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James Bond breaks Electoral Bonds

Peter Fernandes, SFX Peter Fernandes, SFX
25 Mar 2024

Every time, movie lovers can't wait for the release of the latest James Bond production. James Bond movies focus on the titular character, a fictional British Secret Service agent, and his relation to existentialism, including his graduation beyond good and evil and the paradox of breaking the law to ultimately uphold it like any stupid policeman. The BJP government devised a sly law called the electoral bond to eradicate black money but weaponised this law to become the wealthiest political party in the world in a few short years. Electoral bonds gave the BJP an undue advantage over their political rivals, placing the constitution and democracy in grave peril. A Sweden-based institute has said that India is no longer an 'electoral democracy', classifying the country as an 'electoral autocracy' instead, noting that much of the decline in democratic freedoms occurred after the BJP and Narendra Modi's victory in 2014.

Since 2014, the ruling dispensation has undermined the democratic setup of institutions by threatening and instilling fear, and it appeared that there was no one to bell the cat. India needed a 007 and Dr Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, and the Supreme Court may have very well proved one for the citizens of India to breathe easier and hope for a better tomorrow. By pronouncing the judgement against the electoral bond, the Supreme Court upheld impartiality in executing justice, safeguarded the constitution and democracy, and instilled confidence in people to fight for their rights.

The BJP came to power with an overwhelming majority in 2014 against an anti-corruption campaign led by Anna Hazare, which gave Modi the platform to coin campaign slogans like "'Na khaunga, na khane dunga" that mesmerised the masses. The nation was very excited to welcome a messiah-like figure to clean up corruption and corrupt systems and give the citizens of India good governance to enjoy justice, freedom, equality, and fraternity. Standing at the crossroads today and pondering the political quagmire, do the gullible people have the capacity to reflect on what has happened to our nation since 2014? Justice is bought with money and muscle power. Poor and helpless people cannot hope for justice. Freedom, especially religious freedom, is taken away, innocent people are lynched, and mosques, churches, and religious institutions of minorities are attacked and destroyed. The gap between the rich and poor has widened exponentially, and society today is more divided.

Where is Anna Hazare? His silence makes it evident that he was an agent of the RSS and BJP and not a crusader for corruption. Against the background of "Mujhe apna Chaukidar Banao" and "Na khaunga, na khane dunga", Rahul Gandhi had this to say: "Electoral Bond (at prime minister's behest) is a way of intimidating corporations and forcing them to give money to the BJP against the allotment of the biggest contracts across the country, and he claimed it was the world's biggest extortion racket being run by the prime minister of India. What does it imply: has Amrit Kaal arrived or Mrit Kaal?

Electoral bonds helped the BJP silence the voice of the nation. The Indian media has lowered its standards to a dismal level. Dictators and autocratic governments first try to stranglehold the free press and use it to their advantage. A free press is the enemy of the despots. It is a shame that, in the 21st century and in the age of the internet, the Indian media has lost its credibility and moral authority to power and money. Most news channels and media houses are bought or supported by BJP ministers or business tycoons supporting the BJP.

When the voice of truth and objectivity is silenced, an ominous air of deception hovers over the nation, a vital pillar of democracy is compromised, and the collapse is imminent. India's rank in the 2023 World Press Freedom Index is 161 out of 180 countries. This reflects a significant decline in press freedom in India. For example, since 2014, there has not been a single press conference by the Prime Minister, but only "Mann ki Baat." It is typical of the despot to speak their minds and not listen to the voices of the people. The Indian media is cool about it; nay, they dare not challenge the Prime Minister, which speaks volumes about the kind of democracy India is holding. The prime minister can get his way by saying, "Jhooth bolo, baar baar jhooth bolo." Are there any James Bonds in our media houses? Yes, indeed, we have to salute those journalists who have given up their lives for the cause of justice, objectivity, and truth. There are others who are lingering in prison for the exact reason. And then there are those few who dare to speak, like Ravish Kumar, Karan Thapar, Abhisar Sharma, Punya Prasun Bajpai, and Arfa Khanum Sherwani.

It is clear that "acha din aane wala hai" was meant not for the nation but for the BJP to turn Indian democracy into an electoral autocracy. This assessment is not just from foreign agencies; the jolt is felt by most, especially the opposition parties and the minorities. Rahul Gandhi said, "The soul of the King is in the EVM and in every institution of the country, in ED, CBI, and the Income Tax department. He added, "Without EVMs, Narendra Modi cannot win elections. We requested the Election Commission to show us the EVM machines and allow our experts to examine them, but they refused."

A new political alliance was formed called "INDIA." Their objective is to uphold the idea of India, its constitution, and democracy. The citizens of India are finding it extremely difficult to sustain inflation, unemployment, price rises, atrocities against women, children, and minorities, and national debt. The forthcoming Lok Sabha elections are crucial to safeguarding the constitution, democracy, and the idea of India as enshrined in the constitution.

The exposition of the evil ploy of electoral bonds should open the eyes of the gullible people to the terrible wrong happening in our country and our nation. If we don't stand together as a nation now, we may not have an opportunity anywhere in the near future, even if we wish it. The state of the State Bank of India is a disgrace to the nation. Therefore, act prudently and vote wisely before it is too late.

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