|Image from Scroll
There are millions of Indians
who are fanatic supporters of Narendra Modi who is seen as a macho PM and
saviour of Hindu religion. These people are Modi’s real strength. He gets away
with a lot of balderdash as well as maliciousness because of the mass support
he enjoys. He has paid scant attention to the ongoing farmers’ stir as if farmers
are below his dignity to meet and discuss with.
Modi regards himself as the
greatest person on the earth if not in the entire cosmos. He has brought down
to dust every democratic institution in the country so that his authority will
remain beyond questioning. His strategy is to subtly alter the way the
institutions function so that they are slowly and steadily crippled and eventually
The Central Bureau of
Investigation (CBI) has been converted into a “caged parrot” by Modi. Prior to
the Modi era, the CBI was “the gold standard of Indian crime-fighting” (Shashi Tharoor’s
description). It has now become Modi’s puppet.
The same fate has befallen
every institution of some national value. The Supreme Court and the Reserve
Bank of India are just two glaring examples. An efficient governor like
Raghuram Rajan was not allowed to continue his remarkable services at the RBI.
Urjit Patel who succeeded him ended up as the Governor of the bank with the
shortest tenure though he had been “the government’s blue-eyed boy” (Tharoor’s
phrase again). The Deputy Governor Viral Acharya too stepped down seeing the
government’s politicisation of the Governor’s appointment.
It is too early to forget the
drama played out by the Supreme Court judges and the Chief Justice himself.
Dipak Misra and Ranjan Gogoi were no more than Modi’s puppets. Gogoi declared himself innocent when a sexual harassment charge was
brought up against him even as Adityanath of UP wrote off all criminal cases
against himself when he became the Chief Minister. Modi and his beloved people
are like gods – above all laws.
The Election Commission has
also been rendered a highly attenuated version of what it was under eminent
people like T N Seshan and J M Lyngdoh. Today the Commission is merely a
handmaid of Modi and his party.
All these institutions have
been debilitated precisely to enhance the power of one man called Narendra
Modi. That man who regards himself as some kind of a divine incarnation hasn’t
done much good for the country’s ordinary people. The affluent have benefited
much under him. The poor have suffered untold agonies and ignominies. The agitating
farmers are just the latest victims.
A protest of similar nature
arose in Delhi when the Citizenship bills were passed. But a pandemic erupted
and rescued Modi. It is possible that Modi will use some devious method to
suppress the farmers’ agitation. Efforts have already been made to bring
schisms among the farmers. The usual rhetoric was also employed time and again
by the eloquent Prime Minister. What next? Wait and watch. Our PM is good at
both entertaining and strategizing.
A lot of people in the country
are unhappy. Those affected by the Citizenship Acts. Adivasis and Dalits. Now
farmers. How long can a leader ignore the problems of such large numbers of citizens?
Don’t forget that a cry in the wilderness can set an avalanche in motion.
PS. Prompted by Indispire Edition 356: The farmers' agitation is
going on for long. Do you think the government is failing to address the
grievances of the farmers and is being autocratic? Or is the government as
magnanimous as the Prime Minister claims? #FarmersAgitation