Footfalls of Another Undeclared Emergency

One Year of the Modi Government

A year ago, a Government was elected at the Centre, promising good days. A year later, what have people got?

  • Anti-worker labour law changes, crackdown on workers’ rights- without consulting workers!
  • Anti-farmer changes in Land Acquisition law, allowing grab of land without farmers’ consent!
  • Women’s rights to dress, live freely, marry who they please under attack from groups backed by the Government
  • Bans on right to eat food of one’s choice
  • Minorities and Dalits are facing increased violent attacks, with communal and casteist forces enjoying Government protection
  • Appointment of persons as heads of institutions, with Sangh connections or pro-Modi sycophancy as sole qualification.
  • Ban culture – crackdown on activists and citizens critical of the Government
  • Open encouragement of groups involved in killing of rationalist activists like Dabholkar and Pansare
  • Attempts to hijack and impose yoga for a communal agenda
  • Instead of tackling issues in the North East and Kashmir political initiatives and scrapping AFSPA, we have a controversial action in Myanmar, promoting jingoism and tension with neighbours

In 1975, the Congress Government imposed Emergency on the country, crushing voices of dissent and democratic rights and unleashing unprecedented exploitation and repression on the country’s workers and peasants.

40 years later, in 2015, it seems again as though the Modi Government has imposed an undeclared Emergency, ruling through ordinances and projecting himself as a Supreme Leader.

Meanwhile, has the Modi Government kept its promises to the people? What is the reality of the promised ‘acchhe din’?

In fact, as we will see below, the Government has turned out to be a Government of the rich that has broken its promise to the ordinary people.

Below is a ready reckoner contrasting the Modi Government’s promises with a reality check.

Economic Rights and People's Survival

Modi had specifically promised people that their everyday lives would improve for the better with him in power. What, in fact, is the reality, when it comes to some of those promises?

Price Rise


  • The BJP manifesto had promised to
  • Curb inflation –implement the report the BJP had given to the UPA government in 2011 to control inflation.
  • Cut down prices of essential commodities
  • Set up a price stabilisation fund.
  • Modi’s election slogan was “bahut ho gayi mehengai ki maar, ab ki baar Modi sarkar.” (Enough of the price rise offensive, vote for a Modi govt this time).

Reality check:

  • Price stabilisation fund has not been implemented.
  • Prices of essential commodities like Dal, Chawal, Oil, swell up to an all time high. Masoor Dal is Rs 100/kg, Arhar Dal is 110, onion prices doubled from Rs 15 in 2014 to Rs 35 at present.
  • The service tax on most services has been increased.
  • One of the first decisions by the Modi government was to increase rail fares and LPG cylinder prices.
  • Decision to deregulate diesel has led to its cascading price rise of not just households but also small businesses, agriculture and road transport, freight charges. When the price of one barrel of crude oil had slumped from $ 115 a barrel world over, it is ironical the prices of petrol and diesel have become higher.
  • Following the government’s decision to hike import duty on sugar to 40% from the earlier 15%, Sugar prices rose by up to Rs 2 per kg to Rs 33.40 at the wholesale market. Taking cues from the wholesale market, retail prices also increased by Rs 2 per kg to Rs 39-40 per kg.

Land, Livelihood, Labour, Food


  • BJP, NDA supported the new land acquisition act in 2013, that guaranteed minimum fair compensation and allowed the gram sabha and the farmer to give his consent before the government took away his land.
  • Modi and the BJP had opposed FDI in retail when the UPA government tried to pass it, rightly saying that this will rob the livelihood of millions of small retailers and their employees
  • Modi called himself Mazdoor No 1 and promised to improve the conditions of workers in unorganised sector. In the name of ‘industry family,’ Modi had promised equal opportunities to them, implement a better pension and insurance programme for workers to guarantee better social security to workers. The BJP had also talked about training programmes for workers and setting up of workers’ bank.
  • In the BJP Manifesto for Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had promised ‘universal food security’.

Reality check:

  • Land Grab Law : In a U-turn, BJP under Modi is trying to reverse the 2013 Land Acquisition Act by taking away the ‘consent’ clause. Land is the only source of income for 65 crore farmers of our country. It ensures food security and guarantees from its produce that the prices of essential commodities remain low. Instead of ensuring farmers better support to till their land, the Modi government is hell bent to snatch their land for big industries.
  • The consent of farmers need not be taken, and Social Impact Assessment need not be done, to acquire land for defence, rural infrastructure, housing, industrial corridors, infrastructure projects including PPP projects, as well as private hospitals and schools. This effectively opens the flood gate for land grab without consent by any public/private entity under any pretext, including for real estate purposes.
  • Acquired land that remains unused for 5 years need not be returned to the farmers. This opens the doors for real estate mafia to acquire land, sit on it, and then sell it when the land prices have shot up.
  • Multi-crop land can be acquired. This endangers the country’s food security.


False Claims to Justify Land Grab

    • The Government claims that without the amended Land Acquisition Bill, people will be deprived of houses, roads, schools, hospitals and so on.
    • This is a lie. When the 1894 Act was in place for so many decades, were enough roads, houses, schools and hospitals built? No. This proves that the Land Acquisition Act 2013 is not the hurdle.
    • If you want to build a road or a school, why not look for non-farm land options? If you need farmers’ land, why not ask the farmers’ consent? Why not calculate the social impact of land acquisition? Why should farmers be kept out of development-related decisions, when those decisions affect their survival?
    • ‘Without amending land law, we can’t create jobs’ – how true is this claim by the Government?

The Government is saying land grab is needed to set up industries and create jobs. But by removing Social Impact Assessment, it is refusing to calculate how many farm jobs will be lost by land grab!

Remember, this same argument was given by Governments to justify the SEZ Act of 2005.

The SEZ Scam

The CAG Performance Audit Report on SEZs found that

1. Vast areas of land were acquired for SEZs on the pretext of industrialization and jobs. But most of the land remained unused, and was later diverted for commercial real estate purposes.

2. SEZs did not create economic growth, employment or infrastructure for the country. Instead, a huge number of farmers and landless labourers who were dependent on land, lost their livelihood and means of survival.

In other words, the SEZs were a huge scam to cheat peasants and the country.

The lies of the UPA Government and various state Governments exposed by the CAG in the case of SEZs, are now being repeated by the Modi Government to justify robbing peasants of land and India of its food security.

The Land Grab Ordinance and Bill of the Modi Government is only setting the stage for more scams on the lines of the SEZ Scam, that will loot land and impoverish peasants to fill corporate real estate coffers.

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Intensified Farmers' Distress

  • Farmers’ suicides continue unabated in the country. Under Modi and BJP rule, this time the farmers’ suicides have begun to spread even to Haryana. Instead of taking responsibility for this, BJP’s Haryana Agriculture Minister called the suicidal farmers ‘cowards’!
  • Instead of taking steps to protect farmers from unseasonal rains, crop failures and debt, the government has put a cap on minimum support price (MSP) for crops. Every farmer is complaining today that their cost price to farm is far more than their returns, leading to huge debts for the farmers.

U-Turn on FDI in Retail

  • In another U-turn, the Modi government is refusing to roll back FDI in retail. The Modi Government is appeasing MNC retail chains, and has lied to small and medium shop owners and distributors as well as their employees.
  • The reason for this U-turn is clear. The BJP, like the Congress, has close ties with US corporate interests.
  • Recall that in 2011, the Wikileaks cables revealed how BJP leader Arun Jaitley had assured the USA that his party’s swadeshi posturing was merely a political gimmick and that BJP supported FDI in retail? The US Embassy representative who sent the cable had commented that Jaitley “clearly values his personal and commercial connections to the US (several US corporates are legal clients).” No wonder, as Finance Minister today, Arun Jaitley has done nothing to scrap FDI in retail that was introduced by the Congress.
  • The BJP U-turn on FDI in retail exposes that their ‘swadeshi’ pretensions are fake, and they are as deeply committed to foreign corporate interests as the Congress was.

Opening Up Public Assets for Private Profit

  • Coal ordinance has opened up the coal sector for private commercial mining
  • ONGC shares are up for sale
  • Diesel price has been deregulated
  • Gas pricing policy has been revised to raise domestic gas price by a third.
  • Key sectors like defence, insurance and railways are being opened up big time for foreign investment,

'Make in India'

Attacks on Labour Laws To Appease Corporations

Modi government has left no stone unturned to clip workers’ rights. At the Vibrant Gujarat summit attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry as well as a range of US corporations and other MNCs, and Indian CEOs like Mukesh Ambani and Kumar Mangalam Birla, Narendra Modi invited them to 'Make in India'. He promised them 'low-cost manufacturing' thanks to 'India's low-cost and high quality manpower'; and highlighted his Government's initiative in ensuring FDI in construction, railways, defence, and insurance as well as labour law reforms.

'Low cost manpower' is nothing but a euphemism for under-paid and over-worked workers, and lax safety norms at the workplace.

To appease corporations and MNCs, the Modi Government has proposed “labour reforms” including amendments in the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the Trade Unions Act, 1926, and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 as well as Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986.

These amendments will mean:

  • A company employing up to 300 workers can fire its employee(s) without any prior notice (According to the existing law, firms with 100 or more workers cannot retrench without seeking the government's permission)
  • A minimum of 30% of the employees or 100 workers are required for registering a trade union (According to the existing law, any 7 or more workers can form a trade union and apply for registration of the Trade Union, regardless of the total strength of the workforce)
  • Restricting trade union membership to employees only, curbing outside membership
  • In undertakings for the construction of buildings, bridges, roads, canals, dams or for other construction work, no notice will be required for retrenchment
  • Companies employing less than 50 workers will be exempted from the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act; currently companies employing less than 20 are exempt. This means that the number of workers protected by this Act will be more than halved.
  • Factories Act (relating to work safety, drinking water and toilets, 8-hour working day, health, holidays and welfare of workers) will apply only to firms with 20 workers (current limit is 10) with a power supply or 40 workers without power supply.
  • Micro, small and medium-sized factories will be pushed out of the ambit of the 14 laws covering factories in India. The workers employed here will become part of the unorganised sector, deprived of legal rights or protection.
  • Further curbing the scope of labour inspectors, the Modi Government is expanding “self-certification” of labour laws, and seeking to replace labour inspectors with “facilitators.” Already, labour law violations are rampant in India. With this change, labour inspectors will lose the power to respond to complaints by workers. Instead, the owners’ claim to be upholding labour laws will be accepted without any verification.
  • Children between 14 years and 18 years will be permitted to work in so-called “non-hazardous family enterprises”. As Harsh Mander observes, “The new economic growth model is pushing more and more work from factory floors to homes. In cramped, poorly lit and barely ventilated slum shanties, children bend over for hours moulding, stitching, embroidering, weaving and folding. Farm work entails continuous contact with toxic pesticides and fertilisers. All such work is hazardous. No labour is non-hazardous for children.... The true reason for remaking child work lawful is the belief that in the global market, India benefits by lower-priced goods produced by children. Children are preferred to adult workers because they are submissive and low-paid, or because adults refuse work which is very unsafe and poorly paid. But do we really wish to build India’s growth on the thin shoulders of impoverished working children?” (‘Why the children of the poor must not be allowed to work in family enterprises’, May 16, 2015, Scroll.in)

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana

The Modi Government has been projecting the PMJDY as a unique scheme of financial inclusion. Actually, it is another avatar of previous schemes, all of which have a lack-lustre record.

The PMJDY hype too unravels when we see the huge percentage of zero-balance accounts.

  • Of the accounts opened at public sector banks (PSBs) under the Jan Dhan Yojana, 71 per cent are zero-balance, against 64 per cent for private banks.
  • Among private lenders, the percentage of ‘zero-balance’ Jan Dhan accounts at Yes Bank is 89, Kotak Mahindra Bank 77 and Axis Bank 75. Among PSBs, 95 per cent of State Bank of India’s Jan Dhan accounts are zero-balance; for Indian Overseas bank, it stands at 84 per cent. In all, only an average 28 per cent of these bank accounts are active.

Erosion of MNREGA

As PM, Modi mocked at the MNREGA, calling it a reminder of the failures of previous Congress Governments. His words summed up his contempt for a scheme that guarantees work for millions of rural Indians.

  • The Rajasthan Government proposed that MNREGA be amended from an Act to a Scheme, and the BJP’s Central Government also approved
  • The Modi Government proposed the amendment of the labour-material ratio provision in favour of material, thus promoting the hijacking of MNREGA by contractors. The BJP Governments of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have already taken steps in this direction.
  • The Modi Government has also proposed to confine MNREGA to backward blocks alone
  • The trend of under-funding MNREGA, which began in the UPA regime itself, has been intensified by the Modi Government. There has been a 30% decline in MGNREGA expenditure since 2010-11.

Curtailing Food Security

A panel headed by BJP leader Shanta Kumar has recommended massive slashing of Food Security Act coverage. This move will not only promote hunger, it will also add massively to farmers’ distress.

The Shanta Kumar panel recommended:

  • Subsidised grain be provided to just 40% instead of 67% of the population.
  • 3-4 times increase in price of grain provided to the poor
  • Shift to cash transfers instead of subsidised food rations through the FCI

If these measures are followed, the vast majority of the country’s people will be deprived of the right to food. Also, farmers will suffer since FCI will no longer procure food grains from them at Minimum Support Price.

Attacks on Nutrition and Health

  • Allocation for ICDS Scheme has been reduced from Rs 18,195 crore in 2014-15 budget estimates to Rs 8,335.8 crore in 2015-16 budget estimates.
  • Allocation for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has been reduced from Rs 27,758 crore to Rs 22,000 crore,
  • Allocation for Mid-day Meal Scheme slashed from Rs 13,215 crore to Rs 9,236 crore
  • Allocation for RMSA has been reduced from Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 3,565 crore
  • Budget for Ministry of Women and Child Development cut by 51 per cent, Ministry of Human Resource Development by 17 per cent, Union Health Ministry 13 per cent
  • Moves to raise medicine costs to appease MNC drug companies (see box)


Modi Government Favours Big Pharma Over Poor Patients

We must be alert to the Modi Government’s ongoing moves to raise costs of medicines steeply in order to benefit MNC drug manufacturers.

• The Modi government has appointed as Chief Economic Advisor, a person who is a strong lobbyist for MNC ‘Big Pharma’. Arvind Subramanian, chief economic adviser to the government, had till very recently, been advising the US Govt to initiate disputes against India in the WTO, to prevent India from making cheap generic drug versions of costly patented medicines.

• Before Modi’s visit to the US in September, his Govt rolled back the guidelines on prices of medicines that were issued by the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) in May. Those guidelines had given the NPPA the power to cap the prices of drugs for diseases such as heart diseases and diabetes. By taking away this power from the NPPA, the Govt has ensured that in future, prices of new drugs will be extremely steep.

• During Modi’s US visit, he agreed to the formation of a "high-level intellectual property working group" which would discuss and take decisions on patent-related issues. In particular, this group is pushing to weaken India’s ‘compulsory licensing’ powers.

• Compulsory licences are one of the most effective tools used by India and developing countries to break the monopoly pricing power of drug MNCs, especially for life-saving and essential drugs.

• Soon after the Obama’s India visit, US trade representative Michael Froman told the US Senate Committee on Finance “‘Use of the out-of-cycle review helped to secure commitments from India in the 2014 Trade Policy Forum on a broad range of Intellectual Property issues of concern to the United States and its stakeholders.”

• If India agrees to the US' stated demands on IPR, it would risk the health of millions of patients in India and across the world by delaying access to low-cost generic drugs.

Offensive on Education

  • Dangerous proposal of a ‘common’ Central Universities Act to force all Central Universities to follow a ‘common’ admission, a ‘common’ syllabus, ‘centralised’ faculty recruitment and ‘transferrable’ faculty. This is an assault on academic autonomy and freedom, and a blatant attempt to institutionalise saffronization.
  • Government refused to scrap the discriminatory CSAT in UPSC and brutalised the protestors
  • A 10% cap was introduced in the waiting list of the IBPS exam thus reducing employment options in the banking sector
  • Government tried to close down several ESIC-run, publicly funded hospitals, and this move was stalled only after the spirited protests of students and youth from across the country.
  • In CSIR too, these government is reneging on its own promises, cutting jobs and leaving several qualified engineers in the lurch. In the private sector too, retrenchments are rampant – such as the recent spate of job-cuts in the IT industry. Recently came the 150% hike in NET-JRF exam fees.
  • UPA Imposed FYUP, now NDA is imposing Tughlaki diktats like CBCS to ruin Indian universities
  • ICHR, ICSSR, FTII, Universities, IITs, all are facing appointments of heads lacking any professional qualifications except loyalty to Modi and the RSS
  • Ruining curriculum quality by saffronisation instead of modern, up-to-date education



For the country reeling under massive corruption scandals under the Congress rule, Modi had promised to curb corruption at all levels. In addition, he had promised to bring back black money and use it for effective governance.

As PM, Modi has boasted on foreign trips, that NRIs used be ashamed of being born in ‘Scam India’ earlier, but are now proud of Modi-ruled India.

Reality Check:

The Lalit Modi Scam

Modi is maintaining a deafening silence on the massive corruption scandal involving his Minister Sushma Swaraj and the BJP’s Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

  • Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje have helped scamster Lalit Modi to evade justice and stay abroad.
  • Swaraj made no attempt to make Lalit Modi return to India to face justice – instead she helped him acquire travel documents from the UK that the UK Government had previously denied at the behest of the UPA Government.
  • The Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje helped Lalit Modi stay in UK, insisting that this help should be kept secret from India! So much for BJP’s ‘patriotism’!
  • Raje helped Lalit Modi gain control over the Rajasthan Cricket Association and the BCCI, and acquire heritage monuments at throwaway prices. Lalit Modi gave a loan of Rs. 11.6 crore to a company run by Raje’s son Dushyant Singh.

Protecting Corrupt Corporations

  • The Enforcement Directorate under the Modi Government is going slow on cases of corruption against Adani, Ambani or Lalit Modi, and has dropped a money-laundering case against Ramdev
  • The Government has bailed out Mukesh Ambani’s loss-making Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure Limited by rescheduling its repayment of loans to public sector banks from 2019-20 to 2030-31
  • Under Modi’s patronage from Gujarat to Delhi, Gautam Adani has risen to be India’s tenth biggest dollar billionaire, with his assets growing from 765 million USD in 2002 to 8.8 billion USD in 2013. Now the Modi Government has granted environmental clearance for Adani’s massive SEZ project in Gujarat which was dubbed illegal by the Gujarat High Court
  • SBI has sanctioned 1 billion USD (Rs 6000 crore) loan for Adani’s coal mining venture in Australia.
  • Between March 31, 2014 and September 30, 2014, Adani group’s outstanding bank loan has already shot up by Rs 7653.33 crore to reach an astronomical Rs 72,632.37 crore.

Black Money

  • BJP president publicly claimed that Modi’s promise to bring Rs 15 lakh of black money into every bank account in India by recovering black money was mere poll rhetoric ‘chunavi jumla.’
  • The government is yet to keep its election promise of making the names of the Indian having accounts in foreign banks public

Weakening Anti-Corruption Institutions and Investigations

  • In more than one year, the government has rendered the anti-corruption institutions paralysed. The Modi Govt appointed the CIC and CVC after one full year, is trying to scuttle Right to Information Act; and is yet to appoint heads of institutions like Enforcement Directorate, and Election Commission.
  • The CVO report exposing the Uranium Corporation illegal recruitment scam was buried by the Modi Government
  • The Health Minister JP Nadda, in a move to cover up corruption in AIIMS, has scrapped the probe reports ordered by the previous NDA Health Minister and has ordered fresh probes into scams. All this is to protect an IAS officer who was Health Secretary of Himachal Pradesh when Nadda was Health Minister of the state.

Assaults on the Environment to Benefit Corporate Plunder of Resources

  • Delinking of environmental and forest clearances to allow work on linear projects, such as highways, on non-forest land without waiting for approvals for the stretches that require forest land.
  • Defence projects get priority along China borders up to 100km from the Line of Actual Control in the sensitive eco zones of the higher Himalayas.
  • The government has decided to soften some rules in the Forest Rights Act and Forest Conservation Act to step up economic activities in so-called ‘Naxal-affected’ states which account for some of the country’s best forests and vast tribal population.
  • Raising of the height of the Narmada dam will be raised.
  • Irrigation projects requiring 2,000-10,000 hectares are now exempt from the scrutiny of the Centre and can be cleared by state governments. Those requiring less than 2,000 hectares will require no green clearance at all.
  • Separation of power generation components from irrigation projects has allowed promoters to project smaller requirement of land, making clearance easier.
  • Changes in the pollution classification now allow mid-sized polluting industries to operate within five km of national parks and sanctuaries (instead of the 10-km restrictive limit ordered by the Supreme Court).
  • Ban lifted on new industries in critically polluted industrial areas, such as Gujarat’s Vapi. Pollution index-based moratoriums were lifted and a review of the index has been ordered. Norms for coal tar processing, sand mining, paper pulp industries, etc. were eased.
  • National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) reconstituted by slashing the number of independent members from 15 to just three. This truncated NBWL cleared most of the 140 projects before it on August 12. On August 25, the Supreme Court questioned the Centre’s move, ruling that “any decision taken by it (NBWL) shall not be given effect to till further orders”.
  • The process of reviewing the National Green Tribunal Act to reduce the judicial tribunal to an administrative one has been initiated.
  • The new government has also diluted the Forest Rights Act that requires the consent of the local tribal population for diverting forestland. Instead of gram sabhas (village councils) certifying that their rights had been settled and that they had consented to projects, the district administrations have now been asked to do the same. This exercise must be completed in 60 days, irrespective of the number of project-affected villages or the complication of the process. Moreover, prospecting for minerals in forests are now exempt from having to acquire the consent of local gram sabhas or settling tribal rights.
  • No public hearing for coal mines below 16 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) that want to increase output by up to 50% and those above 16 mtpa wanting to expand by up to five mtpa. Instead of individual clearances, now mines can seek approvals in clusters.
  • The Ken-Betwa river-linking project that will drown more than 40 sq km of the Panna tiger reserve has been revived.
  • The new government also approved field trials of 21 genetically modified (GM) crops, including rice, wheat and maize (the decision is on hold for now, under pressure from some RSS posturing)

(List modified from Jay Mazoomdar’s article, ‘11 environmental disasters Narendra Modi blessed in his first 100 days’, August 27, 2014)


Modi’s Secret Nuclear Liability Deal With Obama?

What is the fine print of the civil nuclear liability law ‘breakthrough’ between Modi and Obama during the latter’s recent visit to India?

It appears that India has agreed to issue a memorandum diluting its interpretation of our law to protect MNC suppliers of nuclear equipment from being sued by Indian disaster victims.

By diluting an already weak liability law Modi has, without telling or asking us, used our taxpayers’ money, our Jan Dhan, to subsidise these MNC suppliers in case of such accidents.

In 2008, BJP leaders had criticised the UPA Govt’s Civil Nuclear Liability law, saying that the law was “brought under US pressure mainly to keep the two American multinationals - Westinghouse and General Electric - from paying any liability and making the Indian government liable to pay in case of an accident.” Today, in a U-Turn, the BJP Govt itself is doing exactly the same thing.


Democratic Rights

Narendra Modi’s image-builders had promised that the communal pogrom of Gujarat and communal speeches by Modi were things of the past. He also promised social justice and dignity for the oppressed castes. His slogan ‘bahut hua naari par vaar’ promised an end to violence against women.

As PM, too, his ‘Beti Bachao’ slogan, his flagging off the Swacch Bharat campaign from a dalit slum, and his promise to Muslims to answer their knock even at midnight, were part of this image-makeover.

Instead, under Modi rule, what we have is an all-out assault on freedom of speech, democratic rights, and autonomy of institutions, as well as an emboldening of communal fascist hate-speech and violence against the rights and dignity of minorities, dalits and women.

Communal Violence and Hate-Speech

  • In the last one year, violent attacks on churches and masjids have increased by leaps and bounds. When a church in Haryana were attacked, and the Haryana CM responded by blaming the Christians for provoking the attacks.
  • From Trilokpuri in Delhi to Atali village in Ballabhgarh in BJP-ruled Haryana, Muslims were attacked with police collusion– and yet Modi did not bother to visit or act, visit the affected, or even speak.
  • Some 600 incidents of communal incidents took place within the first 300 days of Modi as PM.
  • BJP MPs and Ministers like Sakshi Maharaj and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Giriraj Singh and Yogi Adityanath have been spewing poison.
  • RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has repeatedly said that “Hindutva is the identity of India and it has the capacity to swallow other identities. We just need to restore those capacities.” and “India will become a Hindu State by 2021 and citizens of Hindustan should be known as Hindus”.
  • The HRD Ministry sought to replace Christmas Day in educational institutions with “Good Governance” Day
  • BJP leaders have been distorting Yoga and trying to use it as a stick to bully and browbeat minorities. BJP MP Adityanath said those who do not do suryanamaskar can drown in the sea; Sadhvi Prachi said those who do not do yoga must go to Pakistan. RSS and BJP leader Ram Madhav did not even spare the Vice President of India Hamid Ansari – he implied that Hamid Ansari is unpatriotic because he did not attend the Yoga Day function.

Clean Chit to Killers

  • The CBI gave a ‘clean chit’ to Amit Shah in the Ishrat Jehan fake encounter case, and a CBI court prematurely declared that there was no legal evidence to prosecute him in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. So, various institutions of justice colluded to protect Amit Shah from the consequences of communally and politically motivated cold-blooded custodial murders.
  • All cops accused in the Gujarat fake encounter cases have been released on bail.
  • The Modi Government has rejected witness statements of Gujarat cops and call detail records that the Central Bureau of Investigation presented as evidence to deny it sanction for prosecuting ex-Intelligence Bureau special director Rajinder Kumar and three other IB officers in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.

Dalits and Adivasis’ Rights

  • Attacks on Dalits and Adivasis have also increased manifold. The government has tried to capture lands occupied by adivasis all over the country to be gifted to big manufacturing industries and has systematically scuttled the Forest Rights’ Act.
  • Swacch Bharat Abhiyan has done nothing to ensure basic safety for sanitation workers who work in gutters without masks, gloves, or boots.
  • The Gharwapsi or Samrasta Yagya campaigns are nothing but coercion and attacks by Hindutva outfits on Dalits who have converted, and force them to ‘return’ to Hindu religion.
  • The Samajik Samrasta Yagya campaign of the RSS seeks to hijack the figure and legacy of Dr Ambedkar by distorting his ideas.
  • In the 2015-16 budget as per the SCSP (Special Component Sub-plan)/ TSP (Tribal Sub-plan) guidelines, Rs 77,236 crore (16.6% of Plan Outlay) should have been allocated towards SCSP and Rs 40,014 crore (8.6% of Plan Outlay) towards TSP. However SCs have been allocated Rs 30,850 crore, while the STs have been allocated Rs 19,980 crore (61%and 53% for SCs and STs below the recommendation of the guidelines.)
  • The allocation of funds for SCs and STs in IITs, NITs, and IIMs has also seen a decline. The Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for SCs and STs has not been increased. The critical Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for SCs and STs has been reduced from Rs 1904.78 to Rs 1599.00 crores.
  • Agendas like the forced imposition of Sanskrit in schools, denial of eggs in mid-day meals in Madhya Pradesh and the ban on beef in Maharashtra also have a strong Brahminical anti-Dalit flavour.
  • In BJP-ruled Rajasthan, on May 14th, three Dalits were killed and 13 grievously injured in Dangawas village in Nagaur district when members of the dominant caste mowed then down under tractors. The attack took place when the Dalits won their rightful claim to 23 bighas of land that had been forcefully occupied by the dominant caste. The police took an hour to reach the spot, although the police station is just 3 kilometres away from the village.

Regimentation, Subversion of Institutions and Attacks on Freedom of Expression

What to eat? What to speak? What to think? What fitness regime to choose? Who to love? Who to marry? What films to watch? What is ‘national interest’? The Modi Government seeks to regiment all of this.

  • The Maharashtra Government ruled by BJP has banned beef
  • The Ambedkar Periyar student group in IIT Madras was de-recognised because they were critical of Modi
  • The Modi Government is seeking to compulsorily impose Yoga on educational institutions and government bodies as well as common citizens. Yoga is beneficial and rightly popular – but the Modi Government is trying to turn it into a symbol of Hindu hegemony and RSS shakha-style regimentation.
  • Saffron mobs attacked the film PK in theatres; the ABVP regularly attacks documentary film screenings as well as public speakers in campuses, who they perceive to be anti-Modi or anti-BJP.
  • The BJP has tried to brand activists and organisations protesting land grab, as ‘foreign-funded NGOs’ as a pretext for cracking down on them. They tried to illegally prevent Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai from travelling to the UK. The truth is that it is the BJP Government that is subverting India’s pro-worker, pro-peasant and pro-adivasi laws to pander to foreign MNCs and Indian corporate interests. As also revealed by the LaMo scam, it is the BJP and Modi government that is betraying national interest.
  • The Censor Board, packed with saffron nominees whose only qualification is loyalty to the RSS and BJP, has tried to ban words like ‘Bombay’ from Hindi films!
  • The BJP is trying to introduce the Dinanath Batra model of school textbooks into national education. These textbooks (part of the curriculum in Gujarat) state that Ram’s Pushpakviman was the first aeroplane, Mahabharata is proof of stem cell research in ancient India, taking care of cows eliminates infertility, the map of Bharat should be redrawn to include Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Tibet, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka! Modi, who has written admiring introductions to these textbooks, himself said that the Ganesha story proved the existence of plastic surgery in ancient India. The BJP is playing with the future of India’s students, by seeking to replace rational, scientific, progressive schooling with ignorance, prejudice, bigotry and sheer rubbish.
  • YS Rao, who has been appointed the chief of the Indian Council of Historical Research despite the fact that he has no serious peer-reviewed academic publications, has declared that “The caste system has been misinterpreted as an exploitative social system and that it actually worked well in ancient times.” He has also claimed that the great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata are historical and factual rather than literary.
  • Similarly, saffron nominees with no qualifications have been appointed to head the FTII, ICSSR, and many other institutions.

Women's Rights and Gender Equality

Narendra Modi came to power promising ‘bahut hua naari par vaar’ (Enough of violence on women). But in fact, his party and Government are responsible for fresh onslaughts on women.

  • Modi shamed India globally by saying to the Bangladeshi PM, that she was a strong leader ‘despite being a woman’.
  • The Muzaffarnagar communal violence helped Modi come to power. Muslim women raped in Muzaffarnagar continue to struggle in vain for justice, even as the rapists enjoy BJP patronage.
  • Sadhvi Prachi and Sakshi Maharaj and Yogi Adityanath, telling Hindu women how many children to bear and calling for rapes of Muslim women, are revealing Modi’s true thoughts (‘mann ki baat’).
  • Haryana’s BJP CM Khattar openly defends the khap panchayats and moral policing
  • The ‘love jehad’ lie spread by RSS outfits is a brazen attempt to attack women’s rights to marry according to their choice.
  • BJP MLA Usha Thakur blamed children’s addiction to Maggi on “lazy mothers”!

Modi has given a slogan of ‘Beti Bachao’ (Save Daughters). What is the truth?

  • In the 2015 budget, the Modi Government slashed spending on the ICDS by 51% (by Rs. 10,816.42 cr) compared to the last budget. The ICDS is the scheme to tackle child malnutrition and gender discrimination towards the girl child; by cutting spending on this, how can Modi claim to ‘save’ daughters?
  • The Modi Government has cut proposed spending on rape crisis centres. Instead of creating such centres in every district, the Government says it will open only one such centre in every state. The only point of a rape crisis centre is that it offers support to rape survivors locally under a single roof. Creating centres only in capital cities is useless. While the Modi Government is doing little to combat violence against women, it banned a documentary on rape in India, on the pretext of national pride!

The Government’s lack of concern for India’s interests is visible in its willingness to secretly help out scamsters who have looted India, and its willingness to help corrupt Indian and foreign corporations while taking away the rights of India’s poor, workers and peasants. At the same time, the Modi Government is also undertaking a dangerous shift in India’s foreign policy, promoting war-mongering with neighbours and becoming closer to the racist and colonial Israel in betrayal of India’s long standing friendship with Palestine.

The Modi Government presents the undeclared but very real threat of Emergency in India today. We must resolve to resist this undeclared Emergency and defend our diversity and freedom with all our might.

Liberation Archive