The Times of India reports today (13 Jan) that Mr Amit Shah is going to issue a show cause notice to Sakshi Maharaj for continuing to make noises that are inconvenient for the BJP though they are in tune with the theme of the party’s hidden agenda. People like Sakshi Maharaj and Sadhvi Jyoti are the religious faces of the party, while Mr Modi and Mr Shah are the political faces. For the former certain medieval beliefs and practices are the truths, while for the latter those beliefs and practices are mere ploys for attaining and retaining political power. It is possible that those beliefs and practices have some value for Mr Modi and Mr Shah too since they seem to be harbouring a hidden agenda: creating a Hindu Rashtra in India. But transforming a nation from one constitutional system to another is not very easy, they know. Bringing about the transformation by force will engender violence and bloodshed. Neither Mr Modi nor Mr Shah want a civil war in the country. That is one reason for hope.
But I see a little more room for hope. If Mr Shah and his party are really going to focus on the development theme and sideline the religious theme, it will affect the thinking of the public in a significant manner. The public are gullible and credulous. They will actually begin to think that the religious themes are being buried and they will actually begin to focus on development and related tasks. It will be a significant change of mindset. It can be good enough for redeeming the country from regressing into the kind of medievalism that guides the thoughts and actions of the Maharaj and the Sadhvi and the like.
The harsh reality may be that the opulent corporate sector that has hijacked the present union government for their own benefits is demanding a short leash on the tongues of the medievalist elements in the Parliament. Today’s capitalism is quite different from its aristocratic counterpart of the medieval period. And the capitalists who uphold the vibrancy in Mr Modi’s very own Gujarat and hope to spread that vibrancy to other states whose resources are waiting for the pulsating touches of neoliberal economics don’t want to miss their opportunities.
Neoliberal capitalism is preferable to obscurantist medievalism.
PS. I had vowed a few years ago to write in as simple a style as possible so that my writing is accessible to the very ordinary reader. I’m afraid I have to renege on that vow as my writing is attracting certain elements that I would prefer to keep at a distance.