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For civil society, it’s time to introspect or get lost

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Bimal Prasad Mohapatra
Bimal Prasad Mohapatrahttp://www.trident.ac.in
Columnist is a Senior Research Fellow in Defense Research and Studies (DRaS), Faculty of Management Studies in Trident Group of Institutions, Bhubaneswar, and author of novel "Travails of LOVE" and "Bimal's ANAND MATH". He writes column on Geopolitics, Indian Politics and Media for MyVoice.OpIndia, DRaS, The Kootneeti, The Diplomatists, The Avenue Mail, Delhi Post, Orissa Post, Outlook Afghanista, The Manila Times, etc. And also Moderated Panel Discussion on Geopolitics, Politics and Media

(For Indian civil society, it is high time to introspect and gets themselves corrected or get lost for generation/s, if not for ever).

Today morning, as soon as I read a news story (in Times Now news portal) with title “PM Modi’s efforts are not ‘cosmetic or showmanship’, says Ratan Tata”, it comes to my mind or I can say as I apprehend that his name (Ratan Tata) will soon be added with Ambani and Adani list of name calling by forces inimical to present regime in Raisina Hill including civil society members forgetting their(entrepreneurs) contribution to India’s international image and national wealth creation as if to be an entrepreneur in order to provide employments, get revenue for governments -major part of which governments of all shades use in populist schemes for known vote-bank politics- and build national image is curse when all over the world entrepreneurship is encouraged and promoted with incentives.

How many Indians know, he is the same Ratan Tata, who within half decade of taking charge of Tata Steel, could manage the company to be cheapest steel producer in the world without compromising quality? How many Indians know Ford Chairman, who in 1999 mocked Ratan Tata saying ‘If you don’t know selling car, why entered the sector?’ when latter requested former to rescue his car business, had traveled to Mumbai to request Ratan Tata to rescue debt-trapped iconic Land Rover and Jaguar. And how many Indians know developing country’s Tata Steel buying developed country UK’s Corus PLC which is four times bigger than former in 2006, and refused to Jamshedji Tata’s technical support to build Tata Steel in British India in 1903.

Tragedy is: those in the Indian civil society, who criticize industrialists/entrepreneurs, have never praised them for their good works. If industrialists are rich they have got the same through managerial skills. India has adopted market economy like several rich nations where Ambani, Adani and probable Tata critics have got their education. And they (critics) get their liberal thoughts and criticism skills studying in industrialists built universities. Unfortunately, instead of ferreting out sustainable allegations against industrialists’ wrong doings, the critics are found concentrated in unsuitable criticism. Have anybody ever read or heard the above aspects (credible works of Indian entrepreneurs) being highlighted by Indian civil society’s loudmouths?

After the Sino-Indian forces bloody skirmish in mid-June 2020 at the LAC in Ladakh, the entire civil society missed no opportunity to dress down Modi government, and one even went on with unsavory mocking of “How about a surgical air strike in Tibet on Chinese troop establishments to avenge the death of our 20 brave jawans including a commanding officer? After all our motto is ‘ghar me ghus kar marenge’. Or is all our bravado only for Pakistan?”And provoked the government to go for war against China despite acknowledged fact that precious ten years (2004 to 2014) during UPA regime was lost without adding single gun to armed forces armory. None from civil society was found writing on Chinese encroachment of 640 SqKM during UPA regime and earlier poor infrastructure and connectivity to India’s border regions, and Chinese irritation for present government’s push to build infrastructure in border area despite financial constraint and inhospitable weather. We read rims of columns and civil society criticism against Modi government’s procurement of 5th generation Rafale fighter planes alleging corruption despite Supreme Court’s finding of no irregularity in the deal, but no column and analysis worth reading about pathetic depletion of armory vis-à-vis our dreaded inimical neighbours. 

After Justice Ranjan Gogoi’s participation in the senior Supreme Court judges’ presser on 12 January 2018, ostensively promoted and prompted with physical presence by some vested interest from civil society, they (latter) themselves propagated that Modi government would not promote Justice Gogoi who was in the line of next Chief Justice of India. But, when the government respected the tradition and precedent, and went ahead appointing Justice Gogoi as CJI, refusing to be another Indira Gandhi, there was no word of praise.

Now, on daily basis, we read rims of columns written by civil society members on farmer agitation at national capital border. We read and see Delhi CM participation in this agitation and tearing of Fam Bills in Delhi Assembly, but none of them has highlighted that the same CM’s government was the first which notified the bill in state gazette for implantation on 23 November. Has anybody read any column that criticized desecration of The Father of Nations statue in front of Indian Embassy in Washington by supporters of Farm Bill agitation and surface of Khalistani protagonists in the agitation site?  Punjab CM Captain Amerinder Singh has been regularly saying that a political party and its CM are getting fund and hobnobbing with secessionist Khalistani respectively, and Dainik Bhaskar got in front page news on the issue, yet no civil society member is ready to acknowledge the same.

A week back, I was reading a column of a nonagenarian and prominent journalists and media analyst who is now senior media adviser of a leading English newspaper The New Indian Express. The entire column was packed with lies. Among others, he mentioned that 60,000 farmers had committed suicide in Maharashtra alone in 2019. But, my search found 2808 farmers had committed suicide in 2019. Yes, farming is a nature based profession and farmers are exploited by middlemen including politicians. They deserve attention and support of government and civil society. But, will the wrong fact support their cause? How could these aspects as narrated above not come to the mind of civil society members?

Civil society highlights recently coined “Love Jihad” while silent about exploitation of innocent girls. Is this silent not promoting social discords? How could people bear the loss of their near and dear to some frauds who are exploiting immature teenage love at first sight? So far civil society has not come out with a solution for this social problem though does not waste a minute to blame the government which is constitutionally duty bound to maintain law and order supported by legislative means.

Now, West Bengal CM and Trinamol Congress supremo Mamata Banarjee using divisive slogan “insider vs outsider” as her party’s prime theme in upcoming Assembly election. If national parties are outsiders, why Ma-Mati-Manush’s Didi has a prefix “All India” to her party name “All India Trinamol Congress”, and nominates her party candidates to contest in other states? Now, she is in back foot for her desire to build her political dynasty installing her nephew as next head of party replacing her which is vehemently opposed by her party sitting MPs, MLAs and workers. Following her footstep, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik started criticizing national parties though his regional party Biju Janata Dal does not have “All India” prefix. But, Indian civil society has overlooked all these divisive activities in WB and Odisha apart from long two decades uninterrupted rule of Naveen Patnaik which is not at all good sign for healthy democracy.

In their utter hate-Modi mindset, the civil society is missing two important issues which could be epoch making development for Indian democracy. They are: dynasty politics and the constitutional restriction for two term tenure or age limit for head of the government. The dynasty politics and unlimited tenure of PM and CM are the biggest dragger of India’s healthy democracy. Modi is dead against dynasty and has already imposed 75 age limit to the post of ministers in his cabinet and for Lok Sabha speaker. Modi being a bachelor and not promoting his family members -like unmarried Mamata Banarjee and Mayawati promoting their nephews to be their successors- can be used by civil society to promote non-dynasty democratic politics. And now Modi is in his second term and about to reach 75 ages just one year after GE2024. This is the right time for civil society to campaign for either two terms PM or no PM beyond 75 and get this done through Modi instead of campaigning to somehow satisfy their inferiority complex. This is possible provided the civil society members have no vested interest in dynasty politics and in more than two terms PM.

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Bimal Prasad Mohapatra
Bimal Prasad Mohapatrahttp://www.trident.ac.in
Columnist is a Senior Research Fellow in Defense Research and Studies (DRaS), Faculty of Management Studies in Trident Group of Institutions, Bhubaneswar, and author of novel "Travails of LOVE" and "Bimal's ANAND MATH". He writes column on Geopolitics, Indian Politics and Media for MyVoice.OpIndia, DRaS, The Kootneeti, The Diplomatists, The Avenue Mail, Delhi Post, Orissa Post, Outlook Afghanista, The Manila Times, etc. And also Moderated Panel Discussion on Geopolitics, Politics and Media
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