Reaching a Watershed by Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam (APRIL 22, 2014)

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Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam


Whatever the result of this Lok Sabha election, this much is sure that the country has finally reached a watershed where established democratic procedures are openly being rejected in favour of a business administration model of governance, which is not in evidence anywhere else in the democratic world.

Magazines and magazine sections of newspapers have discussed whether Narendra Modi would be the prime minister who prefers to work like a CEO. The CEO model seems to be the preference of quite a few of them as if the country is a private firm owned by Ambani-Adani-Reddy Inc.

Naturally, this is going to be the most inappropriate way of looking at things. These people argue that this is the best way of getting things done, making things work. In fact, fascism is the best way of making things work. Benito Mussolini made trains run on time in Italy. An Indian version of Mussolini would certainly do the same in India.

Such an Indian Mussolini would have full support of the corporate sector as other fascists in history always enjoyed the support of big business. Such people do not have patience for standard democratic procedures, traditions and institutions. All they want is quick money and quick fixes.

This is what the intellectual Martha Nussbaum calls the “IIT mindset that feeds directly into the fascist discourse.” So, come Modi and things will start moving, sorting themselves out, automatically. But, at what cost to India, its constitutional order, its democratic procedures, the rule-of-law, fair play? We must give a thought to it.

The Sangh never believed in the Indian Constitution, nor had any respect for the national flag. It always wanted a bhagwa (saffron) Constitution and a saffron flag. For decades after Independence RSS offices flew the bhagwa flag even on Independence Day and Republic Day, never the national tricolour.

Already there is talk of changing the Constitution. Already secularism is being rejected as a non-sensical, useless encumbrance. What kind of a future is in store for us?

We have been seeing articles and editorials in major newspapers on whether Modi will follow the collegial framework of a council of ministers, the collectivity of a cabinet, consultations with Legislatures, Constitutional bodies and state chief ministers, or will just go solo, making all or most of his decisions. His admirers call the solo actor style the CEO way, while the rest of us know it as the fascist way.

People generally have reason enough to believe that he would appoint the crime-tainted Amit Shah as India’s home minister. This, as a wit suggested, would be like making Dracula the manager of a blood bank. Shah, who is charged with crimes against humanity, is out on bail only because of the superior legal acumen of Ram Jethmalani, is doing the same hate politics in UP as he did in Gujarat Just imagine. Where we are going as a country.

Shah has especially targeted Western UP for communal violence against Muslims, inciting its supporters to “avenge” the imaginary wrongs done by Muslims to Hindus.

Modi Raj, if we are condemned to live under it, is not likely to be humane and fair. Even a senior Sanghi like Atal Behari Vajpayee, as prime minister of India, thought that Modi did not observe raj dharma, the righteous conduct of a ruler. We do not expect that he will suddenly have a change of heart. A bitterly polarising person in the seat of the prime minister is not a good omen for the country.

 

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