Mainstream, VOL LIV No 16 New Delhi April 9, 2016
Real Face of Hindutva Leadership
Sunday 10 April 2016
As the pre-election tension grips several States going to polls to elect Assemblies where electoral campaign is on in full swing, the latest incident in Srinagar’s National Institute of Technology (where clashes took place on March 31 when two groups fought over India’s defeat to West Indies in the T-20 World Cup Cricket semi-final) has caused legitimate consternation across the country.
The Central Government is currrently being run by persons suffering from an acute sense of political myopia and are completely bereft of vision. It is thus highly unlikely that the Centre would change its attitude and adopt a stance, conditioned by wisdom and maturity, that would help defuse tensions in Kashmir even at this late stage. Yet it is necessary to sound the customary note of caution for whatever it is worth: the country cannot afford shortsighted policies aggravating the prevailing situation in one of the most sensitive areas of the nation. The moot question, therefore, is: is it not high time for persons in power to realise the conseqences of playing with fire in such places as they are doing now?
Lately Raghuram Rajan, Governor of the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, has said that the names of those who have taken loans of thousands of crores of rupees from the public sector banks and defaulted on repaying cannot be disclosed because it will ‘chill economic activity’. Most of these gentlemen are heads of corporate giants. By not repaying the money they had borrowed, they have turned the PSU banks sick. As on March 31, 2015, the outstanding loans—non-performing assets or NPAs of the banks—stood at a staggering Rs 2.16 lakh crores, much higher than the amounts involved in the coal scam or the telecom scam.
Last month, two things happened. First, Vijay Mallya, the man who owes the banks Rs 9000 crores, was allowed to flee from the country with the full knowledge of the government and all its agencies dealing with economic offenders. Second, Alagar, a farmer in Tamil Nadu, was driven to commit suicide because he had defaulted on paying two instalments of his bank loan.
The people are realising that the economy is being run for the rich and the super-rich, for the corrupt and the unscrupulous. The Union Government has not been able to control inflation or prices of essential commodities or the continuous erosion of the real wages of the people. Anger and discontent is rising. In the circumstances, the only way to divert the people’s anger is to whip up a hysteria of ultra-nationalism and ultra-patriotism. All the organisations of the Sangh Parivar are diligently at it. The Leftists are too busy winning a seat here or avoiding a loss there to think of the people and their misery. The Hindutva juggernaut moves on relentlessly, crushing everything under its wheels and destroying the country itself in the process.
April 7 Analyst