MISUNDERSTANDINGS usually misguide rather detract us. In the world of the wise, this act of living in a state of oblivion is called, ‘living in fool’s paradise’. Among the long queue of the distracted ones is Narendra Modi too. In every speech he claims that he is the most popular leader in India and his political party the BJP rules over the hearts of the people of India. He claims that no one in India has got guts to defeat the BJP in the coming years. His mouth-piece mediamen also keep on harping the same string all the time but on-ground realities altogether are otherwise.
The performance chart of the recent elections of the Jharkhand State Assembly must be an eye-opener to the BJP which were held in five phases from 30 Nov 2019 to 20 Dec 2019. According to the results announced by the election authorities BJP got 25 seats; in 2014 elections this number was 37. Astonishingly the regional political parties secured a far better rather far stronger position in these elections. This situation indicates that the BJP is losing an over-all support from the general public.
The reasons behind this political defeat could be many but the most important one is the extremism expressed by the BJP at different occasions. The other reasons include Revocation of Articles 370 and 35-A in the State of India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir and implementation of the amended Citizenship Act 2019. All these actions have generated very deep-rooted hatred against the Modi government. Recent results of the Jharkhand Assembly reflect this hatred very honestly. This poor political mandate in fact shows public discontentment against incumbent BJP government’s radical policies.
Certainly BJP’s Advisers need a serious review of their policy objectives to minimize this hatred against the Modi government. Mr Modi must try to realize that every battle could not be won with the help of media-warriors. He must look at the increasing protest against the amended Citizenship Law which is getting intensified day by day. The Modi government has banned public gatherings in several areas of the country including India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh. Internet access has also been disrupted in many parts of the country including the capital New Delhi.
The Time reported on 19 December 2019 that during a protest procession several prominent protesters were also detained, including historian Ramachandra Guha. He was among more than 200 peaceful protesters detained in the southern city of Bengaluru a day before. Students of different colleges and universities are also expressing their intense reaction on the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019. Law enforcement agencies are treating the protesting students as they are not the Indians; they are the Pakistanis.
In Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia University, the law enforcement agencies tried to snub the protesters in the most violent manner by firing different poisonous tear-gas on them. Media reports say that many students are seriously injured and many missing. More than 35 students of Jamia Millia Islamia University and more than a dozen from Aligarh Muslim University have been arrested; reports say. But in spite of all this brutality, the supporters of Modi Sarkar are harping on the same string that India is heading towards a new era of peace and prosperity under the leadership of Mr. Modi.
There are some very positive social indicators too going side by side with negativity projected by the Modi government in the Indian society. One of these positive indicators is that the Indian public has started realizing that extremism promoted by a handful of people is disfiguring the true face of ‘shining India’. They have started feeling that the extremist approach of BJP is pushing India towards a very unfortunate disintegration. It is the result of this realization that various NGOs consisting of people representing different religions philosophies have also joined hands with the Muslims in the protest against the actions of the Modi government.
The streets and roads of different cities are resonating with the slogans ‘Hindu Muslim Sikh Isai, aapas mein hain bhai bhai’ (Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, we are all brothers). Let us see how Mr. Modi counters this new revolutionary move leading to religious harmony and social unity. But it is a bitter reality that he will have to be more cruel and more brutal to challenge that revolution with more intensity.
—The writer is freelance columnist based in Multan.