India Master of Lies

Since assuming office, the current Prime Minister has held exactly zero press conferences and open interactions with the public. He does, however, love the sound of his own voice and giving one-sided speeches when it suits him to, all of which only serve to amplify his lies. And now India’s Prime Minister has a new hobby — that of writing blogs full of half-truths, much as the other Blogging Minister in his Cabinet.

The list of half-truths being peddled from India’s highest office begins with Modi’s lies about the Parliament itself. He says we are in the midst of “high productivity” in the Parliament — which would be a reason to rejoice, except this “productivity” translates to the House passing a Union Budget without discussion, passing a Constitutional amendment as a Money Bill, and introducing a Constitutional amendment on the last day of Session, leaving no time for debate or discussion. The Houses of Parliament are supposed to be a platform for diverse and opposing viewpoints to be heard. Modi’s government leaves no place for that in the Parliament, and that is a clear misuse of power.

Modi then attempts to spread blatant misinformation about the other institution that ensures an atmosphere of truth and healthy debate in the country — our Press. Modi is so caught up in his own web of lies, he seems to have completely missed the point where India was placed fifth on the list of countries where journalists were killed in 2018. Whether it was Gauri Lankesh, who was killed for speaking out against the RSS and the BJP, or others like Navin Nishchal and Vijay Singh, among yet countless others, the years under the BJP government have been a dark time for truth and democracy in India. When the government itself hires an army of trolls to blindly spread the ruling party’s lies cloaked in hatred, arrests people for Tweets and social media posts, has people lynched by mobs acting upon misinformation — and then refuses to so much as condemn the act — you know the country is in trouble. The Prime Minister has held zero press conferences since coming into power, keeping the country in the dark and forcing us to recultantly, but surely, doubt the power that governs us.

Modi would like to act as a “saviour” for the nation, when in fact his government is the biggest threat we have faced. When a panel of Supreme Court judges are driven to the point of holding a press conference stating they “fear for democracy” in the country, you know where the threat lies. When the Government itself misleads the Supreme Court on a CAG report (trying to save itself and its crony capitalist friends in the dubious and devious Rafale deal), you know where the threat lies. And when the Government itself defies the orders of the highest court of the country, by removing the CBI Chief even after the Supreme Court ordered his reinstatement, you know for sure where the threat lies. The Modi government has proved time and again that it has no respect either for the judiciary or the citizens of the country, and fancies itself to be functioning above all — the law and the people. Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi brought in the telecom and IT revolution to the country, besides bringing in economic reforms and liberalisation — and he did so in consultation with economic experts. The Modi government consists of people who would rather ignore economic expertise, such Raghuram Rajan’s warnings about demonetisation, or the 108 economists who expressed their concerns about job data tweaking — conveniently and dangerously declaring them “anti national” instead. How many will this government try to silence? And there are many, many others, such as former Delhi Chief Justice AP Shah, who has written to the PM saying the introduction of electoral bonds and decriminalisation of the Companies Act will lead to the dilution of the Lokpal Bill, the RTI Bill, and the Whistleblower’s Protection Act. And while on the Lokpal Bill — the government has only just introduced it right before the elections to let itself get away with its own corruption — taking all of India on a fool’s ride and making a mockery of us all, just as it did before demonetisation (just in case you missed it — cash in circulation has jumped 19.1% from pre-demonetisation levels). Not to forget of the budget, which is nothing but a platform for the BJP’s personal manifesto, which leaders like Mr Kharge have spoken out against.

The current government also chooses to ignore the armed forces of the country, instead using the brave young men and women of our armed forces as props to gain political points. The government budget for the year 2018 was the lowest since 1962. Now that elections are around the corner, this Government would again like to make a show of increasing the defence budget, except that this increase will hardly serve to modernise weaponry. The Defence Budget under the UPA in 2010 was 2.9% of the country’s GDP, while the Defence Budget under the NDA in 2017 was a mere 2.5% of the country’s GDP. Shockingly, in the 2018–19 Union Budget, the Defence Budget was a measly 1.58% of the GDP. Not only this, the current Government has also consistently failed to include the defence personnel’s welfare in its scheme of things, ignoring their demands for One Rank, One Pension, or of granting the status of martyr to paramilitary forces killed on duty serving the nation. Perhaps the Modi government would like to begin by untangling itself from the web of its own lies in the Rafale case, where it seeked to serve its capitalist overlords, the Ambanis, instead of seeking to serve the nation.

It would serve well for the BJP to focus on the issues facing the nation — such as the highest rate of unemployment in decades, the very real issues facing our farmers — who form the backbone of the country, ensuring safety for the women of the country, and ensuring health and education for its citizens (we have had our health and education budgets slashed since the UPA years) — instead of focusing on the internal workings of the Congress party. Questioning internal democracy is a bit rich coming from a party which runs itself on a slogan endlessly celebrating and semi-deifying a single leader — a dangerous trend of the things to come if the BJP is to be back. The BJP runs on the wishes of the powers-behind-the-scenes, the Ambanis and the Adanis, as has been proven time and again. As for the rest of the party — the BJP has the highest number of elected representatives with criminal cases against them — of the 184 contenders, 35 — a 19% of the total — had declared criminal cases against themselves.
As Rahul Gandhi himself has said, we let the judiciary run its course, as we believe no one is above it.

Modi, along with his cabinet of merry and unruly ministers and his crony capitalist friends and overlords, considers himself to be above the citizens, the Press, the judiciary — and the country.