M K Faizy

National President, Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI)

            “Letter to Nation” by Mr. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India on the first anniversary of his second term is very interesting to read.  Unlike his typical “Nehru is the reason” rhetoric, the Prime Minister has for the first time admitted that there have been sufferings to his fellow countrymen due to the (insensible) lockdown. When his colleagues are mocking the sufferings of the migrant workers struggling and dying on roads and railway tracks because of hunger, thirst and exhaustion and not because of corona, while walking bare-footed for kilometres to reach their home in scorching heat, it is a welcome step that he has acknowledged the fact of their sufferings.

Some of the major claims in the letter are:

  • Many feared that India will become a problem for the world when Corona hits India. But today, through sheer confidence and resilience, you have transformed the way the world looks at us. You have proven that the collective strength and potential of Indians is unparalleled compared even to the powerful and prosperous countries of the world.
  • Here is the NDTV update (30/05/20 noon) of corona cases “Coronavirus Live Update: India reported 7,964 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, registering its biggest jump since the first case was reported in the country in January. 265 people also lost their life due to the virus during the period, taking the total number of deaths to 4,971, the Health Ministry data showed. Over 1, 73 lakh people have tested positive for the virus in the country so far. This is the second consecutive time that more than 7,000 COVID-19 cases have been detected in a 24-hour period and follows seven straight days of more than 6,000 new cases per day.”

As India stands at 9th place in the number of corona cases, what does he mean by this statement?

  • At such a time, there is also a widespread debate on how the economies of various countries, including India’s, will recover. However, given the way India has surprised the world with its unity and resolve in the fight against Coronavirus, there is a firm belief that we will also set an example in economic revival. In the economic domain, through their strength, 130 crore Indians can not only surprise the world but also inspire it.
  • The GDP growth of the country has nosedived to 3.1%, the lowest in the past 11 years. Economic growth (now its economic regression, not economic growth) had slowed to an 11-year low of 4.2% for the full fiscal year 2019-20 amid a drop in consumption and investment. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth stood at 5.7% in the corresponding quarter of 2018-19, according to data released by National Statistical Office (NSO) on Friday.

Modi has not mentioned how the 130 crore Indians are going to “surprise and inspire” the world in the economic domain. He seems to believe that some miracles would happen, as he believed that Corona virus could be driven off by banging plates and lighting diyas.

  • The fragrance of Indian soil along with the sweat, hard work and talent of our workers will create products that will reduce India’s dependence on imports and will move towards self-reliance.
  • A beautiful poetic eloquence.  Workers, the backbone of any development of the country are bearing the brunt of the unplanned lockdown. An announcement of just 4 hours gap, the lockdown didn’t give an opportunity to lakhs of workers labouring at various states in the country away from their villages to return to their homes. And they are dying in numbers on roads and railway tracks while walking back thousands of kilometers. Adding insult to injury, the BJP ruled state governments have already promulgated ordinances cancelling Labour Laws for “strengthening the economy.” Does the Prime Minister believe that he is going to achieve this “self-reliance” by denying the rights of the labours? The UP-government decision to curb the workers moving to other states should also to be read with this.
  • This day last year began a golden chapter in the history of Indian democracy. It was after several decades that the people of the country voted back a full-term government with a full majority. Your affection, goodwill and active cooperation have given new energy, and inspiration. The way you have showcased the collective strength of democracy is a guiding light for the whole world.
  • In fact, this day last year marked the second term of ruining the country which of course was the beginning of a dark chapter in the history of Indian democracy. Your claim of full majority was a mockery on democracy achieved through vicious means like manipulating both voters and voting machines. 
  • From 2014 to 2019, India’s stature rose significantly. The dignity of the poor was enhanced. The nation achieved financial inclusion, free gas and electricity connections, total sanitation coverage, and made progress towards ensuring ‘Housing for All.’
  • From 2014 to 2019, the ruling party was successful in raising the stature of the RSS concept of Hindutva nation, and saffronizing the entire system of the country from the President to the Sepoy, the Election Commission, Judiciary and all machineries of the government.  The other claims of financial inclusion, etc., are yet to be proven with backing of data.
  • India demonstrated its mettle through the surgical strike and air strike. At the same time, decades old demands such as OROP, One Nation One Tax- GST, better MSP for farmers were fulfilled.
  • In the context of Lok Sabha election 2019, a mysterious terror attack happened in Pulwama at the cost of precious lives of our 42 military personnel, which was followed by an air strike that claimed to have killed 300 odd militants in Pakistan. Though the mystery surrounding the whole episode remained under cover, it has helped BJP amass majority in the election.

The government seems to be deaf and dumb about the present military move of China in Ladakh. According to international media reports China has already annexed a village of about 35 Sq. km and they are strengthening their military force inside Indian Territory. Modi or his party has not yet responded to this grave situation at the India-China border, let alone surgical strike. The much-ranted GST has rattled the small-scale industries and businesses, and it has been during 2014-19 most number of farmer suicides occurred in the country.

  • Article 370 furthered the spirit of national unity and integration. The Ram Mandir judgment, delivered unanimously by the Honorable Supreme Court of India, brought an amicable end to a debate persisting for centuries. The barbaric practice of Triple Talaq has been confined to the dustbin of history. Amendment to the Citizenship Act was an expression of India’s compassion and spirit of inclusiveness.
  • The PM is really mocking the entire country by his statement that abrogation of Article 370 has “furthered the spirit of national unity and integration.” Kashmir was pushed into complete lockdown following 370 abrogation, internet facilities were severed. Political party leaders were put under house detention, and all democratic principles are blatantly abused. The special privileges of many other states under Article 371 are kept intact and some states were additionally given the right to implement ILP (Inner Line Permit). The PM has to tell the nation how abrogation of Article 370 has “furthered the spirit of national unity and integration.”

The Ram Mandir judgement (he is very much cautious not to say Babri Masjid) is a travesty of justice. The court had categorically stated that there were no evidences of a Ram temple there on the site, the land is owned by Muslims, demolition of the masjid was illegal, etc. It is an irony that the operating part of the judgement was against its own findings. Now the prime minister is honest enough to claim the credit of it suggesting that it was a political judgement under government pressure.  His description of CAA as an “an expression of India’s compassion and spirit of inclusiveness” is absolutely ridiculous. The amendment is actually meant to exclude a particular community from the texture of the country, and he says it’s “an expression of ….. Spirit of inclusiveness”. It seems to be a self-troll.

This is just a replica of his occasional “man ki bath” which neither reflect his true mind nor touch upon the mind of majority citizens. India is not only a country where majority of people don’t listen to radio, but also a country where at least one third of the population can’t read a letter even from their prime minister. This can also be claimed yet another attribute of Indian democracy flourished more under RSS controlled BJP government.  Vishwas in Vikas alone will not further save this nation and its people; not even the Vikaspurush.

New Delhi

31 May 2020