Modi's continuing as Prime Minister may degrade Gandhi's India

After Modi became Prime Minister he launched a drive to unabashedly promote a personality cult around him.  Modi also launched a whirlwind tour of many advanced countries and made sure that the media published his photographs every day, dressed in stylish clothes. He also chose to develop an inner circle of wealthy crony industrialists and businessmen. 

Moreover he allowed so many of his crony businessmen to borrow huge sums from the nationalized banks and the government treasury, that they never returned.  While reputed public sector undertakings like HAL. VSNL, Air India could not pay salaries to their employees for months and laid them off, Modi pushed for his crony industrialist friends like Ambani and Adani to gain lucrative overpriced contracts like the Rafale jet fighter contract from France.

Modi who had so vigorously promised in 2014 that he will fight corruption every day, has become a symbol of high corruption by the rich and powerful Indians.

On the front of justice and concern for the common man, for full five years Modi has constantly ignored the miseries of more than one third of Indians who live near the poverty line, like farmers, daily wage workers, soldiers, policemen, and millions of unemployed young men. Who are being crushed under the devastating weight of continually increasing prices in most areas and low incomes. Unemployment has soared and economy is faltering.

Forgetting all of his solemn promises to them, and their daily miseries, Modi has constantly divided the masses on the basis of religion and has exhorted them to adopt militant Hindutva and hate against religious minorities like Muslims, Christians and Dalits.  And he has turned a blind eye as they are oppressed.

Indeed as Prime Minister Modi completely set aside the much glorified Hindu concept of Ram Rajya, a fairness- to- all oriented state governance system, that Mahatma Gandhi had championed, and the principled Raj Dharma politics that BJP's own PM Vajpayee championed.  It is easy to see that in many ways Modi has degraded his own BJP party's profile from being principled Hindu nationalism of Vajpayee and his team, to one of deception and exploitation.

If Modi and his men continue in power for another five years, it may result in the unravelling of the united, composite, tolerant and progressive India that our forefathers dreamed of and towards which we have made some progress in the last 70 years.  It may also considerably slow down India's future as a world class nation.       

The writer is Executive Director of Association of Indian Muslims of America, Washington DC.  He can be reached on: kaleemkawaja%gmail.com 

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