India, the largest functioning democracy, despite many shortcomings, is praised for its achievements. But at present it is facing its greatest crisis. We had resolved to follow the principles of democracy, broadminded secularism, all-inclusive policies, and non-communal approach.
It is extremely unfortunate that the present dispensation which has a strong grip on the levers of power is undoing all our cherished principles. The big countries of the world have sensed our degradation and a movement towards fascist tendencies. During PM Modi’s recent visit to USA, President Biden exhibited it by giving him a cold welcome. International media is also full of reports against the narrow-minded policies of the ruling BJP and its leaders.
Federalism was one of the foundation stones of our polity. But the present government is neglecting respect to federal spirit and gradually moving towards unitary and dictatorial governance. Several states are feeling the pinch of this tendency.
Two months back the Chief Justice of India Honourable NV Ramana commented that the Constitution requires that laws should not be passed haphazardly. They should be thoroughly discussed, all relevant issues should be debated threadbare, only then the laws should be passed. Under the excuse of Covid-19, laws are being passed without detailed discussions. The glaring example is of the passing of three anti-farmer laws which are being opposed by Indian farmers for the last 11 months. But despite stiff opposition and erosion in his vote bank, PM Modi not yet ready to take back those three laws.
One after another, all institutions be it Election Commission, Reserve Bank of India, Enforcement Directorate and CBI are being disempowered and demolished. Interference in judicial system and arbitrary transfers of judges becoming a common thing.
How insensitive our Prime Minister is can be judged from the fact that the state minister of home affairs Mr. Ajay Mishra has not been asked to resign from the cabinet. Ajay Mishra is accused of shielding his son Ashish Mishra, who is the prime accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri attack.
Marginalisation and demonisation of the Muslims, Dalits and the weaker sections is a prominent contribution of the present regime. Suspicion, fear, and enmity of Muslims is being promoted by the ruling party on a very big scale. The principle of independence of media has been thrown to the winds. The approach that those who disagree are the enemies of the country has been adopted. Stringent anti-terror laws like UAPA are being brazenly used against journalists, lawyers, and activists.
Because of this dangerous situation a conscientious section of intellectuals has started thinking about who after Modi and what after Modi. They argue that if we want to stop India from being thrown into a cesspool of dictatorship and fascism, it is imperative that the lovers of Constitution and Democracy must join hands and fight against negative tendencies.
It is heartening that the Supreme Court of India is re-asserting its authority and has adopted a pro-active approach. The re-opening of Pegasus case and taking up of Zakia Jafri’s petition is a welcome step. Likewise, the Rafale purchase scam also should be reopened by the Apex Court. Let us expect that the Supreme Court will render the greatest service of protecting democracy and stopping dictatorship.