Howdy Modi: Bypassing Travails Being Faced by India

Ram Puniyani
Dr Ram Puniyani was a professor in biomedical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, and took voluntary retirement in December 2004 to work full time for communal harmony in India.

In Houston,
America, a grand spectacle was created with Narendra Modi in presence of Donald
Trump. The massive rally of nearly 50000
people cheered both the leaders. Both these leaders praised each other and
criticized ‘Islamic Terrorism’ and Pakistan. It is true that the South Asia,
West Asia have been suffering the cancer of terror, what is forgotten in the
hysteria created in the name of ‘Islamic terrorism’ is the fact that the seeds
of this terrorism were sown by the American policy, which not only had designed
the syllabus for brain washing of Muslim youth, using the retrograde version of
Islam, the whole exercise was funded by America to the tune of 8000 million dollars and seven thousand tons of armaments.

The dreaded
activity was programmed to fight the Russian army which was occupying
Afghanistan. America in a shrewd manner deployed the products of terror
training to its benefit and now is trying to wash its hands off the whole
thing. As Hillary Clinton had pointed out “let them come from Saudi Arabia and
other countries, importing their Wahabi brand of Islam so that we can go beat
the Soviet Union.”

There are
many sidelights of the gala event. The media is full of the massive response to
the Modi event, while what was equally important and has been hidden. The
protests by different groups, protests against policies of Modi in India have
been ignored by media.

In America
while a substantial number of those from Indian origin are supporters of Hindu
nationalism and many are Modi Bhakts too, there is a good number of those who
are concerned about the state of human rights and health of democracy back

Right from
America, Bernie Sanders, the Democrat leader tweeted about Trump endorsing Modi
overlooking the violation of the norms of freedom of religion and violation of
human rights here in India. Sanders in a tweet said, “When Donald Trump stays
silent in the face of religious persecution, repression and brutality, the
dangerous message this sends to autocratic leaders around the world is: “Go
ahead, you can get away with it.” In his long speech the central point of what
Modi said was that ‘all is well’ in India.

Modi can say
so despite the gross violation of basic citizen’s rights of large number of
Indians, including those in Kashmir. His primary constituency is away from the
‘last man’, to focus on whom ‘father of our nation’ Gandhi had suggested for
us. While the large section in the audience lapped everything which Modi said,
large number of protesters outside the stadium did drew attention to the reality
of Indian situation under Modi rule.

From among
the protestors the most apt comment came from the Coalition of groups ‘Alliance
for Justice and Accountability
’. Sunita Vishwanathan, part of the alliance
and member of ‘Hindus for Human Rights’, hit the nail on the head, when she
stated “We are horrified that our religion, which teaches Vasudaiva Kutumbakam,
(whole World is my family) is being hijacked by extremists and nationalists who
are lynching Muslims, trampling democracy and law and order and arresting, if
not murdering, those who are speaking out,…We are especially appalled by the
most recent nightmare of the Kashmiri people and the situation of 1.9 million people in India who are rendered stateless
due to the imposition of the travesty called the National Register of

One is at
loss to understand the direction which India as a nation is taking at present,
more so from last few years. While our Prime Minster is celebrating and
addressing the rallies in America the Indian economy is taking a nose dive.
Lakhs of workers are being retrenched; the average people are feeling the pinch
of the policies being pursued by the Government in power. These policies do not
want to solve the problems average people of the country. As such last few
years have seen a total change in the pattern of issues being brought to fore
by BJP led Government. It has gone on to give importance to issues like
abolition of triple talaq, abrogation of Article 370, focusing on NRC in Assam while there is a talk the air that
NRC will be extended to the whole of the country and Uniform Civil Code
will be, implemented.

The central
focus of the policy making and concerns of the ruling Government has seen a
drastic change. In the initial years of republic, solid foundations of
industries, Universities and irrigation system were laid. The idea was this is
what the nation needs; focus on issues related to livelihood. There were many
weaknesses in the planning and implementation of these policies, but the
direction was right. This did lead to improvement in levels of literacy, health
related indices, economic growth, agricultural production, milk production to
list the few.

The identity
like Ram Temple or Holy Cow-beef, Conversions, love jihad
were on the margins. Not influencing the direction of the policy making. With
such a focus on infrastructure, India became global economic power. Now the
nation’s track has been shifted away from the role of India as a guardian state
focusing on basic issues of people, to the one which just makes claims to have
welfare schemes, but in reality is withdrawing from responsibility in the areas
which are the dire need of the vast sections of society.

After the
launch of Ram Temple campaign BJP started emerging and claimed that it is
‘Party with a difference’. It is true. This is the party guided by the agenda
of Hindu nationalism. Such Religious nationalism thrives on issues related to
identity, hatred for religious minorities. It creates violence and
polarization. It is this polarization which gives electoral strength to
religious nationalist parties all over, BJP, in case of India. In the din of
hysteria created by Howdy Modi type events how to bring the national focus back
to the problems faced by average people of the society is the question staring
us in our face.

Ram Puniyani

हमें गूगल न्यूज पर फॉलो करें. ट्विटर पर फॉलो करें. वाट्सएप पर संदेश पाएं. हस्तक्षेप की आर्थिक मदद करें

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