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Why is India's Prime Minister Seemingly So Nervous?

Don Aguiar Don Aguiar
08 Apr 2024

Seeing the supposedly huge public approval and his imminent win as a validation of his policies of hatred and so forth in 2019, he and his party pulled out all the stops to ruin the nation, taking it down an irreversible path of ethno-religious hatred and political fascism.

Before landing the nation's top political job, Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat for more than 12 years. He was investigated — and ultimately acquitted after two decades — over his administration's alleged complicity in the 2002 Hindu-Muslim riots in which more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, died. The US State Department refused him a visa for nearly a decade, but he never had to sit out a political contest at home. If the same courtesy isn't extended to Kejriwal — a serving chief minister — or the bank accounts of the primary challenger stay frozen despite the BJP having cornered the lion's share of funding for the upcoming ballot, then "electoral" is no longer a necessary qualifier to describe India's political system. But for a late resistance by the Supreme Court, the nation's slide away from democracy is nearly complete.

The Congress party was blind in 2014 since they ignored how well the Gujarat massacres were managed and how NAMO managed the financial aspect of the elections with the help of Gujarati businessmen. They sleepwalked through those elections, thinking every element was in their favour and lost miserably. They have no one else to blame but themselves.

While the Congress Government had faults, the incumbent government has been the most unscrupulous in Democratic India's history. BJP says that NAMO has changed the country. It's true as well; he really changed the country after 2014. Now, democracy is being murdered in broad daylight. The government is openly auctioning this country for their own benefit.

India is undergoing an Undeclared Emergency. Just before the elections, the bank account of the country's main opposition party, Congress, has been frozen, drying up all their finances right before the elections. Political parties of Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray, who were against Modi's policies, were broken. Jharkhand's tribal chief minister, Hemant Soren, has been arrested. Many prominent leaders of AAP, including Arvind Kejriwal, have been jailed. A brazen, shameless attempt was made to strip Rahul Gandhi, the tallest opposition leader, of his parliamentary membership. One of the most prominent voices of opposition, Mahua Moitra, was expelled from Parliament.

India's majority Hindu community seems oblivious mainly or in denial of the brewing catastrophe. Despite their silence, many Indians, both within the country and among the diaspora, are actively resisting. Minorities have been resisting in their own way by creating a platform for them—secular, cultural, or religious—who oppose both the caste system and the nationalist Hindutva ideology.

Overall, it illuminates the stark contrast between the oppressive, exclusionary nature of Hindutva, a recent creation just over 100 years old, and the inclusive, liberatory aspects of the many diverse and ancient Hindu traditions. The leaders who draw on the latter tradition can claim many progenitors, including anti-caste revolutionaries in Indian history like Basavanna, Akka Mahadevi, Vaikunda Swami, and Kabir Das.

But the challenge of combatting Hindutva is a steep one. The prevalence of nationalist symbols in unexpected places, like saffron flags on fishing boats along the beaches of Goa, one of India's most diverse states, is a jarring reminder.

Still, the secular Indian remains an optimist. The brave Hindu leaders, guardians of inclusive traditions that have survived millennia, quickly admit that India is going through a dark period. But, they say, it will return to the path of secular democracy and unity. India hopes that comes sooner than later.

Nearly every pollster and brokerage analyst has already called India's upcoming general election in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's favour. But if a third term for the strongman leader is already assured, why's he seemingly nervous? Why is he strangulating the very structure of India's Parliamentary democracy?

There are two possible explanations for Modi's apparent nervousness. Either his grip on power is not as firm as the BJP is projecting — as his campaign to polarise the majority Hindu community may have peaked too early. Or, this tactic diverts voters' attention from a recent legal defeat for an opaque political funding program known as electoral bonds brought in by his government six years ago.

This time, the Prime Minister's senseless slogan of crossing 400 seats is based on strangulating the very structure of our Parliamentary democracy. Don't you remember the election of the Chandigarh Mayor? It was just a trial for the murder of this country's democracy. One might wonder what happened that made us say that democracy has ended. Have these things ever happened in the country before?

Once the democracy is murdered, we will be next!

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