Political parties and their targeted agendas are inevitably supported with the basis of bureaucracy and power withheld by the party members. This, perhaps, firms the ground of them using the weapons as and when suitable to the ones’ in power. In the current scenario, the pre-dominant status withheld by the majority can be seen all over the news daily. The most common weapons of Indian politicians against the opposition are underpinned as follows:
The rise of dominance under the BJP-led government concerning their religious views has been evident in our country. The binding force seen in the light of Hindutva ideology has led to regression of inclusive growth and development at a massive level.
The fact that religion in a multi-diverse country like ours’ plays a more significant role in forming group identities than unifying the value system of nationalism or secularism, the current government has been criticised by the minorities. This statement is rightly supported by the viewpoints mentioned by one of the scholars in the online journal of Economic and Political Weekly. In the article, it is stated, how PM Modi has been titled “divider in chief” for using religious nationalism to gain votes, wherein BJP cabinet members while enjoying the majority-led rule, speak in favour of all the proposed amendments. In the given light, it may be rightly noted, how, BJP has rightly outlawed triple talaq for Muslims in the country, however the protest against allowing women into the Sabarimala temple continues to prevail in today’s time. This shows how political practices are skewed in the name of religion.
Political polarisation propagated by the politicians via hate speech increases the negative-led impact amongst the remaining members of governance, including the different minorities.
As stated in one of the recent studies by NDTV in their data collection exercise, the use of hateful and divisive language by senior politicians has increased by almost 500% in the past five to six years. Based on the obscured data, which includes nearly 1300 articles and social-media initiatives such as tweets, the researchers at NDTV stated how there had been 124 instances of VIP hate speech by 45 politicians under BJP-led NDA as compared to 21 cases under Congress led-UPA. Furthermore, the study even states how out of the 45 leaders responsible for hate speech since the Modi government has come to power, only six cases could be found (5% of all the instances) wherein the politician has been cautioned or issued a public apology. The remaining 95% of the cases, the practitioners of hate speech have faced no consequence.
This political weapon directly attributes to the imposing behaviour of the majority – in this case, the BJP-led government. Considering the expanding use and out-reach of social media is indispensable, the amplified situations concerning internal political disturbance is a given. All of this has resulted in the minorities feeling further subjugated with no substantial hope for them to ever access their rights as leaders or mere citizens, either.
The vote-bank politics between democracy’s majority and minority accentuate the existence of sectarian violence. One of the scholars, namely, K. Natarajan, in his opinionated viewpoint, states how electoral politics and communal violence is a consequence of democracy itself. However, this remains a debatable topic knowing the richness India withholds as a multi-cultural and secular state.
One of the articles published in Business Standard states, how, communal violence under the BJP-led government has increased over 28% in comparison to the previous government. Uttar Pradesh – the most populous state in the country, reported over 1488 incidents of communal violence over the last decade.
In today’s time, the essence of regional diversity is far bygone by our political leaders. The recent news that was covered exorbitantly by media regarding Article 370 and 35 A can also be seen in the light of increasing communal violence and disharmony in the nation. Given, the idea behind the projection of this decision may hold constitutionally right, the direction of it was distorted as a result of minorities – referring to leaders such as Rahul Gandhi (ex-president of Congress Party), D. Raja (General Secretary of Communist Party of India) having to face the brunt by not being allowed to enter the territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Regulation of dissemination of information has led to the erosion of media in its sincerest form. As seen, the rise of killings vis-à-vis whistleblowers has increased over the last few years. Despite the structure being in place vis-à-vis the Whistle-Blowers Protection (WBP) Act, 2014; the increasing peril of freedom after speech remains a question of concern. According to the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, from 2005-2018, there is data stating how there have been 315 attacks on whistle-blowers who have used the RTI law to expose scams and corruption.
However, if the weaponry tool such as media is used in the direction of stabilizing the political-media system by encouraging liberal ideologies, wherein democracy is experienced by the citizens’ irrespective of their caste, colour, religion or creed, it’ll assist in the regulation of inclusive development – a real step forward in the utopian structure of democracy.
The intrusion of such practices in a democracy directly hampers the essence of our government. This weapon, as the name suggests, is autocratic. Recently, many articles’ regarding how India is gradually evolving as a fascist-led nation, further supports the aforesaid statement. In support to this statement, it may be noted, how a colleague of UP government under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath expressed his viewpoint of India having the “need” of an authoritarian rule in our prevailing democratic system of governance.
As much as the government under the leadership of PM Modi wishes to emulate the other authoritarian regimes followed all over the world, such as in the case of China – which successfully overcame its economic backwardness along with losing public welfare; our government lacks the administrative machinery that would help in bridging the existing gap in governance. Thus, the power of this weapon being used by the ruling party has misled the government and its’ functioning.
To mitigate the misuse of aforementioned weapons used by the ruling party in their governance, a sense of civic and moral responsibility needs to be brought about wherein every citizen rightfully performs their acts and duties with respect to the government. Sustenance of our constitutional base – ideas on federalism, liberalism and secularism starting at the leadership/cabinet-level should be expressed upon. Such initiatives will lead to an impactful change wherein we as a country will be able to leverage our prime endowment vis-à-vis the demographic dividend – working population of the country, stabilising our stand in the process of global development.