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The majority backed BJP-led government came into power in 2014 with a promise and campaign slogan to bring ‘acche-din’. The campaign was so strong and people-oriented, backed with catchy phrases that it seemed like a brand marketing more than a political campaign. The notion of ‘har har modi, ghar ghar modi’ generated in the recent past was a depiction of the glorification of a leader to the extent of ‘worshipping’ him. It is to be noted that election is not held for the office of a prime minister but representatives of a constituency. The notion of idealising Modi has led to the blind faith in Bhartiya Janta Party as a whole. This blind faith is harmful to a democratic set up because it prevents these ‘followers’ from looking into the harms and wrongs caused by their masters.

Migrant workers travel back on foot during the nation-wide lockdown. (Source: ThePrint)

The BJP works on the premise of tampering with the minds of the public. The political campaign, the extravagant celebration of the commemoration of the Ram Mandir and lax attitude of ministers in the parliament gaslight the public against the pressing issues in the country. The media which has the responsibility of connecting the bridge between the people and the government is kept from doing its job. The govt has almost amended or have controlled policies and media houses as well with the help of their crony capitalism or religion-based politics.”, Uttkarsh Tripathi. The media, instead of showing the plight of migrant labourers during the coronavirus induced lockdown reported on topics that created sensationalism. The Tablighi jamaat incident was reduced to a communal hate topic in the country. Fake news started circulated of ‘Muslim vendors’ spreading the virus. The Bombay High Court has quashed FIRs registered in the case of Jamaatis. “This government does not like answering questions”, Tazeen Junaid. The Prime Minister very easily in the past has blamed previous governments and Prime Ministers instead of taking responsibility. The constant blame game played by the BJP government is proof enough that taking accountability was never on their manifesto.

This government has blamed Nehru all the issues in the country especially the economy. The present economic state of the country is the worst in years. The response of this is being faced by the fifth-largest economy which is growing through its worst recession and joblessness is being shaped by a bunch of economists and packaged by an ignorant and arrogant political leadership. The finance minister calls it ‘an act of god’. The so-called decorated economic packages are of no use when the government in the parliament very casually says that it has no recorded data on the migrant workers crisis, the death of health care workers and the closure of MSMEs due to Covid-19. This is the same government which is aiming at maintaining a nation-wide National Register of Citizens to flush out ‘illegal citizens’ from the country. What BJP is practising now, is something that the Romans practised thousands of years ago. The practise I'm referring to as was called "Damnatio Memoriea", literally, "condemnation of memory". Here, the Roman Empire deliberately deleted people from all official accounts in order to destroy the memory of the person as if he/she never existed. Although the context in which the Romans did this was different, the Modi government is doing the same right now. They want to eliminate the memory of these people as if nothing wrong happens. When everything settles down, and they hit the rallies asking for votes, nobody will have any clue of migrant deaths.”, Pranav Kishore Saxena.

According to the Indian Medical Association, 382 doctors have died of COVID in India. This is higher than any other country. 27 million people between ages 20-30 have lost their jobs in April 2020. The CMIE reports that the unemployment rate fell from 27.1% to 24% for the week ended May 10. People employed in the wholesale, retail trade and repair and manufacturing, business and rental services and food sector have been hit badly. Small traders and daily wagers and hawkers are the worst hit. Although, ‘no data’ has been collected but there have been deaths of migrant workers and no compensation was given as such. Migrant workers walked on foot, were sprayed with disinfectant upon reaching borders of designated states and only later were Shramik trains and buses were arranged. 97 died on their way back in those very shramik trains. The opposition has slammed the government for hiding numbers to save their public image. This is the reason why there was a need for a question hour which so blatantly was scrapped from this session of the parliament.

Dismissing the ideals of true democracy, dissent has been crushed. The recent arrest of ex-JNU student and activist, Umar Khalid under UAPA in the Delhi Riots case for instigating violence is reason enough. In his speech, Khalid says, “If they spread hate, we will respond with love. If they thrash us with lathis, we will hold the tricolour”. On the other hand, BJP members like Kapil Mishra has ‘threatened’ protestors in Delhi and slogans like ‘goli maaro saalon ko’ have been raised. Not only Khalid, but academicians and activists have been arrested under UAPA based on the shoddy investigation. Dr. Kafeel Khan was released after eight months after Allahabad court stated that his speech does not incite violence of sorts. Natasha Narwal, Pinjra Tod activist has been granted bail after spending more than 100 days in jail. UAPA has been used as a tool to stifle dissent. Electronic proof and unwarranted raids have taken place with no proper evidence presented in court.

“The government has enough "proof" to hold peaceful protestors in jail but doesn't have enough evidence or data of migrants who had to leave for home.”, Uttkarsh Tripathi.

“What the Covid-19 pandemic has done is expose the pre-existing fault line of the government”, Tazeen Junaid

Source: Twitter

The extensive PM-cares fund remains a mystery with no proper information about its allocation when the medical infrastructure has dilapidated. However, as the PM through his Mann Ki Baat makes the masses believe that ‘sab changa si’, they sure remain blinded. The BJP has a history of communal politics and a narrow-minded agenda. Avoiding questions and criticisms as a whole, the BJP has truly painted an image of an illusion of acche din to its followers.

In conversation with:

Pranav Kishore Saxena, a second-year student at Jamia Millia Islamia (@theleftlibertarian)

Tazeen Junaid, a student at Aligarh Muslim Univeristy

Utkarsh Tripathi, a student at Delhi University (@utkarsh_tripathi11)


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