Mainstream, VOL LIII No 23, May 30, 2015
Pro-Corporate Modi Government’s First Anniversary: A Year of Anti-people and Anti-working Class Rule
Saturday 30 May 2015
by S. Sudhakar Reddy
The Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government, as it completes its first year of rule on May 26, 2015, has to its credit an unprecedented ignominious record of being anti-people, anti-working class and anti-farmer while at the same time being pro-corporate and pro-rich. Also to its credit goes a year of misrule with all attempts being made to divide the people over caste, religion and region along with sinister moves to turn back the clock of history of the sovereign, the socialist, secular and democratic Republic of India. Let us weigh the one-year performance of the Modi Government through its own acts and the very measures it took during the period.
The six lakh crores of rupees worth concessions given to the corporate houses by the Narendra Modi Government speak for themselves and establish beyond doubt that the darlings of the Modi Government since its advent to power at the Centre, if not earlier, have been the corporate houses and the rich. In fact since its birth, the RSS, its affiliates and the political body Jan Sangh and now BJP have never been in favour of the pro-poor masses including the poor Hindus. The Rightist ideology to which it has committed itself never had any concern for the poor and working sections. It did over time ensure that the coal mines are e-auctioned for thirty years at a single stretch.
The maiden full Union Budget of Modi’s Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, did not mince words when it had to further pamper the corporate houses. It went ahead shamelessly to lower the basic rate of corporate tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent. Crocodile tears in the name of the poor and middle class with all-out moves to extend unheard of concessions to Adani-Ambani and co.! Mr Modi, hardly a year is over and you stand thoroughly exposed!
The Modi Government’s craze for the rich pushed it further to get the prevalent wealth tax abolished. The result is that ninety per cent of our population are being forced to pay for the whims and fancies of the ten per cent who for no legitimate reasons are holding 73 per cent of the wealth of the country. Thus it can be seen that the rich have grown richer in the one year of Modi’s rule which has witnessed the fastest growth of some of the corporate houses, especially that of the Adanis.
Rabid Reactionary Trends and Divisive Moves
The Sangh Parivar and its affiliates did not wait long after getting elected in the last general elections to come out openly with their earlier hidden agenda with the full backing from the Nagpur headquarters which remote control them. All the hopes with which people had voted the Modi Government to power started getting belied one by one.
The success in the general elections through consolidation of the anti-UPA-II votes and bagging only around one-third of the votes polled but a single-party majority in the Lok Sabha even to the surprise of the BJP itself turned the leaders from top to bottom arrogant. The only exception is the L.K. Advani, Dr Murali Manohar Joshi and company who for factional and personal reasons keep themselves in the anti-Modi camp. That is, however, their internal organisational matter.
However, none of the leaders of the BJP, RSS and its affiliates could shed his/her arrogance or restrain the self from abusive anti-minority outbursts. The ‘ghar wapsi’ call by the Viswa Hindu Parishad. And subsequent divisive communal activities in this regard in the name of ‘Love Jihad’ were targeted at innocent Muslim youth and the communal carnage unleashed in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other sensitive areas were planned moves of the ruling party and its affiliates to create chaos along the breadth and length of the country.
The BJP Government and the ruling party want to fish in the muddy waters and push through their hidden economic agenda once the mass attention is diverted through communal disturbances. Its love for Hindus is only a political slogan for an anti-minority posture with a sinister aim at Hindu vote consolidation.
The fascist craze of the leaders of the BJP, RSS and its affiliates does not spare any of the minority sections of the Indian population. The unwarranted attacks on the Christian churches in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and elsewhere are aimed at spreading insecurity among the minorities and injecting a fear psychosis into the minds of minorities, paving the way for forcible conversion at a later period. In order to make the situation more conducive for forcible conversions, the RSS-BJP leaders started attacking historians, writers and journalists — reminiscent of the obscurantism of Hitler’s days.
The reactionary mindset enabled them to further vitiate everything that is secular and progressive. Hardcore RSS persons were appointed as Governors, heads of organisations like the ICHR and in key positions in other autonomous scientific, cultural and research institutions. Renowned historians like Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib and others were removed from the advisory board of the ICHR. Subra-manian Swamy gave a call to burn all history books.
Writers and artists are being threatened and forced to withdraw their works. The right to freedom of speech is under attack. Leaders of the national movement, including Mahatma Gandhi, are being defamed. The Godse cult is being encouraged. Autonomy of universities, IITs and other institutions of higher learning are being diluted.
Also with an aim to create more disturbances, beef was banned in Haryana and Maharashtra while the neighbouring State, Gujarat, tops in beef exports. Beef is one of the main ingredients of food for the poor, Adivasis, Dalits, minorities and OBCs. While the rich can enjoy costly tinned imported beef, the poor Indians are denied local cheap protein.
Modi Cannot Absolve Himself: PrimeMinister Narendra Modi himself is not above all such sinister moves. He cannot absolve himself as he himself was party to the RSS manoeuvres or at times was keeping mum when controversies were raked up by his own persons. He at times even batted for obscurantist ideas and vituperous Hindutva ravings. In his ‘I-am-the-only-saviour’ style, he comes out with Indian mythological stories to prove his claim on Indian expertise of plastic surgery and so on. He in fact was spreading superstitions to create a fertile ground for Hindutva onslaughts and for his dictatorial style of functioning as the messiah of the Hindus.
Modi’s inherent complexes as a person and his fear that opponents inside and outside the party may anytime rise against him made him suspicious of one and all around him. Like Hitler’s, gradually the government’s measures and decisions got centred round him catering to his dictatorial fancies. He has reduced all his Ministers as mere puppets and top senior bureaucrats were told to report to him directly. Modi toured 18 countries within one year — a notable record indeed — but without the Foreign Minister. What a style of functioning! Things did not end there.
He wanted to convert India into a land of Narendra Modi and Nathuram Vinayak Godse by demolishing everything that is really Indian and of Independent India’s. The first victim of Modi’s ego is the Planning Commission which has been turned into Modi’s ‘Niti Ayog’. The next was the rejection of special status to States of the North-East, thus making all States dance to the tune of the Modi-run Centre. Competitive federalism, later modified as co-operative federalism in Modi’s style of functioning, is nothing but ‘Yes, Prime Minister, you are always right’. Hindutva under Modi is thus nothing but terrorism of all kinds—physical, cultural, religious, casteist and mental.
Out and Out against Working Class, Farmers
The concerted moves made to amend the labour laws in the name of reducing their number and to make them more effective were an exercise done with the motive of turning the workers into servile and bonded employees. Similarly, the Land Acquisition Bill 2015, aimed at amending the LARR 2013, is to pave way for the smooth seizure of farmers’ land by corporate houses and realtors. He has the audacity to claim that the Land Ordinance is pro-farmer. What a shameless lie! No doubt, one needs guts while occupying such a responsible position to repeat and reassert the lie. The meagre allocations to the SC/ST, special component plan, reduction in funds for the MGNREGS, etc. reflect the anti-poor mindset of the BJP.
To sum up, as the Modi Government completes its one-year of rule, all that the BJP and Modi promised during the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 still remain a pipe-dream. There is no need to list here all the unfulfilled promises. The glaring ones include the government’s failure to bring back black money stashed abroad and to deposit Rs 15 lakh in every family account, no concrete measure to curb rising prices of all essential commodities, no remedy to end child labour. Instead there is the move to amend the Act to help industrialists and fooling of illiterate masses with the Jan Dhan Yojana.
Abraham Lincoln had defined democracy as the government of the people, by the people and for the people. Narendra Modi reduced it to a government of the corporates, for the corporates, by the corporates. The only positive step during Modi’s one-year rule is the passing of the Indo-Bangladesh border agreement.
In the light of the above failures it is not prudent to expect from the Modi Government anything pro-people. The only alternative left before all of us is to unleash consistent militant mass struggles to arrest the aggressive onslaughts against democracy, personal freedom, individual and collective rights, etc. Let us pledge to defeat Modi manoeuvres against the peaceful, secular and democratic life.
The author is the General Secretary of the Communist Party of India.