Opinions

One Hundred Days of Modi Sarkar

The list of negative actions against minorities, the poorer segments of society and political parties that are not allied with BJP, that have occurred on behalf of the Modi Sarkar in the last 100 days is quite long.

In the camapign for the recent elections in India, Mr Modi and his BJP followers barnstormed the nation for many months finding fault with almost every government in the last 67 years, and proclaimed that if elected they will hit the ground running to unite the very diverse nation, bring in much economic recovery, strong law and order, remove influence-peddling from governance and reinforce a fairness-based polity. Indeed Mr Modi's pet slogan was that the dawn of the “good days” is just on the horizon.

After the elections got over and BJP won and Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, we expected Mr Modi to take steps to remove the intense acrimony that develped during the election process. Unfortunately, 100 days after his becoming PM, what we see is that Mr Modi is fostering an authoritarian and divisive governance, while in speeches he talks about unity.

Ruling parties in states where BJP did poorly, like West Bengal, Karanataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, J&K and Haryana are being subjected to public harassment and BJP is working hard to uproot the ruling parties and leaders there. In a well-organized manner ditected by the new BJP President Amit Shah, a close confidant of Mr Modi,  BJP workers are disrupting, hooting and heckling public meetings of chief ministers of some of these states, e.g., Haryana, Jharkhand amd Maharashtra. In Parliament, BJP has refused to allow any party to be identified as the Opposition party, thereby denying that there is adequate opposition in the legislative wing of the government, even though BJP won only 31 percent of votes in the election. Several upright governors in states have been harassed and summarily dismissed although there were no charges of malfunction against them.  Amit Shah is busy putting into action the BJP strategy to win the upcoming elections in several states by dividing the Indian community along the fault lines of religion and caste.

On the economic recovery effort, other than giving speeches and making promises, in the last 100 days we do not see any specific steps or plans other than high rhetoric, that Mr Modi has initiated that may help the much needed quick recovery. Prices of almost all commodities including those under direct government control like train travel fares and price of petrol and diesel have risen sharply in the last 100 days.  The police brutality against people in the poorer segments of society, and sexual molestation crimes against women, especially those belonging to lower castes, are continuing unabated throughout the country despite new laws enacted a year ago.  In several instances Modi administration has directly flouted the judgements of the Supreme Court, for instance allowing the raising of the height of the Narmada river dam that will cause about half a million tribal people in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh to loose their homes and farms.

Minoroities are feeling unsafe due to the campaign of intimidation launched by BJP with the concurrence of Mr Modi. Examples are: Propogation of the "Love Jihad" campaign by BJP leaders that falsely maligns Muslims in several states like UP, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnatak etc with the specific purpose of dividing minority Muslims from majority Hindus. Under Mr Modi's guidance, several senior political leaders and police officials who were sentenced by Supreme Court for the 2002 massacre of Muslims and for extrajudicial killings in Gujarat, have been released on bail.

Not a single Muslim person, excluding Najma Heptullah, has been appointed to any high level position by the Modi administration even though they have appointed many others. On the occassion of the Muslim festival of Eidul Fitr at the end of July, PM Modi failed to send a message of greetings to the Muslim community even though there is a well-established protocol in India that PMs do that. Yet two weeks after Eid, he conveyed personal greetings to the Hindu community on the eve of Janamashtmi.

The list of negative actions against minorities, the poorer segments of society and political parties that are not allied with BJP, that have occurred on behalf of the Modi Sarkar in the last 100 days is quite long. Hence the apprehension and concern of the Muslim community, secular Hindus and the poorer segments of the population in India.  

At the same time everyone is still hopeful that Mr Modi can reverse the trend and bring relief and justice to the ordinary people (Aam aadmi) of India in the near future.

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