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Rulers in Gujarat, India succeed in creating delusion around BJP politics: NGO meet

By Rajiv Shah*  

A civil society-sponsored meeting organised in Ahmedabad has admitted that the current ruling establishment in Gujarat as well as in India has been able to successfully create “delusion” around itself, strong enough to “deceive” large sections of people to pull them towards their side. Held ahead of the Gujarat state assembly polls, to be held in the state December 2022, the occasion was release of a Gujarati book titled “Sacchai Gujarat Ki” (Truth of Gujarat), authored by Hemant Shah, a top functionary of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL).
Addressed, among others, by former BJP chief minister Suresh Mehta (1995-96), who broke from the party in 2007 after differences with Narendra Modi, whom he served as industries and tourism minister in 2001-02, the meeting was held amidst murmur among the organisers that the BJP is likely to sweep the polls. “Aam Aadmi Party is unlikely to get more than five seats”, of the them, a senior activist, said, adding, “as the Congress, it is in a shambles, and I doubt if it will get more than 30 seats in a house of 182.”
A strong Modi critic ever since he broke from the BJP, Mehta, 86, recalled how Modi, when he was Gujarat chief minister, was successful in creating an aura around his so-called development model. “It all began in 2005, with Sharadotsav”, he said, “when, violating all legal and constitutional norms, he held winter festival in Kutch. For the first time, the executive under Modi devised ways to utilise government funds without the approval from the legislature.”
According to Mehta, the then Modi administration worked out ways to raise money – even extort – from outside the taxation framework. Money was collected for the festival from everyone, ranging from villagers to top industry houses such as Welspun and Adani. “Government money began being used, without any accountability, for political end”, he alleged, adding, “not only did this continue under him when he was chief minister till 2014, it continues till date, when he is India’s Prime Minister.”
Mehta said, “No previous Prime Minister till Modi came to power in 2014 ever used a government platform for criticising the opposition, making strong political statements.” Underlining that Modi is in poll mode using government money, he added, “ahead of the announcement of the polls by the Election Commission, Modi has been going around across Gujarat at government events, where he does nothing but attack opposition, making election speeches. He is least bothered about the division between government and political function.”
No previous Prime Minister till Modi came to power in 2014 ever used a government platform for criticising the opposition
Mehta underlined, the result is, an illusion is created among the general public, which fails to see how religion is being used for political ends, like in Madhya Pradesh, where a renovated temple was inaugurated using state funds. “The situation has come to such a pass that rapists and murderers of Bilkis Bano are freed, yet there is no flutter. Human rights activists Teesta Setalvad and ex-DGP RB Sreekumar are arrested, but no one questions the act.”
According to Mehta, no previous Gujarat leader ever used the Narmada project for political ends, but as for Modi, “you can see how he spoke the other day: that it was he who ensured the completion of the project, while his predecessor Congress rulers failed to do anything... This when despite spending Rs 90,000 crore, Narmada waters have not reached large sections, while out of 44,000 displaced families, only 11,000 have been rehabilitated.”
Hemant Shah, who is a top PUCL (Gujarat) activist, speaking in a similar tone at the meet, held at the Gujarati Sahitya Prashad hall, identified how India has been divided into different types of people, of which the biggest chunk is of those who are completely awestruck by the so-called developmental model – Sabarmati riverfront, metro train, flyovers etc. -- thinking, without Modi, all this wouldn’t have been possible.
There is little concern about poor educational and health standards in Gujarat, he said, adding, one can imagine how all this is happening with the help of propaganda funded by the government. “Full page advertisements in all top Gujarat dailies every day, all with government money, are creating this type of illusion”, Shah, a former associate professor in a Gujarat University-affiliated college, said.
As for other category of people, they include those who have been compromised either by corrupting them or by threatening them with legal actions. Then, there are those who are living in a state of constant fear. “It is democracy which is in peril”, Shah claimed, adding, “If things continue as they are, days are nor far off when India as a country will cease to exist.”
---
*Editor, Counterview

Comments

Martin Macwan said…
Is this, creating delusion, is a new phenomena?
Unknown said…
This fine tuned propaganda is understood by very few educated n politically people and even among them most are quiet out of fear or greed.Rest of the public is misled by our media which is giving wings to fake news and false propaganda. With the powerful corporates, media and govt on one side, the opposition lacks the resources to engage in this unequal fight
Natubhai Parmar said…
Bureaucracy is also equally
responsible for Modi's rise.
Mike Ghouse said…
Rajiv,

I thank you for bringing the Sachai to the Indians.
Your news always is worth readin
It is scary: even Governors are throwing their weight around in non-BJP ruled states.

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