Opinion: Dismantling India’s Progress
The creation and upliftment of a nation from British colony to global power is not a task accomplished overnight. It takes unconditional effort, hard work and dedication over decades to develop a country from scratch to a level where we sit proud among the most prominent in the world. To trace the path we traversed since the British left this country, we need to analyze the contours of that India and this one, and acknowledge the effort of those who enabled this country to stand tall in front of those who colonized us for centuries, stripped the sub-continent bare and considered us good for nothing.
We need to remember that we belong to the country of those extraordinary personalities who spent the first few decades of Independent India weaving the fabric of institutions, infrastructure and values that have stood us in good stead ever since.
We belong to the country of Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Azad and many others globally regarded as the harbingers of India’s social, national and democratic vision. The dedication, hard work, unparalleled sacrifices of those who enabled us to look fearlessly into the eyes of world superpowers cannot be ignored.
It is an obligation for us to stand for our country’s constitutional values, irrespective of caste, creed, culture and religion. The passion of patriotism should encompass love and support for those who stand at the frontlines so that we can sleep peacefully at night. However, being a patriot doesn’t mean that we should be fooled by unscrupulous politicians who are hiding their incompetence under the cloak of ultranationalism.
One can overlook someone usurping credit for what took this nation 70 years to attain, but that person should have the ability to continue along the path of progress, and lead an able team that helps her or him in the effort. The only notable achievement this government can boast about instead is probably the two electoral victories they obtained in 2014 and 2019.
When we reflect on events in India since 2014, we find that the tenets of democracy are being subverted. These are dark times that our country is going through. The functioning of every institution is under a cloud, and there are grave misgivings about every decision and policy draft that is being made public –
Autonomous institutions are co-opted to further the social and political goals of the regime.
The unemployment crisis is the most acute we have witnessed in 45 years.
The economy has been in decline since 2017, and this quarter’s GDP contraction is the worst in recorded history.
The functioning of the judiciary is increasingly being scrutinized and even questioned.
Criminal activities like lynching are being overlooked and even normalised.
Political horse trading has toppled several elected governments.
Accused rapists, terrorists and criminals are glorified by some in this regime. Demonising Gandhi and Nehru, and praising Godse and Savarkar is now the norm
The functioning of an independent media is being curtailed
Opposing any policy of the regime is deemed to be anti-national
Attention is diverted away from worrying developments like corruption allegations and the deteriorating economy by creating tensions at the Pakistan border. Whenever government action or inaction is legitimately questioned, it deflects by either blaming the past or bringing up irrelevant issues – focus on the construction of a temple for instance cannot arrest the decline in the economy or provide jobs. Where feasible, the government delays the release of data to avoid questions altogether – for example, the release of national crime statistics for 2017 took a year. Another tactic is the constant invocation of the sacrifices of men and women at the border to trivialize any hardship the common citizen is suffering.
Buried in all of this is the truth that it is not just minorities in the country who are enduring hardship, though they are indeed being targeted – the general economic malaise, the lack of adequate healthcare, compromised safety of women and children… these affect the majority communities equally.
In conclusion one would call on every patriot truly concerned about this country’s continued progress to band together with like-minded individuals to save our beloved nation before this kakistocracy ensures that it transforms into an unrecognizable majoritarian state.