Skip to main content

National development? Begun by Congress, Modi 'selling away' shared life, resources

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* 

The Indian National Congress under the leadership of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was responsible for the beginning of half-hearted liberalisation policies in the name of economic development and modernisation in India. The half-hearted liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation policies became the cornerstone of new economic policies launched by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
These policies are in full swing under the Hindutva laissez-faire under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose mantra is based on the idea of ‘minimum government and maximum governance’. The market forces and corporates are absolutely free to rob public resources without any form of deterrence.
From river, sand, fishing, water to land, forests, woodlands, playgrounds, mining and minerals are for sale. From defence sectors to banking, postal, railways, health, education, road and transportation sectors are controlled by the market forces.
There is nothing in India which can’t be sold under the Hindutva government led by Modi. The Congress party has laid the foundation of this process of robbery and Hindutva forces are accelerating the process and institutionalising it as a norm of everyday lives in India.
The privatisation of public resources is not only about transfer of ownership and profit to the private corporations. It is a process of privatising profits and socialising risk. The Hindutva theft of the commons is a capitalist pursuit to dismantle collective foundation of society and public ownership of resources. It is in a direction of no return where pursuit of profit, atomisation of individual life is central to the growth of market and corporations.
The growth of urban monoculture and ghettoization of lives within housing estates dictate norms of everyday life where individuals mortgage their future and freedom in search of a house in the city. The villages were destroyed by ruining the sources of livelihoods of the villagers. The commercialisation and commodification of lives and livelihoods are the only common culture between urban and rural areas in India today.
Hindutva forces are spreading the politics of otherness and hate in everyday life which brings rural and urban areas together against the religious minorities and marginalised communities. The sense of fear and hate are the twin pillars on which urban and rural India is standing to confront a miserable future created by the Hindutva politics.
Poverty, unemployment, hunger, homelessness and crime are five net outcomes of Hindutva robbery of India and Indians. The destruction of public resources, public images, public institutions and fellow feelings are central to Hindutva hegemony over society and politics, and crony capitalist control over economy. These processes help in the atomisation project that is concomitant with capitalism. Hindutva and capitalism are twin forces that accelerate unhitched robbery of life, liberty and livelihoods in India.
Hindutva is a class war and unprecedented class robbery unleashing on Indian masses. Their agricultural land, river, forest, playgrounds, airports, schools, colleges and universities, hospitals are either captured or waiting to be captured by the Hindutva crony capitalist thieves.
The cultural, religious and social genocides are conducted by the Hindutva forces in the name of nationalism to control, manage, manipulate, sabotage and dismantle any form of unity among working people against this Hindutva robbery to uphold the interests of few corporations in India. The people and their constitutional citizenship rights are disposables.
Hindutva is a collective robbery of public imagination in India. The state power provides legitimacy to such a process that legalised robbery as an art and a beautiful product of previous Karma. The unpolluted and simple people were manipulated to vote such a political process that had not expected that ‘Achhe din’ (good days) means loss of livelihoods, peace, social solidarity and cultural bond among people.
The shared life and resources are ruined in the name of national development, but the reality is different. It is an organised tragedy of all Indians. If you are a Kashmiri, a Muslim, a Dalit, a worker and a tribal, your tragedy is multiplied with every passing every seconds. Hindutva generates multiple forms of tragedies in the name of fake nationalism to legitimise robbery. Hindutva destroys a sense of collective belonging to a place and people by dividing people in religious lines. The monolithic and ethnic nationalism of Hindutva is western European in letter and spirit. It is alien to India and Indians.
It is within this context, one needs to understand Hindutva robbery of society, culture, religion, politics, economy and nationalism in India. The very survival of India and Indians depend on the defeat of these forces working overtime and unleashing a terror of the theft of the commons. The alternative narrative needs to be based on the interests of the masses and their control over all public resources in India.
To stop the privatisation of India, Indians must stop buying electoral promises from the political market of Hindutva. A collective electoral boycott of Hindutva is the immediate alternative that can halt the forward march of Hindutva robbery in India.
*University of Glasgow, UK



Vaccine nationalism? Covaxin isn't safe either, perhaps it's worse: Experts

By Rajiv Shah  I was a little awestruck: The news had already spread that Astrazeneca – whose Indian variant Covishield was delivered to nearly 80% of Indian vaccine recipients during the Covid-19 era – has been withdrawn by the manufacturers following the admission by its UK pharma giant that its Covid-19 vector-based vaccine in “rare” instances cause TTS, or “thrombocytopenia thrombosis syndrome”, which lead to the blood to clump and form clots. The vaccine reportedly led to at least 81 deaths in the UK.

'Scientifically flawed': 22 examples of the failure of vaccine passports

By Vratesh Srivastava*   Vaccine passports were introduced in late 2021 in a number of places across the world, with the primary objective of curtailing community spread and inducing "vaccine hesitant" people to get vaccinated, ostensibly to ensure herd immunity. The case for vaccine passports was scientifically flawed and ethically questionable.

'Misleading' ads: Are our celebrities and public figures acting responsibly?

By Deepika* It is imperative for celebrities and public figures to act responsibly while endorsing a consumer product, the Supreme Court said as it recently clamped down on misleading advertisements.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Palm oil industry deceptively using geenwashing to market products

By Athena*  Corporate hypocrisy is a masterclass in manipulation that mostly remains undetected by consumers and citizens. Companies often boast about their environmental and social responsibilities. Yet their actions betray these promises, creating a chasm between their public image and the grim on-the-ground reality. This duplicity and severely erodes public trust and undermines the strong foundations of our society.

'Fake encounter': 12 Adivasis killed being dubbed Maoists, says FACAM

Counterview Desk   The civil rights network* Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM), even as condemn what it has called "fake encounter" of 12 Adivasi villagers in Gangaloor, has taken strong exception to they being presented by the authorities as Maoists.

No compensation to family, reluctance to file FIR: Manual scavengers' death

By Arun Khote, Sanjeev Kumar*  Recently, there have been four instances of horrifying deaths of sewer/septic tank workers in Uttar Pradesh. On 2 May, 2024, Shobran Yadav, 56, and his son Sushil Yadav, 28, died from suffocation while cleaning a sewer line in Lucknow’s Wazirganj area. In another incident on 3 May 2024, two workers Nooni Mandal, 36 and Kokan Mandal aka Tapan Mandal, 40 were killed while cleaning the septic tank in a house in Noida, Sector 26. The two workers were residents of Malda district of West Bengal and lived in the slum area of Noida Sector 9. 

India 'not keen' on legally binding global treaty to reduce plastic production

By Rajiv Shah  Even as offering lip-service to the United Nations Environment Agency (UNEA) for the need to curb plastic production, the Government of India appears reluctant in reducing the production of plastic. A senior participant at the UNEP’s fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4), which took place in Ottawa in April last week, told a plastics pollution seminar that India, along with China and Russia, did not want any legally binding agreement for curbing plastic pollution.

Mired in controversy, India's polio jab programme 'led to suffering, misery'

By Vratesh Srivastava*  Following the 1988 World Health Assembly declaration to eradicate polio by the year 2000, to which India was a signatory, India ran intensive pulse polio immunization campaigns since 1995. After 19 years, in 2014, polio was declared officially eradicated in India. India was formally acknowledged by WHO as being free of polio.