The Underlying Political Deception of BJP in India

Author Name: Ghanwah Ijaz       28 Oct 2019     India

Political deception has played a major role in the political system of modern nation-states. Leaders tend to keep citizens in an opaque frame for quite some time. They have played this card before, whether it is the president of the most powerful economy i.e. Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and most recently Donald Trump, or a high-level official like Rod Blagojevich, the governor of Illinois in 2003. Whereas, the famous saying of King of France, Louis XIV 'L'etat c'est moi' ('I am the state') has been nullified, with each accountability inquiry set, for the POTUS. On the flipside, with each inquiry, the US had achieved a milestone which set a legal precedent.

However, one thing that is common amongst them is that their iniquity has cost them and their position alone. But what if there is no accountability? What if the subjects of a state are kept aloof? What if the data is manipulated and there remains no accuracy? What if the slogan of “endangered national security” is a gateway to sweeping electoral victory? What if the election manifesto is a year-on-year verbosity and political deceit? One may imagine the state of such a country.

India remains the prime focus in addressing above-mentioned queries. The internal policy plan of a government cannot be truly predicted, unless and until its manifesto is analyzed. BJP’s manifesto of 2019 held plenty of indeterminate areas throughout, including many typographical errors.

Nonetheless, there are some vaguely defined promises which seem unrealistic to achieve. Enlisted are eleven points, extracted from the BJP manifesto 2019. First, organic farming would promote chemical free organic farming in 0.2 million hectare agricultural land. Second, 10,000 new farmer training organizations would launch by 2022. Third, 100% electrified households in the country by the next 5 years will be provided to the citizens. Fourth, every district would have medical college by 2024. Fifth, all railway lines would convert into broad gauge and all tracks electrified by 2022 along with, WiFi facilities at all railway stations by the end of the tenure. Sixth, all children and pregnant women in India would be covered under a vaccination and immunization program. Seventh, every person/family would get proper housing (Saashray) by 2022. Eighth, all the houses would have piped water connections by 2022. Ninth, India would turn into a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2025, while currently India is at 2.5 trillion, to reach 5 trillion it requires a phenomenal 10% GDP in next 6 years. Tenth, Strong metro connectivity to 50 metro cities by 2024, whereas currently only 10 metro cities exist. Eleventh, the number of existing airports and highways would be doubled by 2022; planned highways require deforestation.

Simplifying the data above, BJP promises that 100 percent Indians will get shelter, access to clean water and electrification. Even on a cursory glance, these claims are unattainable. This portrays that many parts of the manifesto are year-on-year verbosity and political deceits.

On the contrary, the arising matter of concern is that, with such political deceptions, it has been made obvious that the Prime Minister of India is a master deceiver. In 2016, PM Modi delivered a strong statement against cow vigilantism, declaring, ‘Gau Rakshak business makes him angry’. He also believed that people indulged in this business were usually involved in criminal activities. The first thing to come to mind is that if the ruling government knows the situation, it must have done something at least in its second tenure to counter the supposed cow protectionism. The so-called "cow-vigilante" attacks have witnessed a sharp increase since the Hindu far-right government of Bharatiya Janata Party led by Prime Minister Modi came to power in May 2014. In all, 63 incidents have been reported since 2010, with 61 occurring after May 2014 and if one considers the situation in the second tenure of BJP, Naveen Dalal’s story proves to be the most suitable example.

On October 8, 2019, Shiv Sena (parent organization of BJP) has extended Haryana poll ticket to a man who attacked left wing activist Umer Khalid from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Naveen Dalal bears the prefix ‘gau rakshak’ before his name but before choosing this field as a ‘profession’ he grew up dreaming to win laurels on the mat, but his wrestling career ended prematurely after an injury. He did not lose hope and marched towards his second biggest obsession – the military. After failing multiple attempts, he switched to the ‘profession’ of cow protection, probably his last resort, and it has proven to be the last resort for many others as well. As they say, if you cannot catch a thief be one!

It is evinced that the government of India has manipulated data, it is evident that unemployment has grown to a 45-year high. According to Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy CMIE (an Indian think tank), India lost 11 million jobs in 2018. In another report CMIE states that India’s unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent, from 5.9 percent in February 2018. With such existing turmoil, data manipulation has proven to be the tip of the iceberg.

After Pulwama episode, the ongoing issues of Rafale Deal scandal, economic slowdown, and other internal questionable issues were taken over by endangered national security. Resultantly, India went from ‘Modi Batao’ (Modi tell us) to ‘Modi bachao’ (Modi protect us) and the chowkidar (watchman) was there to protect! The reaction of the international community after the abrogation of articles 370 and 35 A, lockdown of Kashmir and now the dubious validity of National Register of Citizen (NRC) process in Assam have been taken over by Howdy, Modi!

This state of political deceit has taken the already confused youth of India, to the vicious cycle of Desh Bhakt (patriot) and Desh Darohi (anti-national) syndrome. No accountability, keeping the people aloof, data manipulation and considering the people as their subjects rather than citizens, all shows that the government of India is at its lowest ebb of political deceit. If not taken into consideration soon, this may add up to the existing situation of a disastrous state of crisis. The question of the hour is, whether Indians incorporate what it takes to cross-examine their Prime Minister? Would the largest democracy allows the true essence of democracy to flourish? Would Indians hold Prime Minister Narendra Modi accountable for all the deceptions, double-dealings and human rights violations? The answer to these is negative so far!

 

-The writer is a Researcher at Centre for Aerospace and Security Studies (CASS). This article was first published in National Herald Tribune. She can be reached at cass.thinkers@gmail.com.

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