Modi sinking India into abyss; resultant despondency, and dismay turning it into sand dunes of disaster

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Salahuddin Haider

NIRENDERA Modi, now in second term of prime minister’s office, has been a miserable failure, sinking India into abyss of despondency and dismay, and yet he remains unaware that a country of 1.3 billion people, is rapidly proving to be sand dunes of disaster.

Sex violence, farmers agitation, rising insecurity among Muslims and other minorities, suicide bids in Indian army ranks and file, even Hindus are now feeling frustrated by his policies, and yet he remains totally indifferent to ground realities, calling critics rabble rousers, anti-State characters.

The deteriorating situation, has had to attract experts’ attention, who all seem worried about the future of a country, known as world’s largest democracy and a title of self-proclaimed “shining India”.

Their analysis is worth studying, some of the major points of which are indeed worrisome for Indians themselves as well as their supporters world-wide. They are seem disappointed, worried about future of such a huge landmass.

It has begun to look uncertain, which if really becomes reality, will endanger the entire region.

Last week, India’s capital, New Delhi, experienced its worst communal violence targeting a religious minority in more than 30 years.

The death toll currently stands at 43 and parts of northeast Delhi remain under lock-down.

Points to ponder are: Sexual violence, India’s sedition law to muzzle dissent, between 2018 and 2019, India reported 4,05,861 cases of crimes against women out of which, 59,583 incidents were reported in the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) as per National Crime Report Bureau’s 2019 “Crime in India”,under the pretense of avoiding communal disharmony, police officers handling the case forcibly cremated the victim’s body in a field- without even letting her mortal remains return home for a farewell.

The story is long enough, and shortening it is difficult.Indian Army is also famous for rape cases and is designated rapist Army all over the world. Modi government is using sedition law to silence critics and dissenting voices.

The law has been invoked against people for liking or sharing of a social media post. A 28 percenincrease in the number of sedition cases between 2014 and 2020.

Six sedition cases were lodged during the farmer’s protest; 25 during anti-CAA (Citizenship Act) protests; 22 after the harthras gang rape and 27 after Pulwama incident.

Official data shows that the conviction rate for sedition has actually dropped, from 33 percent in 2014 to 3 percent in 2019.

The low conviction rate in sedition cases shows that cases are politically motivated.

Indian Army Lt Colonel Sudeep Bhagat committed suicide with his service rifle at military camp in South Kashmiri’s Pulwama district on 3 Mar 2021.

The reason behind the suicide is yet to be known but there is strong perception that he did that due to mental stress.

The suicide of Colonel Bhagat shows the increasing level of depression and demoralization in Indian Army Serving in Kashmir and North East Areas.

As per Indian defence minister, during last one decade, over 901 Indian Army, 40 Indian navy and 182 Indian force personnel committed suicide.

As per usual after incidents of violence against minorities in India, Modi responded with days of silence.

Finally commenting on Twitter, he said, “peace and harmony are central to our ethos” and appealed for “peace and brotherhood at all times”. The Citizenship Amendment Act was one of these demands.

The act violates the non-discriminatory spirit of India’s constitution by allowing persecuted Hindus, Parsis, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs and Christians from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan – but not persecuted Muslims – a fast-tracked route to citizenship.

Modi’s government has also promised a National Register of Citizens that will require Indians to provide documentary evidence of their citizenship. A version of this exercise was conducted in the state of Assam, with disastrous effects.

About 1.9 million Assamese were declared non-citizens and will now have to go through a long appeals process in special courts that function poorly.

Sexual violence is a major problem faced by women and girls in India. It is already a challenge for survivors to obtain justice in the Indian legal system, and those from the country’s marginalized communities face even more major barriers.

Recent reports from The BBC show an increase in incidents of sexual violence against children, with reporting doubling between 2012 and 2016.

Current estimates hold that about four out of 10 rape survivors in India are minors.

Although about 100 new cases are reported every day to the police, reporting rates throughout the country are devastatingly low, with one government survey finding that 99.1 percent of cases go unreported.

But under Modi, India’s ethos is Hindu, and peace and brotherhood requires religious minorities to know their place.

It is this sort of Hindu nationalism that led to the attacks on Muslims, their homes, schools and their places of worship.

The story can go and on, without end in sight, but for the time buck has to stop here.

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