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An Agitating Nation

An Agitating Nation

The nation is passing through trying times with the Modi-sarkar at its nadir of popularity. At its ebb, the reputation of the saffron-ensemble as the architects of modern India has taken a sound beating.

Coming through as villains of a script that was otherwise supposed to glamorize the intentions of the Modi-Shah duo in so far as ushering the golden period ahead for the country was concerned, the nationwide protests over the amended Citizenship Act has changed all that.   

Branded as dictatorial, the rule of the BJP has only managed to drive a wedge between the ‘major’ and ‘minor’ communities in the country. With distrust and apprehension characterizing the public reaction and response to each and every political ‘missile’ flung at the masses, the slew of laws promulgated in recent times has had a debilitating effect on the secular fabric of the country.

Alienating the masses, it is not difficult to understand the agenda the ruling dispensation is pursuing. But one would not like to believe in hearsay and would rather have the government come clean on its will and intentions on these matters.

By allowing misinformation and rumours to dwell on the minds of the public, the Saffron party is only doing a disservice to its own image. The highly-hyped ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas’ slogan much favoured by the Modi-sarkar thus has a hollowness about it.

A massive public mandate does not give any government the right to push through with its own agendas at the cost of public sentiments. No doubt, every government is well within its own rights to frame its own legislations. But shouldn’t they be implemented only after proper deliberations, and more importantly, after taking the people into confidence?   

A ‘popular’ government installed at the Centre to dislodge another one that allegedly had corruption pervading every aspect of its functioning has however earned the wrath of the countrymen for the authoritarianism and evasiveness that has become its ‘virtue’.

One can vividly remember some of the campaigns that went on to virtually spell doom for the last government. People had come out even then, and in large numbers, to protest against the inconsistencies and irregularities in its functioning.

Quite a number of ministers from the scam-ridden government walked in-and-out of jails after they were indicted for their complicity in various rip-offs.

The Modi-ensemble thus found favour with the masses and were thought of as being the apt answer, and an alternative, to the tainted UPA-government.

The 2014 elections consequently proved to be the turning point in India’s history where a leader who promised the nation ‘achche din’ ahead very soon earned himself the sobriquet of a ‘Go-getter’ for his persuasiveness and verve to get India well and truly shining.

Even though the countrymen continue to find the ‘good days ahead’ promised as elusive as ever, the saffron brigade was indeed in for some glad tidings under the stewardship of Modi. The BJP’s mission to ‘saffronize’ the entire country was slowly but surely being realized.  

Things began to turn sour when some of the drastic steps taken by PM Modi shocked the nation out of its wits.

The masses are again chanting in unison for a change. A change at the helm! Once again people are out on the streets, voluminous crowds demanding answers from a government for throwing the nation into a void of uncertainties.

Drawing parallels from history, people have been quick to compare the fear that has gripped the nation with similar effects that the Nazis had on the populace in Germany during Hitler’s reign.   

But as they say, every cloud has a silver lining! In the present political scenario that the country finds itself pushed into, at least the Congress party won’t deny the empirical truth.  

After literally cowering these past few years, the Congress has suddenly come out with all guns blazing.

Gone is the timid demeanour that was on display on the face of some aggressive subjugation by the Saffron brigade which had India’s grand-old-party virtually succumbing to the might of the Modi ensemble.

Decimated in numbers and obliterated beyond recognition ever since the BJP blitzkrieg of 2014, the Congress was hard-pressed to gain appreciation as an Opposition - in letter and spirit.

The regular exodus of confirmed loyalists from the party into the saffron-fold did not help matters either! Rejected and disparaged, and at the threshold of an unceremonious exit, the Congress was fighting for its survival.  

Eclipsed so far by the investigations into the dubious deals of their party leaders and their ‘jail yatras’, it was as if the Congress was forced into a humiliating hibernation by the BJP.

The CAA, NPR and NRC have changed all that!

The debates revolving around the issue of citizenship has apparently resurrected the Congress party. The unprecedented outrage across the country against the ‘Draconian’ Acts has given the Congress party the leverage it required to catapult it to the centre stage of national politics once again.

And has the party gleefully grabbed it with both the hands!

‘Backing’ the people’s protests against the government’s ‘fascist’ programs, the Congress appears to have returned with a vengeance.

The Jamia Milia Islamia and the JNU fiascos, which are understandably a consequence of the student’s movement vis-à-vis the anti-CAA protests, have further ‘aided’ the cause for the Congress.

In the melee, the Congress party has come up as the biggest critic of the ruling-BJP. More than anything else, it has suddenly found its voice and is fast emerging as the voice of the embittered nation.

Meanwhile, the Modi-sarkar continues its arrogant march towards imposing its will on the country unmindful of the scathing remarks over its authoritarian policies.

However, politics in India has constantly been issue-based and the ability to evolve national consensus towards or against a particular issue has always shaped the electoral future of political dispensations aiming a shot at power.

Will the anti-CAA stand revive the electoral fortunes of the congress this time around or will persisting with it sound the death knell for the BJP!

Will the citizenship imbroglio make the people of India seek a change of guard at the Centre once again?

A whole lot of questions!  

But is vacillating between the Congress and the BJP the only answer!

In any case, it is time people seriously thought against jumping to conclusions and later have qualms over the decisions made in haste. One needs to wake up to the stark realities around.

‘A madness is yet to end, and one is already walking into a new one in the making!’ This should not be the gist of any agitation.  

(Published on 27th January 2020, Volume XXXII, Issue 05)