People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
March 14, 2004
the lie (everybody feeling good), the damned lie (India shining for everybody)
and the statistics doled out by the Vajpayee government, now comes the slogan of
India being a "superpower".
in order to make everybody feeling good, in order to have the shine reflect on
everybody in India, it is necessary to ensure that the communal and
opportunistic coalition under Vajpayee's leadership is defeated, so is the case
with the desire to make India a true superpower.
Everybody in the country would like India to be a superpower (of course,
not modeled on the rogue superpower like US) but the status of being a
superpower can come only on the foundations of a solid economy, society and
polity. The policies pursued by this government rather than making India a
superpower will make it the exact opposite. To put it simply, for India to be a
superpower, the NDA, led by Vajpayee, must be kept far away from office.
let us take our society. India's strength lies in celebrating its diversity.
Its plurality is not only in terms of religion but in every other
conceivable aspect: language, culture, habits etc etc.
Instead of celebrating this diversity and strengthening the unity of this
country by strengthening the bonds of commonality amongst this diversity, the
RSS/BJP seeks to impose uniformity upon this diversity. Its communal agenda that
seeks to convert the secular democratic Indian republic into a rabidly
intolerant fascistic "Hindu Rashtra" is completely opposed to
strengthening India's social order as a solid foundation of a superpower.
relentless pursuit of the communal agenda during the last five years has seen
the outbreak of obnoxious communal violence all across the country.
The highlight of this is the State-sponsored communal genocide in
Gujarat. Advani has recently stated that Gujarat is the sole aberration of their
five-year rule! He wants this country to forget the numerous other
vicious campaigns unleashed by this communal octopus that led to the loss of
hundreds of innocent lives. The inhuman torching of Graham Staines and his
children for instance. The Jhabua rape and the
anti-Christian terror for instance.
The numerous attacks on Christian minorities in the Dangs district of
Gujarat for instance. The continued terrorising of the Muslims in Gujarat again,
for instance. The brazen partisan role of the Gujarat state government and its
agencies in protecting the
perpetrators of the worst of inhuman crimes again, for instance. The
escalation of tensions and terrorising accompanying the
distribution of trishuls again,
for instance. The list can be endless. These
five years have seen systematic use of the institutions of administration and
State power to patronise communal strife and to spread discord. Far from strengthening the Indian pluralistic society, the
policies of this Vajpayee government have only undermined the social cohesion of
our society so vital to convert India into a superpower.
us now take the economy. The last
five years have seen India achieving the dubious distinction of registering the
largest number of impoverished people in the world (India is home to 25 per cent
of the world's impoverished while
it's proportion in world's population is only 17 per cent). India has slipped
further down in the index of Human Development Indicators.
The largest number of starvation deaths in India took place in these five
years; likewise the largest number of distress suicides by Indian farmers took
place during these five years.
these columns in the past and elsewhere in this issue, we have documented how
our economic fundamentals are being systematically undermined by the policies of
this government. No country which treats
its human resources as a liability rather than an asset can aspire to be a
superpower. The Vajpayee government adopts policies precisely in this
direction -- i.e., decimate the internal strength of our economy so vital for
India to become a superpower.
us now come to the polity. The
often tom-tommed "achievement" of this government is that it has made
India into a nuclear power. The
whole world knows that since 1974, India had the capacity to produce a nuclear
bomb but chose not to do so since that gave India a greater leverage in
international politics to pursue the noble goal of universal nuclear
disarmament. By choosing to reverse
this course and conduct nuclear tests, this Vajpayee government only ensured
that Pakistan responds in a similar fashion. With Pakistan also acquiring
nuclear status, the traditional immense superiority that India had over decades
in conventional arms was negated in
one stroke. This government's
singular achievement was to reduce India's superiority to the level of
Pakistan's. Nuclear deterrence has
emboldened Pakistan to intensify its attacks on India like in Kargil or support
to cross border terrorism.
the process, India's foreign policy, far from being that of championing and, on
many occasions, assuming the leadership role of the developing countries of the
world (through the Non Aligned Movement and other fora) has been reduced to
being exclusively Pakistan-centric. From
a world leader, even from a regional leader, India has been reduced, under this
Vajpayee government, to a country in perpetual conflict with one neighbour.
This, in turn, provided imperialism the opportunity to intervene in the name of brokering
"peace" in the region. Even
the current rapprochement with Pakistan, universally welcomed by all, has been
long delayed by such a pre-occupation of this government which views Indo-Pak
relations as a domestic issue of considerable political profit for it.
This was more than evidenced by Advani's linking up of improved
Hindu-Muslim relations in India with Indo-Pak relations, thus signalling, once
again, that the patriotic credentials of Indian Muslims is suspect.
the country, the federal polity has come under severe stresses and strains
because of the policies contrary to the spirit of federalism consistently
pursued by this government. Centre-State
relations have been dealt primarily on the basis of who holds the governments in
the states – a friend or a foe. Such
blatant discrimination has often led to the further undermining of a healthy
federal content of the Indian polity.
sum, therefore, if India were to emerge as a superpower, what is required is the
reversal of the policies this government is pursuing.
In the past, mostly in jest, the NDA was often referred to as the
National Disaster Alliance! Unfortunately,
the balancesheet of the last five years confirms such a description. For India,
to be a superpower, this communal combine must be kept as far away from State
power as possible.