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India's Directional Change- Predicaments and Prospects
Saturday October 22, 2016 8:30 AM, Syed Mujtaba, ummid.com

Modi

There were two tasks cut out for Narander Modi when he saddled himself as the Prime Minister of India in 2014. First, being an RSS Parcharak , he was duty bound to cheer up the propagation of Hindu religion and second was to chug the India’s developmental train. He excelled in both the tasks but down the line he created more predicaments than prospects.

However, as he moved along, he got burdened with two more tasks, one was to deal with Kashmir problem and other was how to handle the belligerent Pakistan. He has adopted confrontationist approach on both the cases and has dimmed the chances of rapprochement. The predicament in this is, with the specter of war looming large, the peace prospects are searching for cover.

First let’s talk about the propagation of dharma that has gained momentum since the BJP dispensation has took over the reigns of Hindustan. With the adage; 'jab saiyan bhe kotwal'….. making rounds, the Hindutva brigade jumped into the fray to uphold the flag of Hindu dharma. All and sundry, started making provocative statements against the minority community to champion the cause of Dharma.

In this fairy tale, there are few snap shots glare us on our face and it’s up and counting. First the beef controversy, then the cow vigilantes, the Zakir Naik debate, linking religion with terrorism, triple talaq, and uniform civil code, chest thumping at surgical strike, all form the pattern to consolidate the Hindu vote bank. The latest in these snap shots is the construction of Ram museum at Ayodhya.

These emotive issues are part of old game plan that has been milked time and again for electoral gains. It’s a well laid out booby trap to woo the Hindu voters but what is different under the BJP rule the naked aggression towards Hindu Rashtryia goal.

This is a significant directional change being witnessed. The predicament is this may lead to the explosion of the caste tinderbox and the isolation of the minority community.

Can a country like India accept such changes? This is something only a soothsayer can say, but the fact remains, it will unmake of the making of India.

The second major task is the economic turn around of the country. After being at the helm of power, PM announced many brilliant schemes, a few original other rehashed, to chug the development train of the country. During the election campaign he promised to make nation economic cynosure with the tagline ‘catch me if you can.’

Basically, he gave the expectation that country’s economy will leapfrog like in 1990s it did from 3.5 per cent, the Hindu growth rate to 6.5 percent and more.

However, with all sound economic management the BJP regime has not delivered the expected results. Now, the talk of economic turn around is again being promised after the passing of the GST bill.

Well GST was Congress baby that was rejected by the BJP while in opposition. Now it’s brought back to revive the economic vigor of the country. But the question remains when it will deliver results who deserve credit.

The economic auditing of the country is reflected on the growth rate. The figures suggest that BJP rule can only be acknowledged for not lowering the bar. What significant changes can be done to change the figures, remains the predicament.

The next task the BJP rule confronted was to handle the Kashmir problem. Carrying a historical baggage and running a democratic country, it remained a herculean task create a new path of change.

The current BJP dispensation is trying to cut the umbilical chord of Kashmir by laying the territorial supremacy of the nation state, defying the established norms that sovereignty rests with the people.

There is not even an iota of ‘Insaniyat, (humanism) Jammurhiat (democracy), Kashmiriat, (syncretic culture)’ in the new approach to deal with the Kashmir problem.

This is monumental change that the country is witnessing under the current BJP rule. It’s a significant departure and the claim that largest the sword longest the claim can only be over ruled by an arbitrator. The predicament is the BJP can get away with such concocted fabrications but in the process will denigrate India’s soul.

Last but not the least India’s Pakistan policy has swung like a pendulum under the BJP rule. At first instance PM showed steel resolve to ignore the wily neighbor. The snap shot at Kathmandu Saarc summits says a thousand words. But then mysteriously his heart melted and our PM air dashed to Lahore, while returning from Kabul. It appeared that he will script a new history in Indo-Pak relations, and all the bitterness of the seventy years of history will be forgotten.

This wishful thinking of good neighborly relation was soon consigned to flames and in India’s new policy approach Pakistan is made adversary. With surgical strike at Pakistan occupied Kashmir, PM has unleashed a wave of nationalism and patriotism in the country. This belligerent approach has given a directional change to the country.

However, the predicament is one can choose one’s friends but not its neighbors. How long India will live with the neighbor calling it as enemy?

What emerges is the paucity of any positive agenda in the BJP's approach to governance. There are moments of glory when the theme of economic development has generated positive vibes, but the over in the narratives that centered on Muslims, Pakistan and Kashmir it has puked the entire country.

In all these cacophony of ideas there are two major causalities, one; ‘Sab ka Sath Sab ka Vikas’ (development with all) and second ‘Insaniyat, (humanism) Jammurhiat (democracy), Kashmiriat, (syncretic culture).’

It’s a sad commentary on the nature of the direction of the changes taking place under BJP rule. To sum up, it’s not a pleasant feeling in the end……

[Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at syedalimujtaba@yahoo.com]




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