(Note: This column is written as requested by John Pollock, Editor, 9DASHLINE, a Europe based web news portal exclusively for Indo-Pacific region, after discussions with this author on issue raised by an Indian origin economics professor in University of York, the USA, on on-going farmers protest in India. But, later, the editor refused to publish the same on the ground of the column is too long, and this author is reluctant to curtail the same)
“Modi destroying old termite ridden banyan tree,” writes Sir William Mark Tully in his book “No Full Stops in India”. Popularly known as Mark Tully, he is the former Bureau Chief of BBC, New Delhi, a position he held for 20 years out of 30 years he worked with the UK based broadcaster before resigning in July 1994. The book is a collection of ten essays, based on the chronicles of the author’s life in India. It presents a panoramic view of India. The book says that India’s westernized privileged class, who are miles apart from local traditions want to write a full stop in a land where there are no full stops. The book attempts to critically analyze the complicated deep-rooted ancient Indian civilization and its underlying principles. It clarifies that westernization will ruin India’s indigenous traditions and annihilate the crucial support system of the bulk of the general masses.
“India’s westernized privileged class (WPC), who are miles apart from local traditions want to write a full stop in a land where there are no full stops” is the essence of the Tully’s book. And the 14th and current Prime Minister of India since 2014 General Election with absolute majority, who was reelected with increased votes share and increased number of law-makers in the lower house of Parliament in 2019 General Election, Mr. Narendra Damodardas Modi and his party’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh popularly known as RSS are not ready to go by the political, social, cultural, economic, religious, etc. related preaching of WPC, who had major says in the earlier regimes from 1947 to till 2014 with a short break from 1998 to 2004 when BJP’s late Atal Bihari Vajpayee was PM without majority, a coalition government, a phenomena prevalent between 1989 and 2009 General Elections. In nutshell, one can conclude that what have been happening in India -including matters related to Farm Laws- now are products of clashes between RSS and Modi, who want indianization of India’s politics, society, culture, economy, religion, etc. affairs open to modernization, liberalization and globalization wherever needed in one side, and Gandhi dynasty, Congress party and WPC, in the other.
India’s grand old party that is Indian National Congress or shortly called Congress, out of power since 2014, provides platform to this WPC as it was doing so during the regimes of western educated PMs such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Dr. Manmohan Singh, who together ruled for 48 years out of 67 years of self-rule till 2014. Congress, now under the ownership Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, which has in the meanwhile lost people’s verdict to rule mainly due to loss of craze for glamorous dynastic politics apart from the so-called secularist and socialist politics, uses WPC to defame Modi and RSS on whatever their Government do.
“It has become a fashion to oppose whatever the Modi government is doing,” said 88 years old E. Sreedharan, who is famously known as Metroman and awarded India’s second highest civilian award Padma Vibhushan by the Congress government in 2008. Going further, and before announcing of his joining BJP, Shreedharan strongly supported the contentious new Farm Laws and asserted that there is no “intolerance” in the country that is being highlighted in Western Mass and Social Medias. Following him, two High Court judges and one Director General of Police (all retired) from his home state Kerala –note: they are from different faiths- have so far joined Modi-RSS party BJP which has been nicknamed as Saffron Party (Hindu faith symbol) by the so-called secular bandwagon lead by Congress and its ideological mentor i.e. WPC present in Indian and Western medias.
The 2020 enacted Farm Laws are victims of the clash between Modi-BJP-RSS and Gandhi-Congress-WPC.
The agriculture sector provides employment to more than 50% of nation’s workforce but contributes just around 17-18% to national GDP is one the most unorganized sector in India. India embarked on the path of economic liberalization and globalization three decades back in 1991. But, the sector, which employs largest population and work force of country, was left behind for reason now exposed. Since then, there have been debates and discussions for agriculture sector reform as well as lamenting as there was no any substantial progress. All concerned say the sector has huge scope for growth which can accordingly contribute to national economic growth and to farmers’ per capita income. Even Congress party leader, a London School of Economics alumni and PM of India from 2004 to 2014, who used to take credit for 1991 economic reform, Dr. Manmohan Singh earlier said, “There are other rigidities because of marketing regime set up in the 1930s (Note: In 1930s, when India was not yet liberated) which prevent our farmers from selling their produce where they get the highest rate of return. It is our intention to remove all those handicaps which come in the way of India realizing its vast potential as one large common market.”
In 2008, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), which is now spearheading farmers protest, protested when the then Congress government led by Dr. Manmohan Singh banned corporate procurement of wheat from Punjab and Haryana. Soon after the Farm Laws were enacted in 2020 allowing corporate procurement of wheat directly from farmers, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait congratulated PM. But, what happened in the meantime that the same BKU has started opposing Farm Laws. Indrajit Roy in his column “India’s great divergence: Liberal economics and illiberal politics” writes and I quote, “Tears welling up in his eyes, he(Rakesh Tikait) confessed to having voted for the BJP in previous elections, a decision he said he regretted deeply.” Who will believe that Tikait, a Congress candidate in 2007 UP Assembly elections and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) candidate in 2014 General Election and lost both the elections very badly, voted to BJP in 2019 election?
It is very painful and unfortunate to read intellectual and academic from University of York referring in his column -on priority- the pop star Rihanna, child environmental activist Greta Thunberg, porn star Mia Khalifa, model Amanda Cerny and fashion product marketer Meena Harris tweets supporting Farmers Protests completely ignoring the opinion of reputed economists such as International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Economist Gita Gopinath, Bloomberg opinion columnist Andy Mukherjee, agricultural economist Ashok Gulati, former Vice-Chairman NITI Aayog and Professor of Economics in Columbia University Arvind Panagaria, etc. on the issue. So also ignored liberal and highly democratic President Joe Biden administration’s thought and counseling on Farm Laws.
May this author asks what is the credential of pop star, child environmental activist, porn star, model, fashion product marketer, etc. in so far as the agro economics is concerned? Yes, it is a fact that they have millions of social media followings like many in glamour business have all over the world. And this is why they are being hired for product and service marketing; here, it is to be noted ‘at a cost’. Are they being paid by billionaire so-called philanthropist and founder of Open Society Foundations’ George Soros, who promised in Davos World Economic Forum 2020 to invest to overthrow Modi government in India because it is nationalist? What is the credential of George Soros? Should the world ignores the fact that Modi and his nationalist government despite being branded 21st century’s Nazi and Fascist reincarnations distributing Covid19 vaccines -in many cases- free of cost to poorest countries, when rich nations where Rihanna, Mia Khalifa, Meena Harris, etc., are minting money, are busy first vaccinating their own citizens which is denounced by WHO boss? Note: India distributes vaccines, when back in the country, there is lowest vaccination which is an electoral risk for Modi Government. Therefore, question comes to mind ‘how could a Nazi and Fascist agree to this political risk?’ Yesterday, my children (both above 18 years of age), who are also voters, were discussing at home that Modi government was not doing right by distributing Made-in-India vaccines before completion of vaccination of all Indians. Note: It is not an isolated discussion in Indian drawing rooms now.
If their (pop, porn, etc.) advocacies be counted in matter related to economics, what for Indrajit Roy having just 392 followings in Linkedin is required by University of York? Here find the so-called activists’ credentials in the hyperlink: Rihanna’s topless body with picture of Hindu God to offend Hindu sentiment, Greta Thunberg knowledge on environment protection, Mia Khalifa promoting farmer protest with half nude films, model Amanda Cerny, and Meena Harris, who has been warned by The White House against using aunt Kamala Harris name to promote her brand. Further, how many people know about Meena Harris before she announced to the world that Kamala Harris is her aunt and elected as Vice-President of the USA? Is it not misuse of prominent name and democratic government position for personal vested interest?
Regarding the environmentalist Greta Thunberg and her Indian colleague Disha Ravi Joseph’s social media based ‘toolkit’, which is intended to facilitate Farmer Protests and has been highlighted by New York based WPC’s column, the reputed legal luminary, who is a former top Law Officers of Government of India and now a Queen’s Counsel for the courts of England and Wales, Harish Salve said and I quote, “On the other hand of the spectrum you have troublemakers like the Khalistani movement people who have always looking out at an opportunity to further their agenda. And their agenda is unlawful. It violates a host of Indian laws. It is an act of terror. I am deeply disappointed to see environmental activists becoming the bridge between these two ends of the spectrum allowing these terrorist elements to infiltrate genuine (farmers) protests. The language of the toolkit has to be seen in the context of the author of the toolkit. Language is a medium of communication. We have to get the message also by seeing who is communicating the message. To tell a very simple example, saying ‘Do khokha’ doesn’t mean two boxes. This language is being used by Canadian terrorists of physical action. It is a completely different connotation. The talk of desecrating our Red Fort on January 26 has a very different connotation from an angry farmer who says on Republic Day, I will stand on top of the Red Fort and speak my heart out. The protest may be a bit misplaced but the other is sinister. So, we have to separate the grain from the chaff.”
WPC columnists use to propagate that farmer protests are non-violence. Has the world forgotten the sacrileges of statue of Mahatma Gandhi, the tallest apostle of non-violence in the world, in recent past in Washington DC and California by the supporters of Farmers Protests? In the India’s 72nd Republic Day, the tractors were weaponised to create an environment of terror and provoke security forces to fire so that the vested interest could red the occasion for a bigger worldwide propaganda. But, the authority was smarter, preferred sacrilege of Red Fort instead of blood bath of innocents intoxicated with baseless narratives by vested interest in opposition political parties, WPC and farmer unions. On the day, there were tweets from the accounts of some senior working journalists and politician, latter was a minister in Congress regime, which propagated that a farmer killed in police firing, a provocation if not taken care by way of instant pictorial news telecast of fact by the alert authority that the victim killed due to his violent hitting of tractor on the road barricade resulting the vehicle overturn killing the driver, the tweets of the vested interest could have caused bigger violence. Are these journalists and politician not vested interests opposed to whatever an elected government with absolute majority, the first of the kind in over long two and half decades, does?
Farm Laws protesters also went on damaging hundreds of Mobile Towers in northern state despite acknowledged fact that during Covid19 reign, when schools and colleges are closed to avoid infection, the mobile sets have been only means to retain academic activities. Can a sound and genuine person go for this self-destructive activity?
The West/US based Social Media Twitter and Facebook could instantly ban the sitting US President Donald Trump’s account for provoking violence which caused bloody sacrilege of Capitol Building on January 06, but refused to do so in case of Indian accounts that promoted Republic Day violence in the same January month’s 26th day. Why? Is it not hypocrisy? Is it promotion of liberal democracy by liberal West?
Should laws made by democratically elected government be overturned because a mob does not like the same? If so happens, remember time is not far when democracy will be replaced by mobocracy? And the end result is: Anarchy. Is it what Western civil society wants to happen to successful and largest democracy of the world sitting in a region where a large of number of countries are ruled by dictators? And one country, a victim of Cold War, is suffering from anarchy for four decades.
Columnists write that Farm Laws was not debated in the Parliament as desired before being passed and got the President’s accent. May be for opponents or may not be for supporters of the laws! In the early days of protest, the Supreme Court of India intervened, and along with blocking the laws for implementation, constituted a four member expert committee of reputed agro economists to discuss the laws with all stake-holders including agitating farmers and submit its report to the court before the court adjudicate. But, the agitators refuse to talk to the committee. Later and before Republic Day violence, the Government of India offered to defer the implementation of laws by one and half years. Yet, the agitators refuse to concede from their demand of complete withdrawal of laws. Will any government legitimately elected with absolute majority for five years agree to surrender? Even if it does so, what could be Indian democracy’s image abroad?
In the language of Sir William Mark Tully, these elements are called ‘old termites’, and in my language, they are ‘intellectual coolies’, and for both of us, they are ‘Westernized Privileged Class’ bend on destroying Indian ethos -that provided shelters and protection to persecuted Zoroastrians and Syrian Catholics among others in the past and distributing Covid19 vaccines now before being fully vaccinated- which Modi-RSS equally stubborn to protect despite mocking reference to Yoga (worldwide popular Indian health recipe) and Chai (Modi was a son of railway platform tea seller) in the Greta Thunberg’s toolkit, which was in fact developed by a West based terrorist organization.