—a cumulative savings of approximately 31 per cent. Reliance General Insurance Corporation Ltd made a 59 per cent profit from the scheme. Similarly, Future Generali India Insurance gained 60.91 per cent, IFFCO 52 per cent, HDFC-Agro about 32 per cent. Allocation towards Fasal Bima Yojana has been reduced by Rs 2000 crores in the last budget.
Claim—New ‘Ekalavya’ schools have been opened for the benefit of children in the Tribal areas.
Reality—As per government data, ‘Ekalavya’ Schools are running with just 58% of the teachers. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs Minister told the Rajya Sabha that there were only 4,138 teachers available for 394 Eklavya Schools, against the requirement for 7,030 teachers. Ministry officials said that 688 EMRSs (Eklavya Model Residential Schools) have been sanctioned so far, of which 392 were functional as on November 2022.
Claim—18 semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains are operational.
Reality—About Vande Bharat trains, the less said the better. These are highly expensive trains to cater to only the rich and affluent. The AC chair car fares are 1.5 times the price of Shatabdi trains running the same distance, the executive class fares are 1.4 times of first-class air-conditioned seating in the premium train. Everyone knows how common people travel in unreserved compartments, without any facilities. There is a need to improve the facilities in normal/express trains in which the majority of the people travel. Half of the railway revenue comes from second class/ sleeper class passengers. AC class passengers constitute only 1.5% of all passengers. But the Modi government has concern only for the few rich and not the large section of common people. Immediately after introduction, these Vande Bharat trains have developed technical flaws, slowness in speed, had caught fire, been criticized for catering sub-standard food, dysfunctional air-conditioning systems and what not. This is another showpiece that features in PM Modi’s basket of exhibiting so called technical advancement under his leadership.
Claim—Number of Airports doubled from 74 to 148 in 9 years.
Reality—It is well known that all airports in India were built with public money. But now one by one is leased out to private operators for 50 years. Just after privatization of these airports, the user fees/airport charges extracted from the passengers have been increased many times. Privatization of airports also affects the airport employees, due to the contract system and with no job security.
Moreover, most of these airports are handed over to Adani group, Modi’s favourite, even by tweaking the laid down procedures. In fact, Airlines have raised objections with the Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) over the proposed landing and parking charges increase at Adani-owned airports.
Claim—53,000 km of highways has been built.
Reality—Building Highways and Expressways are not for benefitting people but are money spinning contracts by the political authorities, allegedly involving huge commissions. Most of them do not have Safety Quality Audit but teem with inbuilt faulty designs, poor quality materials, causing accidents. It is also evident that the companies building express highways do not construct service roads or under passes thus forcing the local villagers to travel on expressways, instead of service roads. Every year approximately 1.5 lakhs die in road accidents. On average, 1130 accidents and 422 deaths every day. All these expressways are built with multiple Toll gates, forcing the commuters and transporters to pay heavy toll charges at every Toll gate. Private companies who built PPP based Expressways have already recovered far more than the cost of construction, but still continue to collect Toll charges.
Claim—PM Modi declared on October 2, 2019, that India had become ‘‘open defecation free’’.
Reality—NFHS-5(2019-21) data shows that 24% Rural households in India do not access to toilet facility, meaning that go for open defecation. Reports abound that many people do not use the toilets because of construction defects and lack of water.
Claim—Ram temple is being constructed in Ayodhya, honoring the faith of the people through reconstruction of Cultural and Spiritual heritage sites.
Reality—After demolition of a historic monument like Babri Masjid by fanatic foot-soldiers of RSS-BJP-Sangh Parivar in the presence of top-ranking BJP leaders, and a judicial justification for their criminal act—which was virtually a supreme denial of justice ignoring all norms of law and prescripts of jurisprudence and ethics—the elated BJP government is constructing the Ram Mandir in that place by spending a staggering Rs 18,000 crores solely to incite blind Hindutva sentiment and exacerbate communal divide for electoral gains. Is it an achievement or a shame? Can PM Modi say that establishment of a Ram Mandir will mitigate all hardship of the Indian citizens? If not, then what to boast about other than fanning up arch communal Hindutva? Proposed grand inauguration of Ram Temple in December 2023 is one of the motives of the BJP to exploit it for winning election in 2024.
Claim—Total exports crossed $750 billion.
Reality—India’s exports contracted by 22%, the steepest decline in the last three years, to $32.97 billion in June 2023 whereas India’s exports fell 10.3% to $34.98 billion lifting the trade deficit to a five-month high of $22.1 billion.
Claim—Solved Global Issues through its G20 presidency.
Reality—What global issues were solved thereby? India tried to lecture on peace between Russia and Ukraine but failed to get any result. In fact, India gained maximum from the war by getting cheap Russian oil. India’s G20 Presidency an ‘‘Opportunity to Steer the World Toward Inclusive and Sustainable Growth’’ is a hollow slogan. Just discussing climate change and women empowerment does not solve any global problem. Today the world is facing problems like climate change, energy crises, poverty and hunger, war in Ukraine, rising geopolitical tension between US and China. Has India taken any stand on these issues? Government of India is simply using the G20 presidency as an opportunity to seek political limelight and electoral gains before the upcoming national elections.
Claim—Pride on rise in women power.
Reality—Crimes against women are rising horridly. 31,000 complaints were received by ‘National Commission of Women’ in 2022, highest since 2014. 86 rape cases per day and 49 offences per hour are reported. Naked parading of two Kuki women and wrestler’s protest against sexual assault have erupted countrywide rage.
PM Modi bases only on two planks-self-projection and narration of falsehood
The list has been yet more long. But how does each claim look like when examined on the anvil of reality check. Are not all the tall claims variegated with opulence of fudged data or deceptive narrations? Moreover, PM Modi has carefully avoided mention about rising prices, mounting unemployment, large scale job loss, escalating poverty, falling income of people, growing inequality, discrimination, spurt in crimes against women and such other issues that the toiling people of India are plagued by. Country’s economic growth has been highlighted in terms of trillion of rupees but not on the basis of improvement of standard of life of toiling millions.
That is typical of a fascistic autocratic ruler who always seek to dupe people with brazen falsehood or utter distortions. If one had followed PM Modi’s speeches during his recent US visit, one would find them a one-sided narration of lies. ‘‘We are home to all faiths in the world and we celebrate all of them,’’ he added. The first claim is correct; the second, if the ‘we’ in question includes the PM, his party, the BJP, and the parent organization that politically birthed both, the RSS, it is a white lie.
Modi’s own speech gave the lie to the second claim. He talked about the significance of India’s seventy-five years of Independence by contrasting it with a thousand years of foreign rule which, in the historical arithmetic of the Sangh Parivar, it is a simple sum: 750 years of Muslim rule plus 250 years of British rule. Through this millennium of oppression, Muslims remained irredeemably foreign in the Sangh’s distorted imagination. One Thousand Years of Servitude is a Hindutva epic waiting to be written. The ideologues of the Sangh have always maintained that non-Hindus need to acknowledge their ancestral Hindu-ness before they could be recognized as reliable Indian citizens. In the RSS’s version of a diverse India, Muslims or Christians who are being converted to Hinduism, more often than not forcibly, are reverting to their original state. Their conversion is a homecoming (gharwapsi).
So, he chose to sing peans of democracy to skirt any inconvenient question. ‘‘Democracy is our spirit… Democracy runs in our veins. We live in democracy, and our ancestors have actually put words to this concept. When I say democracy can deliver, this is regardless of caste, creed, religion, gender. There’s absolutely no space for discrimination. And when you talk of democracy, if there are no human values and there is no humanity, there are no human rights, then it’s not a democracy.’’ Asked by a US reporter what steps he was willing to take to ‘‘improve the rights of Muslims and other minorities in your country and to uphold free speech’’, PM Modi said adding that they did not need to be improved. ‘‘Our Constitution and our government and we have proved democracy can deliver. When I say deliver, regardless of caste, creed, religion, gender—there is absolutely no space for any discrimination [in my government],’’ he said, He thus cunningly sought refuge behind India’s democratic Constitution and ‘DNA’ to dismiss the charge that his government discriminated against religious minorities and suppressed dissent, asserting that there is ‘‘no democracy without human rights’’ and that the ‘‘benefits’’ the government provides are available to all regardless of religion, caste, gender or region.
What have all these been other than sheer falsehood? Everyone is aware how the RSS-BJP-Sangh Parivar are intensifying anti-minority hatred, engineering communal-casteist-ethnic conflicts and violence, indulging the lynching of minorities over mere ‘suspicion’ of carrying or eating beef, and cow vigilantism in the name of preventing cattle trading or raising the bogey of love jihad and harassing as well as persecuting the minorities by branding many of them as ‘‘illegal migrants’’, ‘‘agents of Pakistan’’ and terrorists. ‘‘Terrifying coordinated campaigns of hatred and calls for murder are conducted on social media, campaigns that are often even more violent when they target women journalists, whose personal data may be posted online as an additional incitement to violence,’’ a report of ‘Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) noted.
On the other hand, monopoly-controlled Mainstream media in India have been crossing all limits of flattery in projecting PM Modi as an able statesman. Playing a powerful role in this is the infamous network of BJP IT cell, virtually a whole army engaged in fabricating issues and news, releasing morphed pictures, spreading rabid communal propaganda, inciting communal conflicts, indiscriminately trolling any critical voice on the digital platforms and projecting a larger-than-life mage of PM Modi.
Time has come for the suffering countrymen to imbibe the truth and be familiar with the flurry of trickeries, cunningness, ill motives, evil designs and hoodwinking of the power-monger autocratic bourgeois leadership who are playing sixes and sevens with their life and binding them more and more in the stranglehold of ruthlessly oppressive, corrupt, inhuman capitalism bestriding the country like a deadweight.
- India Today 02-11-22,
- Hindustan Times 10-01-20)
- TOI 09-05-22, 03-10-22, 14-07-23,
- The Hindu-21-07-22, 15-06-23,
- The Wire 18-01-22,