Ashamed Indian democracy
INDIAN democracy is now at its lowest “ebb”. Human right violations are “rampant” in India due to which weaker sections of the society and other religions are literally living under “siege”.
Unbridled power politics based on hatred, prejudice, conspiracy, division and widespread of RSS philosophies has already “marginalized” civil and neutral voices. Now so-called shining India has been “eclipsed”.
Humanity is “crying” and incumbent BJP government is busy in conspiracies. Conflicts, contradictions and communal rivalries have produced serious dints to Indian soft image where even international tourists have been routinely looted and raped.
Rise to Hindu supremacy and rhetoric of greater Hindu state has polluted spirits of decency in Indian politics and civility alike. Politics has been further fermented in which innocent people have been scapegoated in war of titans.
Media, NGOs, civil society and liberals are suffering from state-sponsored humiliation, horrendous crimes and heinous consequences.
BJP’s hidden alliance with corporate elites is making lives miserable and ongoing Punjab farmer’s massive protest is a prime example of ruthless combination of merciless governance and corporate world which always prefers profits over humans.
Service sector is fading and suicides are on the rise. Sedition cases have been on the rise to silence the dissent voices in the Indian society.
The latest US watchdog Freedom House report (2020-2021) has downgraded India’s status to partly free. The said report raised serious questions about its functional democracy and democratic norms which are being carried out not for collective development but community destruction and for not harmony but for atrocious crimes.
While India’s score was at an all-time high at 0.57 (on a scale of 0-1) in 2013, it had declined to 0.34 by the end of 2020 a loss of 23 percentage points in seven years. “Most of the decline occurred following BJP’s victory in 2014 and their Hindu nationalist agenda.
The said report observed that the BJP government and regional political partners continued to crack down on critics during the year.
The Modi-led government in India has used laws on sedition, defamation and counterterrorism to silence critics.
Over 7,000 people have been charged with sedition after the BJP assumed power and most of the accused are critics of the ruling party.
The ruling Hindu nationalist movement also encouraged the scapegoating of Muslims, who were disproportionately blamed for the spread of the virus and faced attacks by vigilante mobs.
The report’s conclusion is a scathing indictment. India has already started its journey towards authoritarianism in which incumbent BJP government and its leadership especially Modi played a contributory role.
The so-called champion of democratic practice and deity of humanity are now in the deep seas of destruction, sabotage, harrow and disharmony throughout India.
On its part, the Indian government has now dismissed criticism from the United Nations and Amnesty International and rushed to attack the report as “misleading, incorrect and misplaced.
Moreover, the fifth annual democracy report of Sweden’s V-Dem Institute, titled ‘Autocratisation goes viral’, has downgraded India from “the world’s largest democracy” to an “electoral autocracy”, citing “muzzling” of the media and overuse of defamation and sedition laws.
Furthermore, the Indian News Magazine Caravan published an investigative report (February 2021) about secretive network of Indian Ministers to neutralizing “negative influencers” critical of the government.
It is now spreading sentiments of insecurity and uncertainty among the different factions of the society.
Many Indian liberals, who have cherished the dream of inclusive plural nation, see the Freedom House report as an important historical document. It provides solace to the young and the restless and the disillusioned.
Arundhati Roy a famous human activist in her latest article said that India is roiled by the ongoing farmers’ protest against three farm bills passed in September 2020.
Numerous journalists reporting on the protests have faced criminal charges and in early February, some 100 journalists, publications and activists were temporarily blocked by Twitter at the request of India’s Ministry and Electronics and Information Technology.
According to her analysis India is no more a democratic country. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 anti-terrorism legislation to prevent unlawful activities and associations and “maintain the sovereignty and integrity of India”, under which hundreds of people now just being picked up and put into jail every day, apart from that fact, every institution that is meant to work as a check against unaccountable power is seriously compromised.
The elections are compromised because there are no free and fair elections because of a system of secret electoral bonds, which allows business corporations to secretly fund political parties.
Due to which BJP has become the richest political party in the world. Elections in India have become a spectator sport.
Despite high claims India has not been a democracy in Kashmir. It has not been a democracy in Bastar a district in the state of Chhattisgarh in central India.
Unfortunately, it has not been a democracy for the poorest of the poor who have no access to institutions of justice, who live completely under the boot of police and the justice system that crushes them with violence and indifference.
Thus Indian democracy is an ashamed. Violence against women and Dalit and Muslim citizens, including lynching of minorities by Hindu nationalist mobs are on the rise.
The caste system exists has meant that dominant castes in many villages in India still feel that they have the right to oppressed caste woman’s body.
BJP goons feel that they have a licence to lynch, permission from the top. Political system is sinking and socio-economic prosperity has been under sieged. Now common Indians are living in an age of mini-massacres which are atomized and localized.
The Indian national security doctrine and compulsion of its expansionist foreign policy staged heinous crimes against humanity, weaker factions of the society and introduced new shape of ethnic genocide with socio-economic and geopolitical orientation against weaker factions and faiths.
So there have been series of ethnic killings, riots and sabotage activities around so called shining India. Shining India has been resting in its roads, parks, slumps and suicidal preferences.
India has been indulged in naked dances of evil powers having obsession of unlimited power of destruction and genocide.
Samjhota Express (2007), Gujarat (2002) and Delhi riots (2019), CAA /NRC (2019), Annexation of J&K (2019), state authoritarian tactics against Nagaland Christians, and ongoing Farmers protest clearly testify India’s poor record of Human Rights.
It seems that fairy-tales of Ramayan and Bhagwat Geeta have become irrelevant in India where Modi government’s perpetual fascists plans and policies are erasing fates of people through naked power.
Thus India is an ashamed democracy.
—The writer is Director, Geopolitics/Economics Member Board of Experts, CGSS.