Tavleen Singh writes: How democracy grows weak


The Prime Minister stated final week that ‘parivaarvaad’ or hereditary politics weakens democracy. He was talking in Telangana which is presently dominated like a household property, so his phrases had resonance. However each time he reminds voters that the political dynasties that rule many Indian states symbolize feudalism not democracy, his phrases ring a bell. They all the time ring a bell for me personally as a result of on this column I’ve campaigned tirelessly in opposition to the princelings and princesses who enter public life solely as a result of Mummy or Daddy bequeathed them a constituency or a celebration.

My position as a ‘Modi Bhakt’ ended some time in the past, however as a fair-minded individual, I reward him when he says or does the appropriate factor. Electoral feudalism weakens democracy. It not even works. Voters have realized to distinguish between those that enter public life for public service and people who enter for the glamour, energy, and people ‘perks’ that make poor males very, very wealthy.

One cause why Narendra Modi discovered it simple to win a second time period in 2019 was as a result of the one card that the Congress occasion had left to play was the dynastic one. 5 years of sitting on the Opposition benches taught Congress leaders nothing new, so all that they needed to provide was Priyanka Gandhi. Dynasty devotees wandered about telling everybody who would pay attention that this ‘trump card’ was going to vary the face of Indian politics. The ‘fascist usurper’ from Gujarat wouldn’t turn into prime minister once more.

Priyanka herself appeared sure that the ability of the Nehru-Gandhi title was sufficient. As quickly as Mummy anointed her basic secretary of the Congress, she trotted off to Varanasi. She prayed at temples, drifted in a ship down the Ganga and made speeches evoking her grandmother many instances. It didn’t work. This ‘trump card’ proved to be a dud. In the present day, greater than midway into his second time period, Modi stays undefeatable as a result of his opponents from Kashmir to Kanyakumari almost all symbolize events which are actually household corporations.

Opinion polls inform us that Modi’s approval scores are greater than these of each different world chief. In my very own chats with the common Indian voter, I hear that it is because they’ve seen actual change occur of their villages. Those that don’t like him admit grudgingly that he has given them issues they by no means dreamed of. Roads, dependable electrical energy, Web entry, gasoline stoves, financial institution accounts, and loans to construct rural properties and bathrooms. They’re additionally satisfied that the pandemic was dealt with higher than wherever else. Reminiscences of final summer time’s terrible Delta wave seem to have light as a result of Modi redeemed himself by the effectivity with which the vaccination marketing campaign has reached the remotest elements of the nation.

So why does Modi proceed to be disliked by the ‘Khan Market gang’ and by the international press? It’s as a result of he appears to not perceive a lot about these different issues that weaken democracy. When journalists are jailed beneath legal guidelines made for terrorists, it weakens democracy. When dissidents are locked up for months with out being discovered responsible of any crime, it weakens democracy. When the Enforcement Directorate, the CBI and the Narcotics Bureau are weaponized and used in opposition to political opponents, film stars and pesky web sites, it weakens democracy. When bulldozers seem the day after a riot and demolish the properties of ‘rioters’ with out proof that they rioted, it weakens democracy. When BJP ministers have fun these demolitions and tweet their assist for the police once they thrash Muslim suspects, it weakens democracy.

The PM in his exalted bubble might not hear sufficient about this stuff as a result of, as this column has identified earlier than, the media is extra afraid than it has ever been. There was press censorship in the course of the Emergency, however as a result of it was overtly imposed, everybody knew what was occurring and everybody opposed it. This time the strategies getting used to silence disobedient journalists are extra insidious and more practical. It’s not for nothing that journalists themselves admit that the majority ‘unbiased, non-public’ information channels have been lowered to ‘lapdog media’. When revered, worldwide, watchdogs draw consideration to what’s occurring, the BJP’s social media military reacts with hysteria and conspiracy theories a few marketing campaign to weaken India. These hysterical supporters injury Modi.

What puzzles me is why the Prime Minister must be so thin-skinned about criticism. His private reputation stays intact. The picture of his authorities within the eyes of the common voter is that of 1 untainted by corruption. When he travels to international lands, he’s greeted with heat and friendship by an important leaders on the earth, so why does he really feel the necessity to lock up dissidents and journalists?

India’s journey as a contemporary nation state has been broken by our incapability to finish excessive poverty and by different financial and social failures. However by means of all of it, if there was one factor that we will be rightly happy with, it’s our democracy. Something achieved to weaken it weakens India. Since those that have perpetuated electoral feudalism develop extra irrelevant day-after-day, it’s the different issues that weaken democracy that must be paid extra consideration to. Dissidence and dissent are the very lifeblood of democracy. They need to be celebrated. Not crushed beneath a brutal jackboot.



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