The globally touted myth of India being the largest democratic secular country seems to have been shattered by the recent election. Yes, it may still be proclaimed to be democratic but the moot point is whether it is a practising democracy as understood in the west? To be really democratic, the population of a country needs to be fully educated and enlightened about the very concept of democracy. There is a difference between a politically conscious and matured populace and a mobocracy. No doubt an average citizen anywhere cannot distinguish between the immediate result and the far reaching consequences. Usually, people in general are swayed by their immediate needs. In that regard, the election has been claimed to be totally democratic as the majority view is supposed to have prevailed. However, as per information available NDA got only 31% vote share. Thus 69% view is not reflected by this win! Again, it is debatable whether this so called majority view was reached through honest democratic means. It is true that the last decade of Congress led rule has been disastrous for India as regards the basic needs of the common people. While as the grass roots people have been crushed by rising prices and unemployment, the rich have grown richer not by honest means but by corruption, dishonesty and manipulation. Out of a GDP of 1.61 trillion dollars, the scams account for 1.1 trillion dollars which amounts to 60%. Had the scam moneyinstead of being stashed abroad in foreign banks been utilised for the benefit of the common people, India by now should have been one of the leading welfare states!
The so called Modi wave swept congress like a tsunami but mostly in the traditional cow belt. The Hindutva appeal swayed the Vedanta Hindus. The Saivites, the Hindus in the South have not been so much affected. Apart from the basic difference in the two schools of spiritual thought, the North has a very strong inherent grouse against the Muslims. The Indian mainland faced series of invasions from the Muslim conquerors like Mehmud of Gazni who invaded 17 times and destroyed the temple at Somnath. North India bore the brunt of these invasions. The South did not face such incursions. In fact, Islam came to India peacefully in the South during Prophet’s (PBUH) own lifetime. The preachers came to Kerala where the first mosque built in India stands. The same is the case with the East. They were far off from the invasions. The pattern of the wave also confirms that the religion rather than development and governance have been the deciding factors. This basic contradiction may not augur well for the unity of India if the new dispensation persists with its anti-Muslim agenda of RSS who are primarily responsible for putting Modi in the driving seat. For all these 67 years India carried a thick coat of Nehru’s “Secularism” paint. The present election practically scrapped the paint and India has come out as a Hindu Rashtra in true colours.
According to some people, Jinnah’s two nation theory stands vindicated. However, it has been revealed by some historians that Jinnah himself did not believe in two nation theory or creation of a state on the basis of religion. This was evident from his first speech after the creation of Pakistan. He intended it to be a modern, progressive state where all including minorities would have equal rights. In fact, it is reported that he was not very keen about partition and it was his last resort as he failed to get proportional representation for Muslims in a united India. It is alleged by some that Nehru himself was keener on partition. The ceasefire line set up in Kashmir after the first Indo-Pak war is quoted by some as an example of his thinking on the subject. It is reported that during the first conflict the Indian forces could easily have overrun Azad Kashmir and even gone into mainland Pakistan. However, Nehru directed his Army Commanders to stop at the ceasefire line. When some top Army Officers questioned his wisdom not based on the field situation, he is reported to have convinced them that it was necessary to let Pakistan stay as a buffer zone between India and the Afghanistan and the other Central Asian countries. India had always been troubled by the invaders coming from/through Afghanistan. Pakistan is now a buffer for India. However, Nehru probably thought that Pakistan would soon break up and India would have a number of smaller manageable buffer states on the west to guard it against the invaders who had always been coming from that side. He could have probably never imagined that the buffer itself would become a headache for India and one day possibly result in the total annihilation of the entire sub-continent! With the phenomenal rise of Modi, we may someday face the Armageddon because of the fact of the both these states being nuclear armed!
In J & K, the unity of the state may be at stake. The Jammu supporters of BJP are keen for scrapping of Article 370 for effecting full and complete integration of the State with India. They have always been resenting the rule of Kashmiris over whom their ancestors ruled for a century. Ladakhis, the Buddhists of Leh and Kargil districts too desire direct rule from Delhi by getting a Union Territory status. Probably, they do not know that in a Union Territory which is federally administered, they will have lesser rights and safeguards than they have at present against the onslaught of the rich corporate sector. However, the trifurcation of the state cannot be undertaken without reviving the debate on the basic political issue of the final disposal of the disputed territory in UN Security Council where it continues to be an agenda item with a UN Military Group detailed by the Council being still present here. Internationalising Kashmir may be the last thing Narendra Modi wants to do after taking over as the Prime Minister of India. Even Pakistanis have been held back in their effort to grant a full-fledged provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan because of the apprehensions of violating the Security Council directions for not changing the status of the disputed territory.
A journalist friend recently wrote that Modi stands at a fork in the road and it is up to him which road he takes. Constructive reshaping of the sub-continent as well as South Asia or the ultimate destruction. Let us hope he takes the path of reconciliation and amelioration of the teeming millions rather than the leap into total oblivion!