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Obsession With The Number One

Obsession With The Number One

The central government seems to be obsessed with the number one in a nation marked by diversity of languages, religions and cultures. It is no secret that it wants to establish Hindutva or Hindu rashtra in a land of many religions. It wants one administration all over the nation with no special considerations for states like for Jammu and Kashmir. Now the Home Minister has threatened to make Hindi the sole language of the government and show all other Indian languages including English the door. Ironically, Hindi as a language has no grammar of its own and its literature is of recent origin when compared to most of the other Indian languages like Sanskrit, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada, Tamil etc. whose grammar and literature date back to pre-common era. On the other hand while visiting Chennai recently Mr. Modi himself agreed that Tamil is the most ancient language. The armed forces are already set to have a single overall commander. The bugle call for one election has already been sounded. It is imposing one national syllabus for schools and colleges, showing scant regard for regional and rich cultural diversities and contours of the population. The prestige and aura of autonomous colleges will definitely dim down as their academic freedom is being systematically chipped away.

Never mind that social analysts have described the complex Indian Republic as a nation of nations. May be the Centre will create more union territories out of states and begin to float the idea that one government at the centre is enough since it is already encroaching on and usurping crucial rights of the states, denting the federal structure of our polity. May be it will also rule that one party will be enough as they have in communist countries. In such countries elections are held but only candidates of the ruling party will be allowed to contest. And all are compelled to vote. A grand model of make-believe democracy!

As for the Supreme Court it cannot throw any spanner in the works as a UP BJP minister Mukut Verma has claimed that the apex court “is ours”. I wonder why there is no contempt of court suit filed against this honourable functionary of the ruling dispensation. Isn’t it a veiled but not so subtle threat to judicial independence and neutrality? Are the Supreme Court judges to be compared to IPL players who are bonded to and owned by well heeled celebrities? The Supreme Court must assert its dignity to retain the respect and faith of the public in the democratic set-up.

And as a final logical conclusion to the one obsession drive, one ruler may be thought to be best for the entire nation so that there will not be differences of opinion which are allegedly impeding our national aspirations and progress. The brute majority of the ruling party in the Lok Sabha is being used recklessly in passing record number of bills without proper deliberation and discussion. From the alleged policy paralysis of the UPA, NDA is speeding recklessly down the precipice like a cloud burst in terrifying Kerala flood fury. If earlier Parliament was paralysed and bills were piling up now bills are being passed at breakneck speed. Maybe they will be reviewed when their bad sides are realised like the hiccups and periodic reductions of GST which in the first place was too heavy. When the Indian economy’s back was broken with industrial slump and panic inducing unemployment quick-fix tax breaks are announced. Will the patient in the ICU rally round to good health?

With its backbreaking majority in the Lok Sabha the government is in an unprecedented and ill-advised hurry to wreck the national fabric of the nation and leave it in tatters. Then the ensuing situation could be akin the truth of the saying about marriage: ‘Marry in haste and repent at leisure.’ Then who will be new messiah to save the nation? Let us not forget that next to the proud digit of No.1 there is the embarrassing digit ‘0’ (zero), which happens to be our contribution to Maths.

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(Published on 07th October 2019, Volume XXXI, Issue 41)