In Ancient Rome there used to be Gladitorial games. Along with chariot races, there were contests in which the strongest and talented slaves used to fight each other. It fixed two things, viz. the slaves could never be united and recreation for people, leaving them so occupied that there was hardly any time for complaints against the Roman Empire and its rule.
From 26th may our Prime Minister, his team and their followers started to publicise the great achievements of the government in last three years, as if that was not being done already. But the problem with the regular practice of reminding people of government’s good work is that people get the chance to and might focus on their discontent over government’s not-so-good work as well. To tackle this, governments in India come out in the open and publicly boast about their achievements on a grand level. Common people don’t get a chance to intervene in this grandeur. As the developing parties give donations to political parties and when they start reaping fruits of their donations they also start showcasing (the so called) development news on their ‘news’ channels, which gets publicised spending people’s money.
Why do governments even need to publicise achievements if the nation is 1) educated and aware enough – which is not the case in India, and 2) getting honest news – which again, let us honestly admit, is not the case in India? If people’s lives are veritably changing because of the ‘publicised’ development then they would already know, no?
Hence, what we infer from this is that (either) governments have no achievements in education sector (or)/and there is no actual development which could affect people’s lives. Therefore, the possibility is that all the development is going to some hidden not-so-public sectors. May be that is what we see before every election in the form of growth in the wealth of politicians, the expansion of private sector corporations, disinvestments in public sector and the wealth of highly respected and educated and trained and paid officials, who despite this list of ‘attributes’ do not showcase their wealth. This time they were 1800 in number.
A public sector infrastructure unit NHAI has said in a press release that if their officials will be enquired on the corruption charges put by the governments itself then all the projects will be adversely affected not just in Uttarakhand – where the case was first reported – but in other states too. Was that a threat? Nobody asked anything, least did the nationalist media. This is when the TV anchors are shouting at the top of their voices and bringing out nationalist point of views, which is often to force people to take pride in government institutions no matter what they do (or even do not do!).
Let us go back to Rome. A Roman phrase panem et circenses (bread and circuses) identifies the only two things Roman public—which no longer cares for its right of political involvement—is bothered about. That is the case of globally emerging right wing in our times all across the globe. The right wing is not which asks the people about their problems and the kind of governance they want, it tells them. And in order to be justified and remain undisputed they refer to historical examples which almost always go on to be mythological. They care primarily about the ones who are linked to the myths, rest are left to die in riots and mob violence. Gradually, they start promulgating themselves as the true champions of the identity of nation and its populace.
The countries and states which grow silently are never talked about by them and media. They are not interested in talking about the social and economic development of Kerala but its political killings. But, paradoxically, in case of Gujarat and other BJP ruled states the same BJP and its nationalist media ignores all the violence and showcases only development.
This double standard was best revealed by a letter written by Mr. Modi to former President APJ Abdul Kalam in August 2003, in which he mentioned that the five-year national plan had set the target of 8% growth rate but Gujarat grew at 10.2%, and that “…vested interests are trying to obstruct the path of progress”. Further, he commented about a carnage in which 2500 people lost their lives and thousands became homeless: “Group clashes occur at times and Gujarat is no exception”. The letter was sent by him in desperation because National human rights commission had asked for a CBI inquiry in Best Bakery carnage and a retrial outside Gujarat. Fourteen years later in UPR (Universal periodic Review) of UNHRC, India was questioned by over 110 countries on its Human rights record ranging from excessive torture, marital rapes to Internet shutdowns. So much for digital India!?
No wonder when Saharanpur is burning and several communities are living in fear including Dalits, Valmikis, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, PM and his blind followers are talking GDP and development. That is their psyche. As a matter of fact, all the right-wingers like to think about nation as an entity which doesn’t need anything but enough arms to bully others. It doesn’t consider people as nation’s primary entity or relate people’s lives to national prosperity. They don’t even give importance to prosperity as people need or the nation needs on the basis of its structure but make excuses to get away from it. Let us consider this very fresh example where Amit Shah started by telling the reporters on 3rd anniversary of BJP government “Where have jobs gone? These are newspaper reports. Do you consider newspaper reports as truth? People don’t!” and added further, “It is impossible to provide employment through jobs in a country with 125 crore people”. People cheered, they were told that they are a power of 125 crore which could create pressure on anything. Really?
Parenthetically, the latest Labour Bureau report recently claimed that 1.52 lakh casual labourers lost jobs during October-December 2016.
This statement by Shah didn’t just help their party to get away from taking responsibility for creating jobs but also the citizens were ‘advised’ that newspapers shall be discarded and other Media sources be chosen instead. He further said that “The BJP government under Modi ji is the most decisive and transparent government, not a paralysed government”. This brazen chest thumping in face of paralysed Vyapam enquiry which took lives of around 150 witnesses and more than 24 thousand questions unanswered by government through RTI applications!
This brazenness is the true achievement of Modi government, straight from Gujarat model.
Congratulations to the government, Again!