Herald: Unhealthy development

Unhealthy development

13 Feb 2019 05:26am IST
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13 Feb 2019 05:26am IST

A professor from JNU is prevented from attending the University for something he wrote on Facebook meant for his friends. What is worse is restriction in a University where students need challenge current dogma, be open to discuss any topic, by ABVP trying to impose its mentor RSS’s views on students and professors thus creating prejudice and communal tension. People being booked under sedition and regressive laws for dissention, anti- nationalism, and Vedic age fantasies propounded even at scientific conferences, has become the trademark of the ruling party. Regressive proliferating vote bank pandering reservations and sops are altering the independent character of people’s lives where merit is increasingly being superseded by birth or monetary status. Politicians and governments are catering to selective mobs and throwing fiscal prudence, law and order, democratic norms to the winds at the altar of pending elections. Along with existing NPAs, writing off loans, substantial tax exemptions, Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan monthly pension for unorganized sector and so on, how will government prudently finance all this? 

The head of the CBI is unceremoniously removed by the government at midnight, re-instated by the Supreme Court and within 24 hours removed again. Associated investigating officers similarly transferred and retransferred. Two judges appointed by the Collegiums are overlooked and two other judges appointed in lieu, superseding many others within 20 days. We have the Rafale fighter aircraft deal with France shrouded in doctored information and secrecy. HAL is a PSU being denigrated by the government unlike what it is doing for Air India! The Raksha Mantri in Parliament boasts of many new contracts given to HAL and others in the pipeline, whilst in reality government has reportedly not paid HAL for orders already delivered, it is so broke that it has to borrow to pay salaries and will not be able to even service the existing aircraft due paucity of funds!

The government’s answer to questions invariably is “what about”, namely some similar wrong done by past governments rather than answering factually just what this government has done about it during their tenure, if not why not, what is the present position and what do they propose to do about it! The Prime Minister of India, proved greater performer than reformer, orating only for the BJP, is indulging in lavish advertising and canvassing expenses and like party cadres entering into distasteful slanging matches of arrogance, insults, untruths and name calling with rival parties. The polarisation and blatant aggressive Hindutva/Ram mandir agenda belie the oft repeated slogan “Sab Ke Saath, Sab ka Vikas”. The present electoral politics has never been so cutthroat. BJP ex-FM Yeshwant Sinha says it is “Sub Ka Naash”. Some sophisticated corruption on top covered up and rampant below seems the norm. Are electorates remain bribable gullible citizens?  Will Indian voters mindful of our ancient values now forcefully demand honesty, transparency and accountability?

When there is a drought in Karnataka and many other unsolved problems, all BJP MLAs are locked up in a five-star resort in far away Gurugram, and Congress MLAs likewise at a resort for a head count to ensure poaching is not accomplished in order to topple an elected government, plotting luxuriously far away oblivious to anything other than clinging to power to look after themselves! People’s movement for a Lokpal was in 2011. Bill was passed in 2013. This is 2019, multiple deadlines have passed and still no Lokpal! No policing the so-called “chowkidars” all this period? 

Mahatma Gandhi had reportedly written in Young India in 1921 "To attempt cow protection by violence is to reduce Hinduism to Satanism". There has been mob violence and lynching due cow protection laws implemented by Gau rakshas. Millions of cows are reportedly abandoned by farmers overloading Gaushalas. Agricultural economy has been shattered and children are displaced from schools, patients from health centers to give cows shelter! Police are made responsible for taking care of cattle and even a cow ministry in Rajasthan. Police in uniform jumping into nullahs to rescue, being rewarded, enviable government monetary  schemes to build sanctuaries and special ambulances for cows whilst all other stray animals, beggars and poor families on the roadside are comparatively neglected and some allowed to die of starvation is an absurd state of affairs! The policy favors homeless cows versus stray humans? In the name of divinity we have completely forgotten humanity!

When a cop is killed after a mob instigated by right wing activists turn violent and there is loss of life and property damaged, NSA is applied to alleged cow slaughterers booked with priority and not much urgency to investigate/throw the book at those who took the law into their own hands! A Yogi as CM in India’s biggest State, breeding favored mobs, misuse of public funds, have holy Seers of one religion dominance proliferating. With the unhappiness reported in the Supreme Court regarding judge’s supersession this time, the rule of law, democracy and the Constitution itself is in jeopardy! Popular people's movements are being used by politicians to overpower the law. What is dangerous and gaining traction in our secular democracy is the tyrannical tendency of this government as is very evident in their breaching of constitutional and democratic norms, wanting complete control of our privacy and the many Ordinances eagerly considered to impose their will, even against the Supreme Court decisions! 

(The author is a retired naval officer, freelance writer)
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