For many people in India, democracy means a majoritarian rule. Once a party or a coalition is elected, it acts as if it has the moral and legal right to do what it pleases. That is the crossroad where India is today with Narendra Modi in power disregarding the aspirations of the minorities and diminishing the power structures that provided political and social equilibrium in the last seven decades or more. India has not only survived the growing pains of a democratic experiment but prospered as a nation under a Nehruvian vision and the constitutional umbrella engineered by the great B.R. Ambedkar. Together, they have built institutions that guaranteed life and property of every citizen regardless of their background or circumstances and provided an opportunity to climb up the ladder of success and economic prosperity. What we should have witnessed is a continuum of those policies and practices resulting in more openness and tolerance, and yet the opposite seems to have taken place.

Many liberal critics of the Modi regime sincerely believe that his administration is run by a political dogma inspired by the RSS ideology. His long association with that organization and penchant for appointing many of the chief ministerial candidates from that feared cadre may have given such an impression to the public. It is suspected that many of his illiberal policies and reluctance to err on the side of liberty and justice may be the direct result of his commitment to that ideology.

That ideology is based on a common thread promoted by the Sangh Parivar organizations and is called the ‘Hindu Nationalist agenda of BJP.’ The ultimate goal of the agenda is to transform the pluralistic and democratic India to a Hindu nation where the majority religion will have the pre-eminence and minorities relegated to subservient role probably being denied equal protection or opportunities, that too, to a substantial segment of the population.

A constitution exists to create a framework for the government to function and the constitution of India tries to keep the government inside that framework. That is what Nehru and Ambedkar intended as its authors. It is obvious to any independent observer that the current Modi regime has shown very little respect for that sacred document.

George Abraham

Vice Chairman,

Indian Overseas Congress, USA

Via E-mail

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