Society and Polity
India is descending into a dark abyss. It is becoming a lawless and barbaric nation state. The evidence of this is everywhere e.g., recently in Hyderabad four boys allegedly raped a veterinarian doctor and burned and killed her. Such rape cases have become a daily occurrence in India and public anger was high. There were public protests in form of rallies etc., and the politicians and incompetent police, who initially refused to file FIR of this case, were under tremendous pressure to do something about it. Public wanted the blood of these accused rapists. A lady member of parliament Mrs. Jaya Bacchhan went as far ahead as to demand a public lynching of these rapists in the lower house of the parliament! Such demands are typical of a lawless society. A civilized and mature society handles such cases with care by using a sound judiciary system so that no innocent is punished. Public anger plays no role whatsoever in determining the fate of such accused. But India is on a fast track to dark abyss, and so Hyderabad police, surely on the orders from their political bosses, one night encountered and killed all four rape accused saying that they were trying to run away. There was no investigation and court prosecution whatsoever of this case. No one knows for sure whether those four boys were the real rapists or only few of them or any such details. People were happy hearing this news and mainstream media, politicians and many celebrities hailed this cold blooded murder as a form of justice (sic) for the rape victim! The police officers involved in the encounter were hailed by people as heroes (sic). This is a sure sign of the sick mentality of the Indian society.
Not only this, there are myriad of cases of lynching of minority Muslims by the so-called cow vigilantes and general public. Prominent intellectuals like Dabholkar, Pansare, Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh have been murdered by Hindu fundamentalists for criticizing their brand of Hinduism. Barring few, most of the mainstream media is in the hands of authorities and they are spreading hatred in society so they can divide and rule forever. Anyone who criticizes the Modi government is branded as a traitor by the authorities.
As if all these was not enough, the Modi government recently passed a controversial Citizen Amendment Bill (CAB) which gives citizenship to outsiders on the basis of their religious identity. This is a direct violation of the Indian constitution which declared India a secular nation state where religion plays no role in granting citizenship. Immediately after the passing of this bill the North Eastern states like Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura etc., erupted with violence because the locals, mostly non-Muslims, of these states are the biggest losers here. Millions of non-Muslim illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh reside in these states, and after the passing of CAB they all will become legal citizen of India threatening local livelihood, society and culture. People are protesting in many other parts of the country too. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had to cancel his India visit due to these on-going rioting. Bangladesh foreign and home ministers also cancelled their visits to India because of this controversial bill. United Nations has said that this new bill is fundamentally discriminatory in nature. With this bill becoming a law, India has taken a definite turn in the direction of a Hindu Republic (A Hindu Rashtra) as envisioned by the RSS which is the mother organization of prime minister Narendra Modi and his BJP party.
All in all, the Indian society and polity is now becoming like that of Pakistan or Afghanistan where religion reigns supreme. In their hatred of Pakistan and Muslims, Hindu fundamentalists of India are making India another Pakistan. And this doesn’t bode well for the 1.4 billion Indians.
Not only the society and polity of Indian nation state is in tatters, but more importantly its economy is also in shambles. The GDP since last six quarters is declining steadily, which is a sure sign of an economy which is in deep recession and trouble. Last quarter GDP print came out just at 4.5% and economists like the past chief economic advisor of Narendra Modi government Arvind Subramanian are warning of worst for future. He said,
Clearly, this is not an ordinary slowdown. It is India’s Great Slowdown, where the economy seems headed for the intensive care unit.
I believe Dr. Subramanian is little soft in terming the Indian economy as going into ICU. I think the Indian economy has already died a painful death at the hands of Modi’s illogical policies of demonetization and GST. If the Modi government continues to interfere with the working of the economy, as it is hell bent on interfering, the damage is going to be long lasting. The economy may never recover from these on-coming blows after blows.
With slowing GDP, the various bubbles like the auto and real estate are bursting spectacularly unemploying millions. All sectors of the economy are in deep distress. Manufacturing has slowed down and is in reverse gear. Farmers are committing suicide. Prices of most basic items like onion and garlic are going through the roof, and the Modi government is now forced to import onions. Indian economy is now in the grips of stagflation, which is a typical result of Keynesian policies of easy money. The banking sector is also in a deep distress and depositors are losing money and lives. RBI officials keep on warning about impending economic crisis which they themselves are creating by their easy money Keynesian policies! The GST law has become so complicated that GST revenue collection is falling continuously and Modi’s central government hasn’t even paid last few months GST dues to the states who are now protesting.
Amidst the on-going economic crisis, the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is unperturbed and in a denial mode. Instead of solving the crisis, she is busy making controversial statements. And, prime minister Modi, as usual, is silent.
All the above condition show that the Indian nation state is descending into a dark abyss. It is becoming a living hell for its 1.4 billion inhabitants. The way things are going, I will not get surprised to see a final disintegration of this nation state which, from the very beginning, is an artificial entity forcefully put together by its founders like Nehru and Sardar Patel. The long history of the Indian subcontinent is evident of this fact that this place has never been one for so long. Keeping such variety of people together for long looks impossible and even unnecessary. The founders of Indian nation state wanted to create ‘unity in variety’, but as scholars like Leopold Kohr has shown, it is much better to create ‘harmony in variety’ instead of a forceful unity. Kohr’s above cited book said,
Throughout history, people living in small states are happier, more peaceful, more creative and more prosperous. Virtually all our political and social problems would be greatly diminished if the world’s major countries were to dissolve back into the small states from which they sprang. Rather than making ever-larger political unions, in the belief that this will bring peace and security, we should minimize the aggregation of power by returning to a patchwork of small, relatively powerless states, where leaders are accessible to and responsive to the people.
If not willingly but eventually the Indian nation state seems to be heading towards this better future. The path towards this better future is surely going to be bloody as there is no peaceful way like Brexit in the Indian subcontinent. Sadly this is in the nature of the people of this subcontinent.