India today

Reema Shaukat

IT’S been two and half years since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed charge of his office and promised Indians of Achhe dinn. Any political party which comes into reign makes such promises to people however in India with present deteriorating situation socially and politically it seems that India is trying to maintain its label of incredible and democratic India.
Modi won the election on the two slats of development and good governance. He is trying his best to make India developed in nukes, arms race and competition with neighbouring South Asian countries and in governance, the Modi government certainly proved to be on back foot which was proved through many instances during his ongoing tenure of premiership. The Indian government has allowed peripheral fundamentalist and secular elements in the party to hold centre stage and do what they want. This definitely has raised and flared the air of intolerance and extremism.
The BJP policies are based on RSS ideology of Hindutva or Hindu nationalism with an idea to form Akhand Bharat, or an undivided Indian state which is true representative of Hindu culture and religion. The BJP’s extremist actions and discriminatory policies can be traced back to their first tenure in government when events of 1998 nuclear explosion, violence against Christians, Gujarat carnage and strengthening of Indo-Israel ties took place. Last year in different incidents of Sikhs riots, mishandling of student protestors at Hyderabad University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jadavpur have raised question mark on Modi’s policies and credibility. Modi’s dogmas have become failure for India on diplomatic front with its neighbours like Pakistan, China, Nepal, and Maldives.
India which claims itself as largest democracy marks its Republic Day every year on 26th of January. According to Indians, this day honours the date on which the Constitution of India came into force on Jan 26, 1950 while replacing the Govt of India Act of 1935 which was the governing document of India. The Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on Nov 26 1949, and came into effect on Jan 26, 1950 with a democratic govt system, completing the country’s transition towards becoming an independent republic. 26 January was chosen as the Republic day because it was on this day in 1930 when the Declaration of Indian Independence (Purna Swaraj) was announced by the Indian National Congress as opposed to the Dominion status offered by the British Regime.However, on January 26, 1930, the Indian National Congress acknowledged the declaration of Independence. Hence this very day was selected as Republic Day. Although Indian constitution declares India to be a secular and democratic state, yet its followers have negated all its articles by indulging in malpractices of brutality particularly with Kashmiris and minorities in India.
India had forcibly annexed a number of princely ruled states flouting the scheme of partition and the wish of the inhabitants of the respective states. Thus, it annexed Jammu and Kashmir by using military power. Pakistan challenged Indian aggression and its presentation of the Kashmir issue to the world community belied the Indian claims. Meanwhile, United Nations Organization (UNO) intervened. In its resolution, UNO demanded for a plebiscite to be held in Jammu and Kashmir to determine the wish of the inhabitants. Over a period of time, India has been avoiding UNO Resolutions implementation under one pretext or other. Post Burhan Wani situation in IOK has brought new spark to Kashmir movement and simultaneously exposed Indian cruel face.
India while celebrating its republic day must watch out its assaultive behaviour and look for its peaceful presence in region. Hindu fundamentalism is increasingly broadening its influence everywhere and has already established a firm base of radicalism in educational sector, bureaucracy and media. The hate campaign unchecked by the extremist forces is keeping the minority anxious in defending their basic human rights and cultural identity. Therefore India must show tolerance according to its constitution otherwise its claims and boast of systematic, secular and democratic state are useless.
— The writer works for Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, a think tank based in Islamabad.
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