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Mainstream, VOL LVI No 37 New Delhi September 1, 2018

The Truth of ‘Capitalist Truth’

Sunday 2 September 2018

by Binoy Viswam

While presiding over the founding conference of the AITUC in 1920, the legendary freedom fighter, Lala Lajpat Rai, classified truth into two—one, the workers’ truth and the other, the capitalist truth. That classification remains valid even after 98 years. In the present day Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the apt person to be termed as the classical exponent of capitalist truth. From his Sangh Parivar school of fascist propaganda he has mastered the skill of depicting the capitalist truth as the people’s truth. Ever since he began to aspire for political power, Modi has laboured overtime to attain this talent. In his address to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort to mark the Independence Day this year, Modi was showing his unquestionable mastery over the propaganda skill. Even Goebbels would have wondered about the ability of his Indian disciple.

In his typical narrative, stuffed with hollow rhetoric, the Prime Minister was drawing a picture of India shining. If one is to go by his version of ‘truth’, India has achieved everything! According to Modi, during the last four years the country was realising ’achche din’ by leaps and bounds. By all means, on Independence Day Narendra Modi came prepared to unleash the 2019 election campaign for which the BJP has amassed unbelievable amount of resources. No one can compete with the human and material resources mobilised by the RSS-BJP for the forthcoming decisive battle. No doubt it is a life and death issue for the RSS-BJP. Personally for Modi, the 2019 election is the litmus test for his leadership that he captured by outsmarting a whole line of stalwarts including L.K. Advani, Prof Murli Manohar Joshi and the like. He came to the Red Fort with an armoury of lies and half-truths. Even his very attire unveiled a skill of salesmanship. His actions and words were all clearly calculated to meet his propaganda targets. Needless to say that Modi has only one desire, that is, to come back to power by hook or crook.

The political strategist in Modi made use of the Independence Day to sell his new promises. He did not forget to elaborate upon four years of ‘achievements’. Along with his pet slogan, “sab ke saath, sab ka vikas†Narendra Modi coined one more phrase this time—“saaf niyat, sahi vikas“. And in his own style he went on to boast upon demonetisation, GST, Swatch Bharat, Beti Bachao Beti Padao, Mudra Loans etc. Hesitantly he claimed that because of his fight against corruption and black money, Rs 90,000 crores was saved for the country. Throughout his 80-minute speech the RSS-BJP leader was extra-cautious, not to give even a little space for his shortcomings. The Goebbelsian philosophy of propaganda does not allow it. Hence Modi opted not to think about the 2014 promises on bringing back black money. The 15 lakh rupees were never even remembered. He talks too much about Dalits, tribals and women (especially Muslim women in the background of triple talaaq).

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana was the feather in Modi’s cap. The country heard a lot about it since the last Budget. Finally on the eve of elections to four State Assemblies followed by Parliament elections, it is scheduled to take off on the birthday of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. As per the speech, 10 crore families would be the beneficiaries. They will have health coverage up to 5 lakh rupees. The idea is great! And the numbers too! But when we analyse the status of Modi’s schemes like ujjwala yojana (distribution of cooking gas to the poor) the fate of accomplishments is a big question-mark. In recent times Narendra Modi and his storm-troopers are talking too much about the year 2022 especially while mentioning about fulfilling their promises. What is the logic behind it when Modi’s mandate was for only five years from 2014? When the PM’s tenure is to complete by 2019 why are they talking about the additional three years?

The RSS-BJP rule under Narendra Modi’s leadership throws light on the real characteristics of ‘capitalist truth’. Its promises and actions invariably go on different directions. As the vast majority of the voters are poor the promises are always concentrated for them. But the class interests unequivocally guide the RSS-BJP to serve the greed of the super rich. Four years of Narendra Modi has proven this. Throughout this period the government was busy in paving the path for achche din for the Adanis and Ambanis. But time and again beautiful promises were showered on the poor. It was during this period the latest Global Hunger Index was published in which India fell down to the 100th position from the 95th. These were the four years that witnessed the deepening of the agrarian crisis which forced thousands of farmers to commit suicide. In States like Madhya Pradesh, the government used bullets to suppress the farmers’ wrath. Atrocities against Dalits and tribals became the order of the day. Minorities in many parts of the country were haunted by cow vigilantes, surveys say that in every 15 minutes a Dalit is tortured, in every hour 39 women or girls are raped. Even shelter-homes in Bihar and UP became unsafe places for girls and young women.

In all the cases the RSS-BJP leaders came out openly in support of the culprits. Some of them went to the extent of urging Muslims to go to Pakistan. Holding constitutional positions and praising Ambedkar, the RSS-BJP leaders spit venom on the Constitution. They want secularism, sovereignty, democracy and socialism to be dropped from the Constitution. An over-enthusiastic Minister even suggested to draft a new Constitution based on nothing but Manusmriti. While the Prime Minister was thundering against corruption, the Rafale deal was roaring into the ears of the nation. 12,000 crores of rupees was lost to the exchequer and national security was compromised with this deal. Reliance was the only beneficiary. Modi rule was beneficial to the family of Amit Shah too. Jay Shah, the son of the BJP President, could multiply his business fortunes 16,000 times within a year. Long live Modi’s fight against corruption!!

Towards the last part of the speech Narendra Modi repeated his pledges such as housing for all, water for all, power for all, cooking gas, sanitation, insurance (everything) for all. It shows that all these pledges advanced during the 2014 elections were kept in cold storage for four years. The implementation rate was so minimal that the government was not ready to reveal the district-wise statistics of the ‘achievements’ of its pro-poor populist schemes. The coming days will surely witness Modi and his war-room warriors building up a castle of promises. With the skill of their propaganda machinery they would try to paint them as truth. But the truth is far far away. For the ‘capitalist truth’ promises are like soap bubbles. Once elections are over they will burst and disappear.

Tailpiece: Official statistics say that India’s export growth is remarkable. It registered 14.32 percentage (Rs 2577 crores) than July last year. The truth is that import also has grown to the tune 29 percentage (Rs 4379 crores). The balance of payment deficit has also grown from Rs 1245 crores to Rs 1802 crores. Still they claim that the GDP growth is fine with India. This is the essence of ‘capitalist truth’!

The author, a former Minister of Forests and Housing in the erstwhile LDF Government in Kerala, is a member of the Central Secretariat of the CPI.

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