Modi’s Honeymoon – Part II

Then came the news that this government intentionally sabotaged Gopal Subramaniam’s chances of becoming the supreme court judge, because, well, because he worked against Modi and Shaw in the Shohrabuddin Fake Encounter case. Now aren’t you reminded of those UPA days when KT Thomas was appointed the vigilance commissioner because, well, because he was their ‘favoured’ candidate? (of course, pun intended).

Then the expected, but much dreaded, move. A secret circular ‘leaked’. A general opinion effortlessly created and the decision made. The intelligence bureau report on NGOs receiving foreign funds got ‘accidentally’ leaked. Because, you see, these NGOs are preventing India’s growth by stalling major infrastructural projects. And foreign countries are funding these NGOs with the intent on ruining India. So, once the public is convinced about the culpability of these NGOs (based on a vague, leaked report), a blanket ban on foreign funding to NGOs descended on them.

Now questions: How many such NGOs are using foreign funds to ‘stall’ development? Has any criminal conspiracy been unearthed and pinpointed onto a single NGO? The name of Greenpeace kept coming up, but where did they stall the project and on which foreign country’s involvement? Has there been any charge-sheet filed against any of them? Well, has there been at least an FIR filed? Anyone arrested? There was a report that Udayakumar, the Koodangulam activist received 40,000 US dollars straight into his account. This is a violation under FERA, FEMA, Money Laundering and dozens more sections. But last seen he is still roaming around freely without a single FIR. Nevertheless, the ban came into force.

The truth is these NGOs have been thorns in the flesh of the big corporates. There’s one NGO troubling the Ambanis. Another traumatising POSCO. And almost all the NGOs are on Vedantha’s head. These corporates are in a hurry to clear our forests for bauxite, aluminium and gas, destroy our valleys for big dams and water parks and demolish our mountains for iron ore, subsequently causing untold damage to our fragile ecology. In this process, they are going to displace millions of villagers and tribals, uproot them and leave them helpless. The only thing standing between these big corporates and our environment are these NGOs. Now that they are taken care of, our ecology can be destroyed without a care in the wind. And our middle-class can rest at peace thinking that India is cruising on its way in the development superhighway.

Now that the development is taken care of, the preparations are on to build the next generation of right-wing cadres for the BJP. Ms Smriti Irani is busy making changes to our school curriculum that is going to teach Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas to our children so that they can learn of the gold age of Hinduism. I have a few questions to Ms Irani though. The Vedas and Upanishads speculate on three different theories on creation. Which one is going to be taught? One purana text waxes eloquent about an army of Brahmins joining hands with a Kshatriya king to massacre thousands of Dalits and tribals. Another purana graphically explains various methods the Shaivaites employed to execute proselytising Jains. Are these going to be included in the chapter on the golden age of Hinduism? Now that we’re on the subject, there are records of Lord Shiva authorising lesbian communion between two queens and a Gupta text talking about men falling in love with men and even marrying them. Are they going to be part of the curriculum? In fact, *that* is what would constitute as the golden age!

May be Modi’s definition of ‘acche din’ is linguistic jingoism, price rises, big corporate friendliness, right wing propaganda and ecological destruction. To us, these tendencies are highly worrying and spells more and more inequality, inflation, more struggle for people below poverty line and apocalypse for our adivasis. And he talks about the media not giving him any honeymoon period. Well, sir, it’s difficult to trust a husband on the honeymoon if the wife sees him sharpening his dagger on the wedding night.